President Obama comes to Tampa today

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President Barack Obama will give a campaign speech at Hillsborough County Community College’s Dale Mabry campus today, the first of what are likely to be many campaign appearances by the president in the Tampa area and Florida. Obama has been to Florida and the Tampa Bay area more than a dozen times since taking office, for official visits and fundraisers. His most recent visit was a stop at the Port of Tampa in April to announce trade initiatives, reports William March of the Tampa Tribune.

The HCC appearance will be his first public re-election campaign event in the state.

Tickets for the event were all distributed within a few hours after it was announced Tuesday. The campaign expects standing room only in the HCC campus gym.

The Obama campaign said it couldn’t say how many tickets were given out.

The center normally seats 1,500 in bleachers and could hold more depending on how it’s configured.

Tampa can also expect late-afternoon traffic snarls in the area of Dale Mabry Highway near Tampa Bay Boulevard as roads are closed or movement slowed for security.

The Tampa Police Department won’t say when or where they might redirect traffic because of Secret Service limitations on details about presidential travel.

The event will begin shortly after 4 p.m. and is likely to last an hour or more. HCC officials expect the campus to be closed off about 11 a.m., with only the Lois Avenue entrance open after that.

The Dale Mabry campus last hosted a sitting president, Bill Clinton, in March 1995.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.