WATERLOO, Iowa --- A motorcade of two dozen vehicles doesn't go unnoticed.

But President Barack Obama's stop at the Pump Haus in Cedar Falls prior to his speech in Waterloo on Tuesday night caught people off guard.

Bruce Peterson owns the Pump Haus with his wife. They received notice of the president's visit only about 45 minutes before the stop.

He discovered he couldn't enter the back door of his own bar and restaurant when a Secret Service agent directed him around to the front to be screened.

Obama ordered a Bud Light and refused an offer to have the beer on the house. Instead, Petersen said, the president handed the bartender a $20 bill and told her to keep the change.

The Pump Haus was about three-quarters full when the Secret Service arrived. More people were allowed to enter until all the tables were full, then entry was cut off.

Overall, Peterson thought the visit went smoothly.

"It was a very memorable experience," he said.

Katie Hillyer's husband, Luke, was at the Pump Haus with three friends when he learned Obama would make an appearance.

Luke Hillyer texted her, and she was surprised Secret Service let her in upon arrival.

When Obama arrived he took time to chat with people at each table and posed for pictures. At the Hillyers' table he asked where they worked and Obama praised the work of John Deere for the three employees of that company in the group.

"I told him I was surprised he didn't order a Goose Island because it's a Chicago beer and he said he would have to stay for more than one if he had a Goose Island," said Katie Hillyer. "I told him Goose Island was actually founded by a UNI alumnus (John Hall) and he was impressed with that."

The Hillyers were married this spring. When Obama learned of that he teased the other three men, asking them when they would step up to the plate like Luke.

Katie Hillyer declined to comment on whether she is an Obama supporter.

"I think either way it's just cool to see the president, whether you love him or hate him he's still the president so it's a really good experience," Hillyer said.

Cedar Falls Police Chief Jeff Olson said such an impromptu visit doesn't require a manic sort of scramble to secure a site when the president is on a bus tour.

The entourage already includes many law enforcement officers and the Secret Service, so the personnel already in tow can quickly close down a street and ensure the president's safety.

The president's visit spurred opportunities for supporters and those on the other side of the political spectrum.

Matt Reisetter, the Republican candidate for Iowa Senate District 30, used the presidential visit as a launching point for a creative fundraiser. He had a friend donate a number of buttons from Ronald Reagan's 1984 visit to Waterloo.

Reisetter issued a notice on social media that supporters who donated at least $20.12 to his campaign would receive a button that reads "I saw President Reagan in Waterloo Feb. 20, 1984."

Reisetter himself wasn't at the event because he was a young boy at the time. However, he remembers it being a big deal and appreciated the fanfare that comes with an Obama visit in 2012.

As for the button offer, he extended it through the weekend.

"It ginned up some interest so we carried it our a few more days," he said

Carole Van Brocklin is an Obama supporter from Raymond who saw the president speak at the RiverLoop Amphitheatre. She took advantage of the visit to get in some good natured teasing of her son.

She took her grandchildren to the Phelps Youth Pavilion Tuesday afternoon only to find it closed for the presidential visit. She took advantage of the situation to take a picture of the grandchildren with an Obama sign to send to her Republican son.


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