President Obama met with celebrities in Hancock Park on Monday night after arriving at LAX from Las Vegas in the afternoon. He went to Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles in central Los Angeles (see photos). He was joined at the counter
by Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, where he ordered for himself and several
aides. Obama's order included the No. 9 -- the ``Country Boy'' -- which
consists of three wings, with the choice of waffle, potato salad and French
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Locals will be affected for the next 24 hours. More helicopters have swept the area than in recent memory, and police cars are patrolling offramps and freeways. Sirens have been blaring on and off since 2 p.m.
According to the White House official schedule, he will be leaving before noon on Tuesday.
Obama plans to be in the Hancock Park area south of Hollywood, and then at some point on Tuesday morning will head to the Burbank NBC Studios to tape a Tonight Show appearance with Jay Leno.
Obama Monday night told supporters who paid $35,800 each to attend a fundraiser at the Hancock Park home of movie producer James Lassiter that "this election will not be as sexy as the first one.''
"Back then, it was still fresh and new,'' Obama said. "I didn't have any gray hair. Everybody loved the "Hope' posters and all that.
"This time, we've got to grind it out a little bit. We've got to grind it out. But the cause is the same. And my passion is the same. And my commitment is the same.''
With actor Will Smith, who starred in Lassiter's film Hitch, and retired basketball legend Magic Johnson among the approximately 35 people in attendance, Obama discussed the mortgage refinance program he announced earlier today in Las Vegas, saying that with homeowners able to refinance at lower rates, they would have more money to "shop, go to Will's movies'' and patronize Johnson's businesses.
Obama also fielded questions.
He will then travel to the nearby home of Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith for an event organized by the Futuro Fund, a group of Latino Obama supporters from across the nation.
Studio City resident and Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria is among the co-hosts of the event, which Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is expected to attend. Tickets for the event range from $5,000 to $35,800. The upper price is determined by the contribution limits of $2,500 for a primary campaign, $2,500 for a general election campaign and $30,800 for a national party committee. The second event is aimed at shoring up Obama's support among Hispanics. Villaraigosa said the president has been a strong advocate of critical issues facing Latinos.
"President Obama does not have a vote in Congress. President Obama has
been supportive of comprehensive immigration reform. He's been supportive of
the Dream Act. He has called on the Congress to do their job and to fix the
broken immigration system,'' Villaraigosa said. "The fact that they've failed
to do that is not his responsibility or his fault, if you will. It's theirs.'''
Obama spent the night in the Southland, then planned to tape his fourth appearance on Jay Leno's show, and his second as president. Obama's appearance on Tonight on March 19, 2009, was the first by a sitting president. It was best remembered for his comment that his bowling score of 129—out of a maximum of 300—"was like Special Olympics, or something.'' Before the episode aired, Obama called Timothy Shriver, the chairman of Special Olympics, to apologize.
Obama is bound for San Francisco.
The president was last in Southern California on Sept. 26-27, when he
attended a pair of fundraisers—one at the House of Blues in West Hollywood
and another at the Fig & Olive restaurant on trendy Melrose Place.
The visit will be Obama's eighth to the Los Angeles area since being
elected president. He has spoken at political fundraisers during all but his
first visit. Of the eight trips, this will be the third on which the schedule
includes an event other than a fundraiser.
—City News Service contributed to this report.