Obama's celebrity-rich L.A. tour causes traffic jams
President Obama's fundraising swing through Los Angeles made for a tougher afternoon commute for some motorists on Monday.
The traffic problems were most intense in Hancock Park and Mid-City, with east-west commuters facing some delays. A portion of Wilshire Boulevard and adjacent 6th Street were shutdown for several hours, jamming other streets linking downtown and the Westside.
On top of that, Obama made an unscheduled stop at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles on Pico Boulevard.
Booths full of early-dinner diners craned their necks to see Obama, who was at the counter ordering for himself and nearby aides, including Valerie Jarrett, Jay Carney, David Plouffe and Marvin Nicholson. With him was Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), who represents the area in the House.
Among other items, Obama reportedly ordered the No. 9, “Country Boy” -- three wings with choice of waffle, potato salad or French fries -- which cost $8.90, according to the menu. He quickly moved to the cashier.
The president, sans suit coat and with his shirt sleeves rolled up, then walked to one side of the restaurant and greeted the diners in each vinyl-covered booth.
Obama attended two events that evening.
At an intimate fundraising dinner in Hancock Park, Obama spoke softly to a few dozen supporters who had paid $35,800 each to greet him.
The gathering, at the home of movie producer James Lassiter and his wife, Mai, was one of six events Obama had planned in three days of stops in Nevada, California and Colorado, as he kept up a torrid fundraising pace that is far surpassing that of the GOP presidential field.
The two gatherings Monday were celebrity-flecked, with the first including actor Will Smith and former Laker Magic Johnson. The second and larger event was at the home of actors Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas, with per-seat tickets starting at $5,000.
--Peter Nicholas, Robert J. Lopez, Shelby Grad and pool report.
Photo: Security is heavy outside a fundraising event headlined by President Obama in Hancock Park.( Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / October 24, 2011 )