Vice President Mike Pence swept through San Antonio on Friday for a Republican fundraising event downtown.
It was a chance for people inside and outside the Westin Riverwalk to be swept up in the excitement of celebrity.
Six-year-old Jelisa, 8-year old Olivia, and 11-year-old Emilia, visiting San Antonio from Kansas City, convinced their dad to let them linger in front of the hotel for a chance to score a souvenir.
Clutching a pen and paper and giggling with excitement, Emilia said that she was hoping for an autograph, while Olivia said that even though the chances of success were small, she was still excited to be watching the commotion.
While K-9’s sniffed at everyone carrying a package on Market Street, and traffic came to a halt for a time while the motorcade passed, some of the 26,000 music educators attending a convention downtown were amazed by the spectacle of the security detail attached to the visit.
"Being as he's the vice president, I think it makes sense for all this security to be around," Debbie Chapa said.
The vice president was safely escorted into the Westin through a loading dock, so the Kansas kids missed their chance for a personal connection. But those who heard the vice president speak called the event a rousing success.
Carolyn Wheat said
“We enjoyed it very much, and I like the fact that he speaks to all of us so easily,” Carolyn Wheat said. “Everyone I visited with today was very positive and that was nice.”
Marsha Elmore agreed
“He was very articulate and effusive,” Marsha Elmore said. “He made us all feel really good about what's going on and I was real impressed.”
Elmore said the fact that the luncheon was well-attended made for a good showing for San Antonio.
“San Antonio always shows well and the room was packed, so there couldn't have been any more people there,” Elmore added.
Wheat said that the vice president reminds her of a very nice neighbor.
“Besides being smart and important and a very astute politician, he's a nice guy and that says a lot,” Wheat said.
There were no protesters. Police kept people moving and the motorcade swept peacefully away as the vice president continued his Texas journey, headed for an evening engagement in McAllen.