Obama visits La Jolla

By James R. Riffel and Gustavo Solis

City News Service

Update: The president arrived in Los Angeles about 4:40 p.m. following his visit to La Jolla.

President Barack Obama brought his re-election effort to Southern California today, hoping to tap into some deep pockets to pad his campaign war chest.

The president, who was in Seattle on Sunday, arrived at MCAS Miramar aboard Air Force One just after 1:30 p.m. and stopped to greet dignitaries, Marines and families before heading to a private fundraising event at the La Jolla home of Mason and Elizabeth Phelps.

On the way to their home on La Jolla Rancho Road, the president’s motorcade passed All Hallow’s Academy. Outside, students waved flags as a group across the street yelled and waved protest signs.

Mayor Jerry Sanders and Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, greeted Obama after he stepped down the stairs from the aircraft, and the three spoke for about three minutes.

Since his flight arrived several minutes early, the president jogged over to about 40 onlookers — Marines and their families — to offer greetings and shake hands. At one point, he picked up an infant dressed in a blue outfit and posed for a photograph.

San Diego resident Adrienne Tacheco said it was an honor’’ to exchange pleasantries with the president, but forgot what was said.

I can’t remember -- it’s just a blur,’' Tacheco said.I think he said `thanks for coming.’''

Elizabeth McKinnis of San Diego said she welcomed the president to San Diego, and he responded, It’s a nice place to be.’'