Obama visits Redwood City during Bay Area swing 

President Barack Obama left smiles in his wake after addressing a full house at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City Wednesday night -- one stop in a series of fundraising events in the Bay Area in a whirlwind 16-hour visit.

The theater was full of supporters who cheered, chanted and gave standing ovations throughout the president's roughly half-hour speech.

"Your success shouldn't be determined by the circumstances of your birth: No matter where you come from, what you look like, who you love," Obama said, bringing the crowd to their feet.

Obama touched on topics like the economy and the war in Afghanistan while encouraging the audience's support to help him win in the upcoming election.

This election would be harder than the last, Obama said, because this time around there is an atmosphere of "nastiness and sometimes plain foolishness."

Katharine Thompson, 85, of Woodside, worked for the Obama campaign in 2008 and pledged that she would do her part to get him re-elected.

There with her daughter and granddaughter, Thompson said, "No matter how old I am, I'm planning on working for Obama's campaign."

Her daughter added that her grandmother learned how to use a cellphone while working at a phone bank on his last campaign.

Jeannine Eldey, of Pacifica, called the president's speech Wednesday night "very dynamic" and said his comments on pulling troops out of Afghanistan and working to rebuild America resonated with her.

Not everyone was in agreement with the president, however.

Hundreds of protesters were outside the theater, holding signs that read "The Audacity of War Crimes" and "Obama: The Judas of America" while chanting "No-Bama."

Redwood City Mayor Alicia Aguirre also noted that the president's arrival brought some temporary drawbacks, like traffic blocks and business closures for security reasons, but said that overall his visit was a score for the city.

"We are elated that President Obama is here," she said. "It's going to put Redwood City on the map."

Aguirre spoke prior to the president's speech and Ben Harper warmed up the crowd with a musical performance.

Tickets for Wednesday night's rally started at $250, with premium seating for the event starting at $1,000 per person with some paying as much as $12,500.

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