President Bush is set to give the LSU commencement address today amid the backdrop of election-year politics and tensions over the war in Iraq.
Bush is scheduled to arrive at Metro Airport at 9:15 a.m. on Air Force One, address graduates at 10 a.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and fly out of Baton Rouge at 11:40 a.m.
He attends a private fund-raiser in New Orleans later today.
This year’s graduation takes place amid all the hoopla that goes with any presidential visit — tight security, limited access for sightseers and gatherings by both Bush admirers and his critics.
Seeing Air Force One land at Ryan Airport in Baton Rouge is damned impressive. The airport is not designed to handle 747 traffic, but I remember when GHWBush landed the 747 there. On takeoff, the pilot kept the brake on and fired the engines full blast. It was a huge roar. Then he let the brake go and, like a rock out of a slingshot, took off down the runway and up into the wild blue yonder. It was beautiful.