Obama visits Philly for fundraising, water ice

President Barack enjoys a summertime favorite at John's Water Ice at 7th and Christian streets on June 30, 2011.

June 30, 2011 9:33:45 PM PDT
President Barack Obama was in Philadelphia for business, but he was able to try a local summertime treat along the way.

After touching down at Philadelphia International and being greeted by Mayor Michael Nutter and others in the Democratic establishment, Obama stopped into John's Water Ice on 7th and Christian streets in South Philadelphia.

Its owner learned just five minutes beforehand that the President would be arriving.

"He came in, got a water ice, took a couple of pictures and then was on his way," owner Anthony Cardullo said.

By the way, the President ordered lemon.

"Outstanding. I strongly recommend it," Obama told reporters.

But this trip was all about stocking the political war chest.

The President arrived at the Bellevue in Center City and addressed those willing to fork up thousands of dollars to hear him speak. Guests at the Hyatt had to pony up $2,500 to $10,000 to attend the reception.

His message included his economic policies are taking form, the wars abroad are dying down, but there's a lot of work ahead.

"It's time to start rebuilding here at home, time for nation building right here," Obama said.

On Thursday evening, he attended a dinner at the Chestnut Hill home of Comcast executive David Cohen.

The price tag for a seat at that table was a minimum of $10,000.

"Philadelphia, I know there are some of you frustrated that we haven't gotten everything done we said we would get done 2 ½ years ago, but it's only been 2 ½ years, I got 5 ½ more years to go," Obama said at the Bellevue.

Earlier in the day, a throng of protesters and supporters gathered outside the Bellevue hoping their voice would be heard.

"When he was candidate Obama he signed a pledge in Philadelphia that he would increase funding for global AIDS. He has not done that," a protester told Action News.

"He's getting us out of the mess that [President George W.] Bush has put us in and he's working as hard as he can, except the Republicans have a totally different agenda," a supporter told Action News.

Due to Obama's visit, traffic in and around Center City was affected for hours, including Lincoln and Kelly drives being shut down for the presidential motorcade to move on to Chestnut Hill.

The President's visit was short, but sweet financially and it will likely be one of many over the next year and a half.