Barack Obama Delights, Annoys Corona del Mar Fans and Protesters

Critics of the president hold a banner in preparation for his OC visit
Critics of the president hold a banner in preparation for his OC visit
Brandon Ferguson

On a sunny Southern California morning, an evenly split crowd of perhaps 500 protesters and fans of Barack Obama lined the sidewalks of swank, oceanfront Corona del Mar in anticipation of the president's arrival for a fund-raising event at a private residence.

Obama's fans held signs that thanked him for his policies against "hate" and "warmongering," while his critics blasted him as pro-abortion, pro-socialism, pro-debt and pro-wealth redistribution.

"Obama is a socialist," one elderly, white-haired woman told reporters. "I want him to stop taking our hard-earned money and giving to other people. We work hard for what we have. It's not fair." 

But Alice Apkarian, 55, was happy with Obama's OC trip.

"We just want to show that Orange County isn't the monolith everybody thinks it is," she told the Weekly.

Laura Dietz

believes Obama needs to be removed from power because she supports "freedom from government interference--interference with my personal life. It's unconstitutional."

Dietz added, "My rights do not come from the government. According to the Founding Fathers, they come from the Almighty."

Tea Partier waves her flag in Corona del Mar
Tea Partier waves her flag in Corona del Mar
All photos by Brandon Ferguson

Nearby, a leather-skinned granny rocking a red, white and blue stove pipe hat and standing next to a white Mercedes wasn't happy with a couple Obama supporters--a college-aged woman and her male companion. 

"You guys are so dumb. You're socialists, socialists, socialists!" she yelled.

She doesn't like King Obama
She doesn't like King Obama

A middle-aged Latino woman brought a huge sign: "Where's the birth certificate?"

Elsewhere in the crowd, a contingency of pro-marijuana protesters with the Greater Orange County Collectives Alliance held signs and said they are determined to "remove the stigma" about pot smoking.

As you would expect, the scene was loaded with journalists and seven television news trucks.

The country's going to pot.
The country's going to pot.

An unamused KTLA reporter lectured an anti-Obama protester who accused him of only interviewing liberals.

The Secret Service and Newport Beach police kept the crowd far from the president's motorcade. Within 10 minutes of reports that Obama had arrived, the crowds thinned.

Bush? Obama? Fat Bastard's father?
Bush? Obama? Fat Bastard's father?

After his OC event, the president is scheduled to fly early this afternoon to San Francisco.

Go HERE to read our coverage of Obama's arrival in LA yesterday.

(Brandon Ferguson contributed to this report.)

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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