Fw: Pool Report #4

From: Peter Baker [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Friday, July 24, 2015 09:14 PM
To: Barnes, Desiree N. EOP
Subject: Pool Report #4

Pool Report #4
July 24, 2015

With the official pomp scheduled for tomorrow, the roughly 20-minute motorcade into town was equally low-key to the point of being anti-climatic. Most of the ride was dark and eerily quiet with none of the huge crowds lining the route typical seen when a Potus arrives for the first time in a country in Africa or elsewhere around the world.

The motorcade rolled past darkened office buildings, department stores, car dealerships, gas stations and fast food restaurants. Soldiers were posted at various points facing away from the highway. Handfuls of people were in parking lots or watching from inside restaurants. It wasn't until after about 10 minutes that we began seeing more significant crowds on the streets and even then thinner than typically seen. It was about that point we heard the first cheers from a clutch of several dozen people at a gas station, one of just two times your pooler heard cheers.

Closer to the hotel the crowds were in the hundreds but stayed generally quiet. From the motorcade could be seen a series of white lights from people holding up phones to record the arrival.

Along the way were a few billboards welcoming Potus, including one that said "Karibu Kenya" and another that said "Karibu POTUS." A third featured pictures of Potus and President Kenyatta, each posed in front of his respective flag.

Potus arrived at the Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel at 8:48 pm.

Peter Baker
NY Times

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