Dueling demonstrations await Obama at O.C. fundraiser
Supporters and opponents are prepared to greet President Obama on Thursday when he travels to the Newport Beach neighborhood of Corona del Mar for a fundraising brunch.
Obama was scheduled to attend a $2,500-per-ticket fundraiser at the home of real estate developer Geoffrey Stack and his wife, Nancy. The sprawling home overlooks Little Corona Beach.
Already Thursday morning, a gaggle of the president's backers and critics had gathered near the home to welcome the president.
"We want the president to know he's very welcome in Orange County," demonstrator Guy Johnson told KTLA-TV. "We want him to know we've got his back."
Protester Kent Moore told the TV station he was concerned about "the debt he's put on this country …. He seems to be blaming everyone else in the news for his own personal failures. I think the guy is in over his head."
The president's fundraising swing on the Westside of Los Angeles a day earlier resulted in no major traffic problems. The president was taken by helicopter from Los Angeles International Airport to a park in Century City, where he boarded a SUV for the Beverly Hilton Hotel and two fundraising visits in Holmby Hills.
On Twitter, some motorists complained of traffic crawling on thoroughfares such as Santa Monica Boulevard, but others said it was not much worse than usual rush-hour snarls.
Speaking at the L.A. fundraiser Wednesday night, Obama acknowledged that "change is hard," but also touted the nation's economic progress on his watch.
The president is scheduled to continue his West Coast fundraising tour, moving on to San Francisco later Thursday and the Seattle area on Friday.
-- Rong-Gong Lin II
Photo: President Obama arrives Wednesday in Los Angeles for a 20-hour fundraising swing through Southern California. Credit: Kirk McCoy / Los Angeles Times