President Barack Obama departed Los Angeles Friday for Phoenix, finishing a roughly 18-hour visit to the Southland that included an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and attending a Democratic National Committee fundraiser.
Air Force One took off from Los Angeles International Airport about 10:30 a.m.
Obama used his first appearance as president on the ABC late-night talk show Thursday to condemn the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, Mo., and to denounce “folks who disregard and disrespect the other side, people who resort to violence.”
In an appearance featuring light-hearted questioning on subjects such as visitors from space and whether he goes to the White House kitchen in the middle of the night in his underwear, Obama made extensive comments related to the continuing unrest in Ferguson, initially triggered by the fatal shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old black man by a police officer. Referring to Thursday’s early morning shooting of the two police officers, Obama told Kimmel at ABC’s Burbank studio, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the officers and their families, and thankfully, as you said, they’re going to be OK.”
In a standard bit on the show, Obama also read mean tweets about himself and responded to a question about his mobile device habits — “I don’t text. I email. I still have a Blackberry.”
Following the taping, Obama headed by motorcade to Santa Monica for a Democratic National Committee fundraising event hosted by ICM Partners talent agency co-founder Chris Silbermann, with about 25 supporters contributing up to $33,400.
Obama has attended fundraisers during 18 of his 21 visits to Los Angeles and Orange County as president. He has attended 32 fundraisers in Los Angeles County on those trips, occasionally attending multiple fundraisers during the same visit.
Obama was joined in the Southland by his wife, Michelle, who also was in Burbank to tape an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres’ “Ellen” TV talk show.
The first lady flew to Los Angeles on a different flight than Air Force One and left on her own before the president’s overnight in Los Angeles.
“I don’t believe so,” Deputy White House Press Secretary Eric Schultz said aboard Air Force One when asked if the presidential couple saw each other during their visits.”I’m not even sure they overlapped.”
Asked if the Obamas could have arranged to fly together here to save taxpayer money, Schultz said, “I believe on this occasion the schedules were not in sync in order to travel together.”
The first lady did not accompany Obama to Phoenix, where he was scheduled to speak today at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the focal point of a nationwide scandal over delayed care for veterans and other management failures in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
—City News Service