President Obama arrived in Los Angeles Thursday for a two-day visit that was set to include a number of events, including a Democratic fundraiser at the home of actress Gwyneth Paltrow and the designation of a national monument.
The president's arrival comes just two days after Vice President Joe Biden's two-day trip to the L.A. area.
After arriving at LAX around 2 p.m., Obama attended an event at the Cross Campus facilities in Santa Monica that focused on millennials and the economy. He took questions for an about an hour, reaffirming his commitment to net neutrality, and addressing immigration, health care and transportation.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Santa Monica Pam O'Connor were at the event, which was held at a startup coworking space.
During the event, the CEO of a company based at Cross Campus offered Obama a job, and the president responded in jest that "the idea of ... being able to dabble a little bit in the issues of the day while being in sweatpants and a baseball cap sounds pretty attractive," according to a presidential press pool report.
Obama then made an unannounced stop at the Venice election headquarters of state Sen. Ted Lieu or Torrance, who is running to replace retiring Rep. Henry Waxman in Congress.
"We only have a few weeks left and California is right at the heart of the battle for control of the House,” Obama told campaign volunteers, according to a pool report.
From Venice, the motorcade proceeded up Ocean Avenue, which was lined with supporters and gawkers.
Obama then arrived about 5:15 p.m. in Brentwood to attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the home of actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Actress Julia Roberts was spotted among the group of about 200 attendees.
Paltrow introduced herself to Obama by saying: "I am one of your biggest fans, if not the biggest."
After referring to the president's efforts on sustainable energy and equal pay for women, Paltrow said, "You’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly."
She then handed him the microphone, according to pool reports.
Tickets for the reception started at $1,000; dinner tickets began at $15,000.
The president left the fundraiser at 8 p.m., arriving a few minutes later at the W Hotel in Westwood.
On Friday morning, the president was expected to attend another DNC fundraiser at the home of restaurateur Michael Chow. Then, he was to head to Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas, where he planned to discuss his designation of a portion of the San Gabriel Mountains as a national monument.
After the 12:40 p.m. San Dimas event, Obama was expected to fly out of LAX en route to San Francisco about 2:20 p.m.
As with past visits, this week's was also expected to tie up afternoon rush-hour traffic due to a number of road closures for the presidential motorcade.
Most of the closures affected the Westside area of L.A.
The Los Angeles Police Department has advised motorists to avoid the following areas at the aforementioned times.
- The area around Centinela Avenue between Ocean Park Boulevard and Olympic Boulevard from 1:30 to 3:30p.m.
- The area around Lincoln Boulevard between Pico Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard from 1:30 to 3:30p.m.
- The area around Santa Monica Boulevard between 26th Street and Ocean Avenue from 3:30p.m. to 5 p.m.
- The area around Ocean Avenue between Pico Boulevard and San Vicente Boulevard from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- The area around San Vicente Boulevard between Ocean Ave and Bundy Drive 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m
- The area around Sunset Boulevard between Allenford Avenue and Barrington Avenue from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- The area around Sunset Boulevard between Allenford Avenue and Roxbury Drive from 5 p.m to 7:30 p.m.
- The area around Beverly Glen Boulevard between Sunset Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard from 7:30p.m. to 9 p.m.
- The area around Wilshire Boulevard between Sawtelle Boulevard& Santa Monica Boulevard 7:30p.m to 9 p.m.
- The area around Wilshire Boulevard between Veteran Avenue and Comstock Avenue from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- The area around Beverly Glen Boulevard between Ashton Avenue and Bellagio Road from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- The area around Sunset Boulevard between Hilgard Avenue and Carolwood Drive from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- The area around Beverly Glen Boulevard between Bellagio Road and Pico Boulevard from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- The area around Pico Boulevard between Prosser Avenue and Century Park East from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Additionally, there was set to be a hard closure along Hilgard Avenue between Le Conte Avenue and Weyburn Avenue from 8 a.m. Thursday through 6 p.m. Friday.
Some bus service would also be impacted, as the Metro Bus Orange Line route 302/2 on Hilgard Ave between Le Conte Ave and Weyburn Ave would be cancelled from 11 a.m. Thursday through 4 p.m. Friday, a news release from LAPD stated.