Obama tours western New York, with a cameo from Cuomo
President Obama's bus tour made a swing through western and central New York today, starting with a speech about higher education to a rowdy crowd at the University of Buffalo.
Obama was joined by a handful of elected officials, most notably Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who he called "one of the finest governors in the country."
The other electeds were less memorable, apparently, as the president conflated Buffalo mayor Byron Brown with the Democratic congressman Brian Higgins.
"This is what happens when you get to be 52 years old," Obama said. "Everything was fine when I was 51."
The crowd had piped up to correct him, and they even laughed at his joke about Millard Filmore.
Obama used the trip to introduce his new proposal to determine federal financial aid according to a formula that rates colleges based on factors like tuition, and graduates' debt versus their income.
But the trip was also a chance for Obama to see some sights and talk to some students.
According to pool reports, he made an unannounced stop at Magnolia's Deli in Rochester, which Sen. Chuck Schumer had and hinted might happen, and which the senior senator promptly took credit for recommending.
"Where's Michelle?" asked Paul MacAuley, a lawyer, according to the pool report.
"Michelle couldn't come," the president responded. "She's got too many things going on, including a new dog."
Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, joined him at Magnolia's for a discussion with some local students.
The motorcade then rolled through the rain to the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, where he spoke briefly in front of a copy of the address he delivered after signing the Lily Ledbetter Act, the first legislation he signed into law, which guaranteed equal pay for women.
And then it was on to Syracuse, to address a crowd at Henninger High School.
Tomorrow, the president will sit down with Cuomo's brother, Chris, for an interview on his CNN show, and then heads to Binghamton, where he's expected to be greeted by anti-fracking protesters. Obama has touted the benefits of drilling for natural gas, while Cuomo is still in the midst of a years-long process to determine whether the state should allow it.