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Obama Visit To LA and 'Tonight Show' Concludes With Visit To Camp Pendleton

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Burbank, CA -

From Gigi Graciette:

It was but a simple wave of the hand and a big smile but coming from the President of the United States, it meant so much to the crowd that had gathered in the sweltering sun for hours just to get a glimpse of President Barack Obama.

The crowd of around two hundred cheered loudly and clapped as the President, who broke with tradition by staying at the Hilton Hotel in Woodland Hills instead of Beverly Hills, left.

No official reason given and the decision was most likely based on the hotel being closer to Van Nuys Airport but it gave those on the valley side of the hill the rare chance to see the country's leader.

His two day stay in Los Angeles included an appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno where in between the laughs, the President touched on a lot of hot button headlines, talking about Trayvon Martin, Edward Snowden, gay rights and the economy. 

There were no fundraisers or any other high-profile public appearances during this visit, just dinner at the hotel with friend and longtime supporter Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation. No word on who picked up the tab or what they talked about.

The President is now at Camp Pendleton visiting with Marines and their families, including some Gold Star families.

(FOX 11 / CNS) President Barack Obama will conclude a two-day visit to the Los Angeles area today by fielding online questions from homeowners, renters and prospective buyers in a virtual housing roundtable discussion. "Zillow Presents: A Better Bargain for Responsible Homeowners: President Obama Answers Your Questions,'' will begin at 10 a.m. and be livestreamed on Yahoo!

Questions can be submitted on the Facebook page of Zillow, an Internet real estate database, by tweeting a question to @Zillow using the hashtag #askobamahousing or by creating a short video submission on YouTube, Instagram or Vine and sharing in on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #askobamahousing.

The discussion will be moderated by Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff. Following the discussion, Obama will fly by helicopter to the Camp Pendleton Marine base in northern San Diego County, where he will visit troops and their families to thank them for their service to the nation.

Obama arrived at Los Angeles International Airport shortly before 3:30 p.m. Tuesday aboard Air Force One from Arizona, where he toured a construction company and delivered a speech at a Phoenix high school, calling for sweeping housing reforms, including the elimination of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

In Los Angeles, Obama was greeted by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who took advantage of his vantage point by snapping a cellphone photo of Obama walking down the airplane steps.

Obama then traveled to NBC's Burbank studios by helicopter and motorcade to appear on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,'' where he attempted to win Republican congressional support for increased spending on infrastructure. "For the last three years I've said let's work together,'' Obama said. "Let's find a financing mechanism and let's go ahead and fix our bridges, fix
our roads, sewer systems, our ports.''

Obama cited the widening of the Panama Canal to accommodate supertankers, set to be completed in 2015, as one reason to support increased spending on domestic infrastructure.

"If we don't deepen our ports all along the Gulf (of Mexico) -- places like Charleston, S.C., Savannah, Ga. or Jacksonville, Fla. -- ... those ships are going to go somewhere else. We'll lose jobs. Businesses won't locate here.''

Obama criticized a new law in Russia banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.''

"I have no patience for countries that try to treat gays and lesbians and transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them,'' Obama said. "What's happening in Russia is not unique. When I traveled to Africa, there were some countries that are doing a lot of good things for their people, who are working with them and helping them on development issues, but in some cases they persecute gays and lesbians and it makes for some uncomfortable
press conferences sometimes. "But one of the things I think is very important for me to speak out on is making sure that people are treated fairly and justly because that's what
we stand for.''

Obama said he did not think the law would impact next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. "I think (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and Russia have a big stake in making sure that the Olympics work and I think that they understand that for most of the counties that participate in the Olympics, we wouldn't tolerate gays and lesbians being treated differently. They are athletes. They are there to compete. "If Russia wants to uphold the Olympic spirit, then every judgment should be made on the track, or swimming pool or on the balance beam and people's sexual orientation shouldn't have anything to do with it.''

Asked if he was surprised that Putin's government had given NSA leaker temporary asylum, the president responded in relatively muted terms that suggested the issue might not become a major bone of contention in the long term in U-S-Russian relations. "I was disappointed,'' he said, adding that American authorities try to work with the Russians on issues involving globe-trotting lawbreakers despite the absence of an extradition treaty. "They didn't do that with us, and in some ways it's reflective of some underlying challenges that we've had with Russia lately.''

Obama said, however, that the Russians remain helpful on some issues, including counter-terrorism and supplying U.S. troops in Afghanistan. In a wide-ranging interview, Obama also fielded questions on topics including government surveillance and the safety of vacationing abroad. He acknowledged government surveillance programs have "raised a lot of questions
for people,'' but are a "critical component to counterterrorism.'' "We don't have a domestic spying program,'' Obama said. "What we do have is some mechanisms that can track a phone number or an email address that is connected to some sort of terrorist threat. That information is useful.''

The State Department issued a travel alert Friday that is set to expire Aug. 31, reminding U.S. citizens of the potential for terrorist attacks, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.

"The general rule is just show some common sense and some caution,'' Obama said. "If people are paying attention, checking with the State Department or embassy, going on the website before you travel and find out what kind of precautions you should be taking, then I think it still makes sense for people to take vacations. They just have to make sure that they are doing so in a prudent way.''

The "Tonight Show'' appearance was Obama's fourth as president. He is the only sitting president to have appeared on the NBC late-night talk show, which premiered in 1954.

Following the "Tonight Show'' appearance, Obama traveled by helicopter and motorcade to the Hilton Woodland Hills/Los Angeles, where he spent the night. It was Obama's 15th trip to the Los Angeles area since taking office and just the third that did not include a speech at a political fundraiser. He has made 10 trips solely for fundraising.


From Christina Gonzalez :

He is here! People shouted as President Obama's motorcade made its way to the Hilton in Woodland Hills after taping a segment with Jay Leno.

No events or fundraisers are planned for tonight. Speculating that he will order in from Morton's steak house, up the street...and get a good night's sleep before heading out tomorrow morning,  early for Camp Pendleton.

Street closures include Victory & Canoga, Canoga & Burbank and Sherman Way & Hayvenhurst.
That third intersection - near van Nuys airport, but no confirmation on wether he will be flying out of there. Can't imagine attempting the 405 to LAX from the valley, even before rush hour.

But plan for the traffic, just in case.

From Obama pajama watch (yes, that is what crowd members out here are calling it).

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