11/22/2014

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Obama ends Seattle visit, heads for San Francisco

Obama ends Seattle visit, heads for San Francisco
SEATTLE - President Obama departed Seattle on Monday morning after raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democrats in a pair of private fundraisers Sunday.

His motorcade tied up traffic a few times, and Air Force One caused some delays at Sea-Tac Airport as it prepared for takeoff. But all is now back to normal following Obama's whirlwind visit.

The president's jet lifted off from foggy Sea-Tac at about 9 a.m. as Obama continued a West Coast fundraising trip with stops planned in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The president started his Monday in Seattle after an overnight stay at the downtown Westin Hotel, then departed with an entourage of more than 300 motorcycle police and dozens of other vehicles.

All of the president's visits during his brief stay were private - but that didn't stop hundreds from trying to get a passing glance.

One onlooker said, "I'm hoping to catch a glance, wave at him, see if he waves back, and maybe with the flag I'll be able to get his attention."

But not everyone wanted to see Obama or his motorcade. Sean Greenfield said, "He happens to embody a lot of the ideals I don't share."

The president's purpose here was not to meet with the public or the press - simply to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The first stop on Sunday was the North Seattle home of Zumiez co-founder Tom Campion. He's been visited in the past by the likes of Hillary Clinton. Inside, attendees paid $32,000 for an hour with the president.

Outside, protesters who'd been there all day spoke against against the Keystone Pipeline and fossil fuels as the motorcade left for the second stop in Medina.

About 60 donors met the president at former Microsoft executive Jon Shirley's home. He was joined there by Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Jay Inslee.

The president talked business, from the NSA controvery to Middle East issues, but paused to acknowledge the stunning beauty of flying over Mount Rainier, saying, "You've got a good thing going here - and it's not just the Seahawks."

The president ended Sunday evening in downtown Seattle, arriving at his hotel to a cheering crowd for a quick night's rest before headed back to the airport, where fog gave him a very different view than he had just 16 hours earlier.
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