HOUSTON -– Under bright sunshine on an uncharacteristically cool Wednesday in Houston, the president and first lady were welcomed by a small group of well-wishers, including former President George H.W. Bush.
Obama, accompanied by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, attended a fundraiser at the River Oaks home of a prominent donor on Wednesday night.
Tickets for the event started at $16,200 for individuals and cost as much as $64,800 for couples.
Democrats in Houston have long groused about fundraisers like this, with prominent national party leaders dropping into the city and draining away campaign cash that otherwise might have gone to Texas political races.
Several downtown streets were closed overnight for the visit, including Dallas at Smith, Smith at Dallas, Smith at Jefferson, and Brazos at Jefferson. There also was no access to Jefferson Street from Interstate-45 South and no access to Pease Street from I-45 North. METRO said some bus route were affected.
Portions of the Hardy Toll Road and the Eastex Freeway were closed as the president’s motorcade left for Bush Intercontinental Airport early Thursday.
The president will spend Thursday afternoon in Austin for a summit on the 1964 Civil Rights Act at the LBJ Presidential Library.
His Texas trip began early Wednesday for a memorial service at Fort Hood. He then came to Houston for the fundraiser.