President Obama has arrived in San Francisco for a series of fundraising events for his 2012 re-election campaign, which means some street closin’, motorcade gapin’, protest havin’ fun is about to be had.
Air Force One touched down at San Francisco International Airport at 12:39 PM. The president, wearing a dark suit and a striped tie, exited the plane at 12:49 p.m., waved, then trotted down the stairs to the tarmac.
At the bottom of the stairs he gave a salute, then stopped to greet San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Kamala Harris, chatting with Newsom briefly and patting Harris on the back.
He also greeted a crowd that had assembled for his arrival, giving one person a hug, and waved to members of the media before getting into a black Cadillac and being driven off at 12:57 p.m.
One of the people he spoke with was 44-year-old Jodi Fisher, of Cayucos, Calif., a cancer patient who made headlines recently by giving out free ice cream in her town–something she said was on her “bucket list.”
Also on her list was appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and shaking President Obama’s hand. Shortly after a local newspaper quoted her saying that, Fisher got a call inviting her to meet the president today.
“I didn’t think it was real,” she said.
After meeting Obama, Fisher was beaming from ear to ear.
“I couldn’t believe he knew my name,” she said. “That was exciting.”
SFist called the restaurant, which said the President picked up “some dim sum.”
According to Bay City News, Obama arrived shortly after 1 p.m., a restaurant manager said.
He ordered several dim sum dishes to go, and stayed in the restaurant for about 20 minutes greeting guests, manager Wing Lyn said.
The president’s security force crowded into the dining room as Obama shook hands with the restaurant’s patrons and posed for pictures, Lyn said.
Lyn said he was thrilled to serve the president.
“It’s amazing,” he said.
“An Obama campaign official” the Chron notes “declined to say who will get such intimate access to the president.”
But don’t think that if you avoid SOMA, you’re in the clear: other street closures should be expected as the President moves around the city.
For example, at 7:30, the Obamas are also expected to attend a fundraising dinner and reception at the home of local author Robert Mailer Anderson and his wife Nicola Miner.
The dinner at the Anderson/Miner’s Pac Heights mansion will reportedly be a $35,800-a-head affair for 50 guests.
Tickets to the rally reportedly started at $100 with VIP seats priced at $1,000, with $7,500 tickets that also included a photo reception.
According to Bay City News, 15 excited teenagers from the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, will be at tonight’s event.
The 15-, 16-, and 17-year-olds were selected to see the president based on their achievements in school and leadership roles they have taken on in the community, a spokesperson said.
According to a press release from activist group World Can’t Wait, the Masonic Center reception is expected to begin at 6 PM (others report that the event will begin at 8 PM), and will be met with demonstrations from “World Can’t Wait, Code Pink, supporters of accused whistleblower Pvt. Bradley Manning, and activists from the Occupy movement.”
In a separate release, “San Francisco Catholics, joined by other defenders of the First Amendment and freedom of conscience” say they will be gathering at 5:30 outside the Masonic Center ” to express their outrage at the President’s recent HHS mandate.”
“Frostpaw,” a polar bear mascot for the environmental protection group Center for Biological Diversity, will appear outside the Masonic Center to call on the Obama administration to halt oil drilling in the Arctic.
Medical marijuana activists also plan to gather outside the Masonic Center as part of a nationwide day of protest against the administration’s crackdown on marijuana dispensaries, organizers said.
Obama is scheduled to spend the night in San Francisco tonight before departing for Washington state Friday morning.