First Lady Michelle Obama Visits San Francisco

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    NEWSLETTERS

    First Lady Michelle Obama arrived in San Francisco on Thursday for Democratic fundraisers including a visit with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco). Chase Cain reports. (Published Thursday, Jan 30, 2014)

    First Lady Michelle Obama was in San Francisco Thursday for the start of a two-day visit  for Democratic fundraisers including a visit with House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco).

    Obama's Bay Area visit comes a day after she visited Los Angeles.

    Her first stop was a private Democratic National  Committee roundtable that shut down the streets near Pacific Avenue and Montgomery Street until about 4:30 p.m.

    It appeared the event was held at Cotogna restaurant at 490 Pacific Ave.

    A small crowd of onlookers gathered behind police blocking off the intersection, including a group of women who said they worked nearby and had waited about an hour to catch a glimpse of the first lady.

    Her motorcade, headed by dozens of San Francisco police on motorcycles, eventually made its way from the restaurant down a cleared out Montgomery Street around 4:30 p.m.

    Obama was taken to a reception with about 200 supporters at 1 Leidesdorff St., off of California Street between Montgomery and Sansome streets.

    DNC donors and guests had lined up on Pine Street ahead of the 3 p.m. entry time, including Fremont Vice Mayor Anu Natarajan.

    Natarajan said she was invited by Congressman Eric Swalwell, D-Pleasanton, and was excited to represent Fremont, which has incorporated components of Obama's "Let's Move" campaign to keep residents healthy.

    Richmond resident Cynthia LeBlanc, a retired educator, said she donated to the DNC for the opportunity to meet the first lady.

    "I've been trying to meet her ever since she's been in office," LeBlanc said.

    She initially had tried to see her during a scheduled DNC fundraiser visit to San Francisco in October, but that trip was canceled because of the federal shutdown.

    "She's a wonderful role model for all of us," LeBlanc said, adding that she appreciates the work Obama has done for military families and for reducing childhood obesity.

    Naeemah Charles was attending the reception as a member of the College Democrats at San Francisco State University.

    Charles, 19, is a sophomore political science major at the college, and said she admires Obama.

    She described her as "so strong and intelligent" and said, "She's a lot more independent than other first ladies."

    On Friday, Obama will join Pelosi  for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee women's lunch and VIP reception at the Fairmont Hotel at 11:30 a.m. Tickets for the event have already sold out. They ran from $500  all the way up to $32,400 per person, according to an invitation on the  DCCC's website.
     
    The First Lady had previously been scheduled to visit San  Francisco in October but the trip was canceled because of the federal shutdown.
     
    San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee joined Obama in her viewing box for  Tuesday's State of the Union address as one of a number of special guests.