With less fanfare than one might imagine, former President Barack Obama spent Sunday night and much of Monday in the South Bay, purportedly to have a private meeting with high-level tech leaders.
Obama stayed at the Fairmont hotel in downtown San Jose. There was no official notice when the former president flew into Mineta San Jose International Airport via private jet Sunday afternoon. Sources told NBC Bay Area he met with tech leaders Sunday night and had more meetings Monday inside the hotel, all while a small crowd gathered hoping to meet him.
Obama departed from Moffett Field in Mountain View about 4 p.m. Monday, pausing to shake hands and take photos with a small group before boarding a private plane.
San Jose State student Itzel Lopez had been hoping for that type of brief meet and greet by the former president outside the Fairmont hotel. She waited for hours in hopes of telling Obama "thank you" for his work on immigration reform.
"We have family who still don't have papers," Lopez said. "He did a lot; he helped us. That's why he's important."
David Manzo designed a Barack Obama jack in the box. He's sold 4,000 of them and hoped on Monday to finally get one autographed.
"This is the best chance I've had in eight years; I've never got this close," Manzo said. "When he was the president, it was very hard to get this close."
Security at the Fairmont was tight. Specially trained dogs were canvassing the hotel, and Secret Service agents could be seen at all the entrances. Several hotel guests said they saw agents roaming the hallways.
It was Obama's first visit to the Bay Area since he left office in January.