Pool reporting courtesy of the White House Media Affairs Office
Air Force One landed at 1.58 p.m. at Logan International Airport. A motorcade of more than a dozen vehicles waited. The motorcade included State Police cruisers, a Newton police Ford explorer, black sport utility
vehicles with tinted windows, a white van for the White House press corps, and a Boston EMS ambulance.
Videographers and still photographers stood on a flat bed truck and captured the arrival.
President Obama greeted several well wishes when he stepped off the plane. He got into a black limousine with flags on the hood. The 24 vehicle motorcade began moving at 2.11 pm. It left the airport and took the Ted
Williams Tunnel into the city.
Motorcycle police stopped traffic at entrance ramps onto the Mass Pike. A handful of people stood at a fence on top of a wall along the highway to catch a glimpse of the motorcade. The motorcade made a U-turn on the Mass Pike, headed back east, and took an exit into Back Bay.
The motorcade emerged from a tunnel on Huntington Avenue. A crowd waited on the sidewalk. People waved and took photographs with cell phones of the passing motorcade.
Several hundred people crowded outside the Hynes Convention Center as the president’s motorcade left at about 4:25 p.m. Scores of people raised cameras and cell phones above their heads and snapped
photographs as the vehicles whizzed past, onto the westbound Massachusetts Turnpike toward the Boston suburb of Newton.
As the motorcade continued west, traffic in the eastbound lanes stopped. People got out of their vehicles, walked to the concrete barriers between lanes, and took photographs of the motorcade. President Obama is heading to a fund raiser at a private home in Newton.
In Newton, clutches of people lined Washington street to catch a glimpse of the motorcade. A young boy held a New England Patriots flag. A woman on a front lawn held an American flag in her right hand and an “Organizing for Obama” sign in her left. People gathered at the end of driveways taking photographs. The neighborhood has curving, tree-lined streets with fallen leaves scattered on green lawns. The homes are large, many colonial-style brick residences with columns on front porches.
The fund raiser was held on a cedar-singled home on a small hill on Howland Road. Obama’s Cadillac limousine sat at the top of the driveway. The next door neighbors held homemade sign that said: “Can Malia and Sasha come out and play?” It was signed by Caroline (10) and Grace (5).
The fund raiser was hosted by Dr. Ralph de la Torre, the chief executive of Caritas Christi Health Care. The home had artwork hanging on the walls and wood floors stained a dark mahogany color. About 75 people gathered in a room with a vaulted ceiling and field-stone fire place, although there was no fire in the hearth. The event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $900,000. Tickets cost $15,200 or $30, 400 a VIP reception, which includes a photograph with the president.
Attendees included Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and his wife, Theresa Hines Kerry; Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island; Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino; Newton Mayor Setti D. Warren; US Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts; and former US Representative Martin T. Meehan of Massachusetts.
Obama and Kerry posed for pictures in another room. They then walked into the room with the fireplace and spoke with a microphone as they stood in a doorway.
Kerry spoke for about 10 minutes and began with a joke about the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is known by the acronym, DSCC. “There are so many doctors here we are going to call it
‘Doctors Sending Campaign Contributions.”
“This is a tough year and nobody knows that better than the president of the United States,” Kerry said.
Obama stood to Kerry’s right and leaned against the doorway. Obama wore a button-down dress shirt with the collar open and no tie, the same outfit he wore to the rally.
Kerry paid homage to the Newton, Setti D. Warren, who worked for him when he was running for president in 2004. He called plane trips they took over Iowa and Wisconsin. “We are in Setti Newton’s city,” Kerry said. “I never dreamed he was going to become mayor of Newton.”
Setti took a bow.
Senator John F. Kerry spoke of the night that Obama was elected in 2008, recalling he had “tears in his eyes.” “He said to the country that the road ahead will be long, the climb will be steep, and we may not get there in the first year, or even the first term,” Kerry said. “But we will get there.”
“That is being tested in ways I have never seen in my entire time in public life,” Kerry said. “Facts, science truth, seem to be significantly absent in what we call our political dialogue.”
“Though all that this president is fighting to bring us back from the brink,” Kerry said.
Kerry described a “pale” and “jittery” Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson coming to him and other senators at the end of the Bush presidency and describing the collapse of the economy.
“George Bush asked us to bail about the financial system,” Kerry told the crowd.
“We passed the recovery act,” Kerry said. “We kept police on the streets and firefighters and teachers on the job.”
The month that Obama took the oath of office, Kerry said, the country lost 750,000 jobs.
“We’ve turned that around,” Kerry said. “We’re not getting as many jobs as we want, but we are getting back on track.”
They made those accomplishments, Kerry said, despite the most extraordinary stonewalling and obstructionism he has seen in his time in elected office.
“Before he passed away, Teddy said to me how (difficult) it was to him to see this institution he loved and worked so hard in and knew how to make work, not be able to work they way it used to,” Kerry said.
In the last 1.5 years, the Senate has seen more filibusters that the entire period from World War I though to the moon landing, Kerry said.
“That’s why you being here tonight is really so important for us,” Kerry said. “We have got to hold on to the United States Senate. We’ve got to hold on to the House too.”
Kerry introduced Obama to hearty applause. The president spoke for just under 20 minutes. The White House released a transcript of his remarks.
As Obama left the home, he stopped by the neighbor’s house with the sign and said hello. The motorcade was on the road by 5:45 p.m. People still lined the streets of Newton and waved goodbye. The motorcade arrived back at Logan at 6.04 p.m. Air Force One departed at about 6.15 p.m.