Street Keeps President Waiting At Airport

Posted: July 01, 2000

One of the giddy perks of getting elected, Mayor Street joked when he first took office, was that everyone waits for the mayor - even planes about to take off.

The same must go for planes that have just landed, even when the plane is Air Force One and the passenger is the president of the United States.

With Street running late due to navigational difficulties yesterday, President Clinton had to wait about 15 minutes before he could make his ceremonial, wave-to-the-cameras descent and shake hands with the mayor at the bottom of the stairs.

The problem came when the mayor's longtime driver, Marion Wimbush, who was in hurry to deliver the mayor to the important meeting, missed the Island Avenue exit off Interstate-95. He had to circle back, navigating the complicated network of roads around the airport, before he could deliver the mayor to the tarmac.

The mayor brought his youngest son, Akeem, to meet the president. The two chief executives chatted briefly before Clinton sped off to address the AFSCME conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Asked what the two discussed, the mayor's spokeswoman Barbara Grant said she didn't know. "It was a private conversation," she said.

Send e-mail to einhorn@phillynews.com

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