President Obama In Silicon Valley For Whirlwind Fundraising Visit
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MOUNTAIN VIEW (CBS SF) – President Barack Obama was greeted by protestors as he arrived at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose for a fundraiser Thursday evening.
Obama, whose motorcade arrived at the hotel at 170 S. Market St. in San Jose at 6:38 p.m., entered through a side entrance, according to Brian Haberly, a member of the group 350 Silicon Valley.
Haberly and his group were on hand to call on the president to reject plans for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, a controversial project opposed by environmental groups.
Chapters of the group 350.org have greeted the president at every stop of his current tour to remind him that his supporters oppose the project, Haberly said. The president has delayed a decision on the pipeline until after coming elections, a move that Haberly said “both heartened and disappointed” Keystone opponents.
“The president says all the right things about climate change, but his actions need to match his words,” Haberly said.
Other groups protesting in Cesar Chavez Park opposite the hotel included one asking for a stop to drone attacks and one protesting the president’s planned visit to Wal-Mart on Friday morning, Haberly said.
The San Jose fundraiser was the second one Obama has attended Thursday evening, with tickets costing from $1,000 to $32,400. The event is being hosted by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Sam Altman, CEO of Mountain View-based Y Combinator.
Obama arrived in Air Force One at Moffett Federal Airfield at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View at 4:11 p.m. Thursday.
As he walked down the steps from the plane dressed in a dark suit and blue tie at 4:24 p.m., he greeted officials including NASA Ames Research Center Director Pete Worden; Col. Steven Butow, commander of the 138th Rescue Wing; Mountain View Mayor Christopher Clark; and Sunnyvale Mayor Jim Griffith.
He then greeted about 60 invited civilians and members of the military gathered there, first saying hello to 5-year-old Chesaweh Darch-Sharp of Pinole, whom he asked, “Do you want to go with me?”
Someone was holding Darch-Sharp out for the president after the boy had wandered away from his parents and worked his way to the front row, his father Cameron Sharp said.
“He just wound his way and someone lifted him up,” Sharp said. “It’s pretty exciting to have my little 5-year-old up there first.”
Sharp said he was invited, along with his son and wife Ajira Darch, by his brother, who serves in the U.S. Army.
Obama also posed for picture with members of the 129th Rescue Wing of the California Air National Guard, who helped to rescue a sick infant on board a sailing vessel about 900 nautical miles off the coast of Mexico last month.
The 129th has saved 107 civilian and military lives since 1977, according to 2nd Lt. Roderick Bersamina.
After departing Moffett Field, Obama arrived at the home of 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki in Los Altos at 4:54 p.m. for a roundtable discussion and fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee.
According to the White House, the president will spend the evening in San Jose and on Friday morning, will be giving a speech at a Walmart store in Mountain View on energy efficiency.
Protesters opposing a controversial proposed new section of the Keystone pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf Coast, plan to greet President Obama as he arrives at the Fairmont Thursday evening, and remain until he departs.
This is part of a three day trip to California for the president, as he arrived in San Diego on Wednesday for fundraising, headed to Los Angeles for events benefitting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Democratic National Committee, and also was honored by the USC Shoah Foundation in Los Angeles, an organization founded by film producer Steven Spielberg.
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