Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Obama the Uniter: 'Young, Old, Black, White — Everyone Was Pissed Off'

Barack Obama's making friends fast. I hope that money he picked up in LA the other night was worth it.
We have one word for you, Mr. President, the next time you want to sweep into Los Angeles late on a weekday afternoon: Helicopter. That way, you can avoid the streets the rest of us mere residents must use to get around.

President Obama's fundraising mission in Los Angeles on Monday evening may have been a whirlwind trip for him, but it was a tedious slog for the thousands who found themselves in gridlock from the Westside to downtown.

A Brentwood resident's two-mile jaunt took 45 minutes. An Echo Park couple who left home at 5:30 p.m. found their usual 20-minute drive west to Olympic and Rimpau boulevards took a whopping hour and 15 minutes. An attorney left his Miracle Mile-area office at 5:45 p.m. and sat unmoving in traffic for 45 minutes.

No matter their politics, Los Angeles residents found themselves united. "It was a beautiful thing," said Brentwood resident Myles Berkowitz, commiserating with his neighbors on Montana Avenue. "Young, old, black, white — everyone was pissed off."
Then again, what does he have to worry about? The knuckleheads in California will still probably elect him again.
All this traffic angst was stirred up by street closures as the president made his way from the Beverly Hilton hotel to the Hancock Park home of "West Wing" and "ER" producer John Wells to raise $1 million for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Frustrated motorists took to websites — including that of the Los Angeles Times — to vent.

"If you want an investigation, start with John Wells and everyone at his fundraiser who thought this was a good idea," wrote one man on The Times' website. "Yes, I understand that the actions yesterday were at the Secret Service's direction, but you'd think the president should know by now that when he travels, this is what happens. He could have easily said no or done it at a hotel near the airport. All of that yesterday for a million bucks, just phenomenally inconsiderate."

Indeed, raising money may have cost Obama some goodwill, mused one public relations professional who had her commute Tuesday morning to her Santa Monica office lengthened by 15 minutes as authorities cordoned off streets for the president's departure.

"This probably won't affect people's view of Obama long term, but it's not a very good P.R. move," said Karen Diehl.

Deprived of his straight-shot commute east on Wilshire Boulevard, physical therapist Chris Hisamune had to wind his way from Santa Monica east then north then south and even briefly backtracking west before heading east again to his Beverly Hills office.

"It did sweep through my head: I'm never voting for Obama again," Hisamune said.
Hot Air links. Thanks!

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