Vancouver man greets president in Seattle

By Stevie Mathieu, Columbian assistant metro editor

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Democratic National Committee member Ed Cote of Vancouver was one of 10 people picked to greet President Barack Obama as his plane touched down on Thursday at Boeing Field for a visit to Seattle.

Cote estimated it was the fourth time he’s met Obama, but greeting the president as he stepped off Air Force One on Thursday tops the rest.

“Nothing was as exciting as and thrilling as this,” Cote said by phone afterward. “There’s just something about seeing the plane land. He came down the stairs off the plane with

Sen. (Patty) Murray.”

Of the 10 people who greeted the president, Cote said he was pretty “low on the totem pole.” Others in the reception line included Gov. Chris Gregoire, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.

He said he wasn’t sure why he was chosen for the job, adding that it came as a surprise when he received the call at home.

When it came time for Cote to greet Obama, Cote said he was “so overcome by emotion. I kind of became tongue-tied.”

He pointed out that Obama’s plane was built in Washington state with union jobs, and he told the president that Murray was one of the nation’s finest senators.

“He said, ‘Yes, I agree,’” Cote recalled.

Shortly after the meet-and-greet, the president was whisked into a car, and Cote was on his way back to Clark County.