SEATTLE – President Barack Obama dropped in to Seattle on Tuesday for a pair of high-priced campaign fundraisers to bolster his re-election campaign against Republican Mitt Romney.
Both events, which were not open to the public, were held at the Hunts Point home of Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal and his wife, Janet.
Obama arrived at Boeing Field about 5:40 p.m. on Air Force One. He planned to spend the night in Seattle before leaving this morning.
This is Obama’s sixth visit to Seattle since being elected president.
At the Sinegal home, he was expected to speak with two dozen business leaders at a $35,800-per-person roundtable before delivering remarks to 200 people at a $5,000-per-person dinner.
The events should raise about $1.75 million for the Obama campaign and affiliated committees, according to Democratic Party officials.
The Hunts Point neighborhood where the fundraisers were being held is dotted with a few Romney campaign signs, and both Obama supporters and opponents turned out to watch his motorcade go by.
Three young girls stood along the road holding a sign that said, “We love Obama.”
As the president’s limousine passed, one of them said, “I saw him! He waved to us!”
Michelle Neal, a Romney supporter who lives in the neighborhood, posted a sign that said “$15 trillion and counting. Now that’s a lot of change,” referring to the national debt.
Neal said it was hypocritical of Obama to hold such high-priced fundraisers. “He’s always claiming to be of the people,” she said.
Among the politicians on hand at the fundraiser were Gov. Chris Gregoire; Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee and his wife, Trudi; state Sens. Ed Murray of Seattle and Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor; state House Speaker Frank Chopp; U.S. Rep. Adam Smith; and former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice.
When Obama arrived at Boeing Field he was greeted by a dozen community and business leaders and local party volunteers, but no major state or Seattle politicians. He then approached a crowd of several dozen onlookers, shaking a few hands before speeding off for Hunts Point.