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A warm welcome for President Obama in Newton

Posted by Metro Desk  October 16, 2010 07:05 PM

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John Tlumacki/Globe Staff


Obama worked the crowd at the Hynes Convention Center.

President Obama received a warm welcome from Bay State residents as he headed to a fundraiser in Newton for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee at a private home.

Several hundred people crowded outside the Hynes Convention Center as the president's motorcade left at about 4:25 p.m. after Obama headlined a rally of thousands intended to boost support for Democratic Governor Deval Patrick.

Scores of people raised cameras and cellphones above their heads and snapped photographs as the vehicles whizzed past, onto the westbound Massachusetts Turnpike toward 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.

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 of them colonial-style brick residences with columns on front porches.

The fundraiser was held in a cedar-shingled 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 fundraiser was hosted by Dr. Ralph de la Torre, the chief executive of Caritas Christi Health Care. The event raised $900,000.

About 75 people gathered in a room with a vaulted ceiling and fieldstone fireplace, although there was no fire in the hearth.

Attendees included Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and his wife, Theresa Heinz 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.

Originally published on the blog MetroDesk.

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