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President Obama leaves LA, heads north for more fundraisers

October 8, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
President Barack Obama left Los Angeles Monday morning and headed north to Keene in Kern County, where he dedicated a national monument at the home of Latino labor leader Cesar Chavez, the United Farm Workers Union founder who died in 1993.

Mr. Obama's departure from the Southern California was swift and well executed. With several major roads shutdown for security purposes, it only took 23 minutes to get the president from Beverly Hills to LAX.

But street closures caused traffic gridlock during an already busy rush hour period. Mark Whitcoff of Beverly Hills snapped a picture as the president's motorcade passed by.

"I'm here to take a picture and email it to the White House to ask them to please, as a supporter of our president, please not have him come and depart during traffic times," he said.

In Keene, Mr. Obama established Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz as the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument. The 187-acre site served as the planning and coordination center of the United Farm Workers of America starting in 1971.

The president arrived in L.A. Sunday afternoon. His first stop was a small gathering with longtime donors at the Beverly Hills home of DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. Former President Bill Clinton was also in attendance.

From there, Mr. Obama was escorted to a star-studded event at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. There was entertainment by actor George Clooney and musical guests Stevie Wonder, Jon Bon Jovi and Jennifer Hudson. About 6,000 supporters were at the event to hear the president speak.

"We've come too far to turn back now. The last thing we can afford right now is four years of the very same policies that led us to this crisis in the first place. I cannot allow that to happen. I will not let it happen. That's why I'm running for a second term for president of the United States," said Mr. Obama.

The president then attended a fundraiser at Wolfgang Puck's WP24 in the Ritz-Carlton hotel, where he hosted a $25,000-per-person event for about 150 supporters.

Mr. Obama will be attending a fundraiser in San Francisco Monday night, and then flying to Ohio on Tuesday, the battleground state's final day to register to vote.

Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is set to make a major foreign policy speech in Virginia on Monday. Romney will reportedly paint the president as a passive, weak leader who has limited America's influence around the world.

The former Massachusetts governor has been in the key swing-state of Florida. At a campaign event in Port St. Lucie Sunday, Romney slammed the president over his health care law and economic policies. He then promised victory on Election Day.

"We're going to hold that torch high -- very, very high -- on Nov. 6. The world is going to see we're serious about coming back, about strengthening the basis of this great country. We're taking back the White House, we're taking back America, we're going to keep this nation strong," said Romney.

Romney is planning to use the president's "hope" slogan against him in Monday's foreign policy speech. His prepared remarks include "hope is not a strategy."


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