Barack Obama's visit to San Francisco attracts hundreds of protesters 

Hundreds of protesters lined the streets in San Francisco outside the hotel where President Barack Obama held a fundraiser Tuesday.

The demonstrators lined the corners of Howard and Third streets in San Francisco in opposition to everything from war and budget cuts to a proposed transcontinental oil pipeline and the federal government’s crackdown on medical marijuana.

Click the picture for a gallery showing Occupy SF protesters and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee greeting Obama at the airport.

The protesters lined up outside the W Hotel, where Obama attended a $7,500-per-head campaign fundraiser Tuesday afternoon. His planed touched down at San Francisco International Airport at 12:55 p.m. and the president greeted supporters there before leaving for the fundraiser. The presidential motorcade arrived at the hotel at 1:30 p.m.

An Obama campaign official said about 200 people attended the event, which included a performance by singer Jack Johnson.

When he arrived at SFO on Tuesday afternoon, the president waved to a small crowd that had gathered for his arrival, then walked quickly down the plane's steps to the tarmac, where he was greeted by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.

He spent about five minutes shaking hands and chatting with members of the public who were invited to attend, including about half a dozen children.

The president took a moment to hold a baby a woman had handed to him, and high-fived a boy who was sitting on a man's shoulders.

After signing some autographs -- including one on a toy model of Air Force One that was brought by one of the children -- he got into a black limousine and drove off with his motorcade.

Jeanne Carstensen, 61, of Pleasanton, was invited to witness the president's arrival by a friend who works for the Department of Justice.

"It was an experience of a lifetime," Carstensen said. "You don't have to be a Democrat or a Republican to feel the excitement."

Obama arrived in San Francisco on Tuesday from Los Angeles, where he also had fundraisers planned. The president made a surprise visit to a Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles on Monday night, then taped a segment for "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on Tuesday morning that will air Tuesday night.

Outside of the fundraiser, however, there were protesters awaiting the president's arrival. Police blocked off the area in front of the hotel, located at Third and Howard streets, but the crowd stretched for half a block in each direction.

San Francisco being San Francisco, there was little unanimity of message among the protesters. Many protesters oppose the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would transport Canadian crude oil from Alberta to the Gulf Coast. Others denounced the recent letters from California’s four U.S. Attorneys to several dozen medical cannabis dispensaries around California, including here in San Francisco.

But some were agitated about issues as diverse as the Occupy Wall Street movement and the imprisonment of Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army soldier believed to have provided the website Wikileaks with confidential government information.

“I was a supporter of Obama but I am so disillusioned right now,” said Catherine Woods of San Francisco, a self-proclaimed environmentalist who opposed the pipeline and supports Occupy Wall Street.

Examiner Staff Writer Ari Burack and Bay City News contributed to this report.

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