STAMFORD, Conn. — Downtown Stamford was a mob scene Monday evening as people from all across the area tried to catch a glimpse of President Barack Obama as he arrived in the city for a fundraiser at the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa.
“It’s not something you get to see every day,” said Diane Griffin of Darien, who brought her three kids and one of their friends to Tresser Boulevard and Greyrock Place to try to see Obama. Her expectations were not high.
“It’s neat to see the motorcade if nothing else,” she said.
“I don’t always agree with him, but he is the president,” said Edward DiPreta, a former Greenwich resident who now lives in Georgia. He was in the area visiting family and decided it would be a good experience for his daughter to see Obama.
Though several people were trying to see the president, about 75 were there hoping he would see them as members of the Tea Party and other groups held a protest across the street from the hotel. With signs, chants and songs, they showed their unhappiness with Obama’s performance in the White House.
“I am working to get him out of office,” said Carol Cheslock of Bethel. She described herself as a frustrated American and called Obama “ineffective” and a “closet socialist.”
“America is worth fighting for, our dreams are worth fighting for,” Barbara, a conservative talk-show host from Harlem, N.Y., said as she addressed fellow protesters. She said people should vote for Mitt Romney, the likely Republican candidate for president who she said has business experience and believes in capitalism.
Police presence around the hotel was heavy, with several units set up on nearby intersections as well as at the hotel itself. They were assisted by the city's Operations Department, which used garbage trucks to block roadways, as well as by Stamford Fire & Rescue, which had several units on hand, including a “Mass Decontamination” truck.
After his event in Stamford, Obama was scheduled to head back to Westport – where he landed – for another fundraising event.