[I spotted this story yesterday, but here’s a longer version. The Maine Troop Greeters are great. POV did a documentary on them a few months ago. – KM]
BANGOR, Maine — Guess who’s coming to dinner?
Waylaid in Bangor by bad weather farther to the north and east, a political Who’s Who of high-profile travelers greeted troops at Bangor International Airport on Friday night and livened up the local downtown scene before flying out early Saturday.
En route to an international security conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mark Udall of Colorado found themselves stranded at Bangor International Airport late Friday afternoon because of high winds and overcast conditions in Halifax.
The six senators were the first to straggle in to BIA, landing in a private military plane shortly after 3 p.m. after their pilot attempted twice to land in Halifax.
They didn’t know how long they would be grounded in Bangor. So they did what anyone would do. They contacted a friend.
“I looked at my e-mail and there was a message from Barbara [Mikulski],” said Sen. Susan Collins on Saturday. “She said, ‘You’ll never guess where I am.’” The group, accompanied by an entourage of aides and security staff, was in the coffee shop at BIA, waiting for the weather to clear.
Collins was at her home in Bangor, anticipating a phone call from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“I was in kind of a quandary,” Collins said. “I didn’t want to miss her call, but I had six friends stranded at the airport.”
Click for the rest of the story by Meg Haskell in the Bangor Daily News.