When President Barack Obama arrived in Ann Arbor to speak to roughly 9,000 attendees Monday, Michigan made sure he was greeted by an important campus figure. Obama was in town as part of a get-out-the vote effort on behalf of Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on the eve of Election Day, and according to the White House Press Office, Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh was there to welcome Obama to the University.
Though most students had to wait in a line that wrapped around the University’s athletic campus to hear Obama speak, Harbaugh and Athletic Director Warde Manuel arrived just before Obama did and were given two of the most high-profile seats in the stadium. They were visible in the backdrop of the president, placed just behind Obama in the stadium bleachers.
Harbaugh may have had one of the best seats in the house, but his son, James, wasn’t as lucky. On the Inside Michigan Football Radio Show Monday night, Harbaugh said that James — a student at the University — got in line at 5:30 a.m. in order to see the president speak after getting a ticket yesterday.
“You’ve got to think a student that attends a speech of the President of the United States — the leader of the free world — that’s something that’s going to be a signature moment in their educational experience at the University of Michigan and in their college career,” Harbaugh said, noting that fifth-year senior wide receiver Jehu Chesson was also in attendance.
Harbaugh found it neat that Obama was speaking “literally feet, yards” from where the Wolverines practice at Schembechler Hall. Though he didn’t give away his own Election Day plans, he did mention that it would be fifth-year senior wide receiver Amara Darboh’s first opportunity to vote after receiving his citizenship just last year.
“That’s as good as it gets,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a tremendous thing. Living the American Dream.”