Lead Story Local News

Obama leaves L.A. after fund-raising visit

LOS ANGELES — President Barack Obama left Los Angeles Friday, concluding a 19-hour-plus visit to the area.

A motorcade that left about 10:10 a.m. took Obama to LAX, from where he boarded a flight to Palm Springs.

A motorcycle officer assigned to the protective services detail that handles travel security for Obama was involved at about 10:20 a.m. in a non-injury accident on the southbound San Diego (405) Freeway at Olympic Boulevard in West Los Angeles, apparently while escorting the president from Westwood to LAX.

While in the Southland, Obama criticized the tenor of the campaign to succeed him.

“You’re seeing in our election cycle a lot of the anger and frustration,” Obama said at the first of two fundraisers in Hancock Park Thursday night.

“Some of it is manufactured for political purposes, some of it is hype. But the frustrations are there, and they are real. There are people who are afraid. They watch the evening news, what’s happening in Syria and other troubled parts of the world.

“Fear, if not unaddressed, if not channeled, can result in some pretty ugly politics. It has never been more important for us as citizens to fight against that fear.”

Obama is scheduled for a weekend of golf in Palm Springs, prior to attending a summit of leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Obama will be joined there by Secretary of State John Kerry.

In an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that was taped Thursday and aired Friday, Obama criticized what he called the Instagram culture — “We expect quick answers without sacrifice.”

He also complained about what he described as politics that demonize opponents and about “factually incorrect news.”

Following the taping of the show, Obama flew from Burbank on Marine One, the presidential helicopter, to Los Angeles High School.

He then traveled by motorcade to the Hancock Park home of entertainment lawyer Aaron Rosenberg and Danny Rose, a producer of the CBS drama “Scorpion,” for a reception, concert and fundraiser for about 340 people.

Tickets ranged from $1,000 per person to as high as $33,400 per couple, which included prime seating and admission to a reception with a presidential photo line. Some of the money went to the Democratic Hope Fund, which helps retire Obama’s campaign debt.

Obama began a nearly 20-minute speech by telling the crowd he keeps a checklist in his desk of campaign promises he made.

“We haven’t gotten 100 percent of what I wanted to get done, but we got about 80,” Obama said. “We have made progress. The country is indisputably better off now than it was.”

However, there is still work to be done, he said, citing Los Angeles’ needs.

“Right now as we speak, there are children in this city who have no place to sleep,” Obama said. “There’s still millions of people that don’t have health insurance.”

Obama cited climate change, health insurance and lesbian and gay rights as other areas where there was still work to be done.

The fundraiser also included John Legend singing his hit “All of Me.”

Obama’s second fundraiser of the night, also in Hancock Park, was what was described by the Democratic National Committee as a “discussion and dinner,” with tickets costing $10,000 per person.

The fundraisers were the 38th and 39th Obama has attended in Los Angeles County as president. He has taken part in fundraisers during 21 of his 24 visits to Los Angeles and Orange counties as president.