President Obama in Seattle for fundraisers

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 6:41 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 24 at 10:25 PM

The President of the United States arrived at Boeing Field Tuesday afternoon for his third fundraising campaign swing to Seattle this year.

President Barack Obama touched down around 5:30 p.m. A group of 15 supporters greeted the president as he walked off Air Force One, some of whom got hearty hugs from the president. He was immediately whisked away to two fundraising events, expected to net around $2 million for his re-election campaign.

His first fundraiser is a dinner at former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal’s home in the Hunts Point neighborhood on Lake Washington. The dinner includes a small, exclusive group of about 20 people who reportedly paid $36,000 per person.

Afterward, the president was to speak to a larger reception of about 200 people who paid around $5,000 per person.

After departing Boeing Field, the president’s motorcade went past Safeco Field just an hour before the first pitch as the Mariners host the New York Yankees. The motorcade traveled through downtown on an empty I-5 then onward on SR-520 for a scenic drive across Lake Washington - with no stops for the $2.87 toll.

Upon arriving at Hunts Point shortly before 6:30 p.m., the motorcade took a narrow road lined with both supporters and critics. The crowd's many signs included one that read “Thank You President Obama We Love You,” while across the street another sign said “Obama sucks.”

After his fundraisers, President Obama will then stay overnight at a Bellevue hotel and depart Seattle Wednesday morning—something he hasn’t done on his prior trips.

There are no public rallies scheduled during his visit to Washington state.

The president started his day with a fundraising trip to Portland. Speaking at the Oregon Convention Center, he rejected criticism that the nation’s best days are behind it. The president said he’s optimistic and focused on getting the nation’s economy back on track.

“Where we were losing 800,000 jobs a month when I was sworn into office, we’ve been creating jobs for almost three years straight - four and a half million jobs,” said Obama.

The president said the country has had the fastest growth in manufacturing jobs since the 1990s, but he points out there’s a lot more work to do to get more people back to work.

TRAFFIC

Obama's motorcade through downtown Seattle shut down both I-5 and the 520 bridge between 5:45 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. No details are known about Obama's departure from Hunts Point to Bellevue or his departure from Seattle Wednesday morning, which will likely impact traffic.

 

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FUNDRAISING

Obama's last three trips to Seattle were:

     --May 2012 to Madrona home, Seattle Paramount Theatre

     --February 2012 to Boeing in Everett, Bellevue Westin

     --September, 2011 to Medina home, Paramount Theatre

Obama has already raised nearly $6 million in Washington state for his reelection, compared to Mitt Romney who has raised about a third of that amount in the state.

KING 5's Robert Mak, Lindsay Chamberlain  and Liza Javier contributed to this report.

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