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Politics

Obama In Bay Area For Series Of Private Fundraisers

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President Barack Obama disembarks from Air Force One at San Francisco International Airport on April 3, 2013. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama disembarks from Air Force One at San Francisco International Airport on April 3, 2013. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — President Barack Obama arrived at San Francisco International Airport Wednesday evening for a quick fundraising trip in the Bay Area.

The president touched down at SFO at 5:30 p.m.

Wearing a dark suit and blue tie, Mr. Obama waved to reporters and airport staff as he quickly descended the stairs from Air Force One and got into the backseat of a waiting SUV limousine.

Obama is in the Bay Area until Thursday afternoon to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee.

He attended two San Francisco events Wednesday night and another two in Atherton on Thursday.

The president’s motorcade left the airport at 5:41 p.m. to head to a cocktail reception at the Pacific Heights home of billionaire and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor.

Following that event, he attended a dinner at the nearby home of philanthropists Ann and Gordon Getty. Both events raised money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Hundreds of protesters touting various causes gathered Wednesday evening at the intersection of Pacific and Baker streets, a block away from the Getty’s home.

The largest group of protesters were shouting in opposition to Keystone XL, a proposed pipeline across the Midwest that would transport oil from tar sands in Canada.

“The legacy of his presidency is at stake with this question of whether he’s going to approve or reject the Keystone XL pipeline,” said Becky Bond, political director of CREDO, one of the environmental groups organizing the protest.

“This is something he doesn’t have to face every day in Washington, D.C., so this is our chance to deliver a message to him loud and clear,” Bond said.

The environmental groups even came with a marching band that played music while the crowd chanted “Hey Obama, we don’t want no pipeline drama!”

One anti-war group came carrying a large mock drone to show their opposition to the use of the unmanned aircraft in war zones.

“Thousands of people have already been murdered by these drones,” said Stephanie Tang, an organizer with the group World Can’t Wait. “It’s mass murder from the skies.”

The group also brought people wearing fake orange prison jumpsuits in solidarity with Guantanamo Bay prisoners.

“We’re here to demand that our government not let these people die,” Tang said. “They should be released and Guantanamo should be closed.”

The protesters then marched a few blocks away to Broadway and Divisadero Street, where some of Wednesday night’s dinner attendees were arriving in their vehicles.

Dozens of police officers lined the streets to ensure the vehicles had a clear path into the event.

The Republican National Committee has also chimed in on Obama’s visit, releasing a video Wednesday that called the fundraisers with wealthy Bay Area donors “the definition of hypocrisy” after the president ran a re-election campaign on a platform of raising taxes for the rich.

Before his departure Thursday afternoon, Obama will be in the Peninsula for two fundraisers to benefit the Democratic National Committee.

The first will be a $32,000-a-head brunch at the Atherton home of Liz Simons and Mark Heising. The president will then visit the home of Marcia and John Goldman. The cheapest tickets to that event cost $1,000.

Obama will take off from SFO Thursday afternoon. The president was last in the Bay Area during his re-election campaign in October.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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