MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – President Barack Obama is in South Florida for fundraising and to tackle the topic of Hurricane preparedness.
AirForce One landed just before 4:00 p.m. at Miami International Airport. The president was met by Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine who shook Obama’s hand and then gave him a hug.
As part of his trip, he stopped by two homes in Coconut Grove for high dollar, intimate gatherings. He met with a total of 90 people. Each paid up to 33-thousand dollars to spend time with the commander in chief.
Keyur Shah, an assistant high school principal, was invited to one of the events.
“I work with low income students,” said Shah. “He talked about immigration. He talked about great policies. He talked about what’s going on in Congress right now. He was just very candid.”
South Florida is very fertile ground for presidential candidates. In all, the president raised up to $3 million on this trip.
“South Florida has been historically a fund raising base for both parties, Republican and Democrat alike, but in particular South Florida. The Miami area has been good to President Obama, many of his big donors have come from this area, so it’s not surprising he would come back to raise more money for this region,” said Political Analyst Fernand Amandi.
Just before 8 p.m., the president arrived at his hotel.
On Thursday, President Obama will visit the National Hurricane Center to receive the annual hurricane season outlook and preparedness briefing. It is the first time Mr. Obama will receive his annual hurricane briefing in Florida. The upcoming hurricane season begins next Monday, June 1st.
As for the other candidates and possible candidates in the run for the White House, Amandi says South Florida is a key focus when it comes to raising money and support for presidential candidates.
“Money is the mother’s milk a politics and I think what makes it more interesting in this particular cycle, in spite of the fact that candidates have been coming here for years, is that we now have two presidential candidates from South Florida, from Miami in particular, so it has a political resonance, some of these fund raising trips as well,” said Amandi.
With Senator Marco Rubio in the race for the Republican nomination and Former Governor Jeb Bush a likely candidate, we will see a lot of campaigning in our back yard over the next year.
“Anytime you can campaign in South Florida, whether it’s to raise money or meet voters, I think candidates would always look at it as a worth while experience because you can fill the coffers and expand your voters, so it’s always a trip you’re going to see candidates make,” said Amandi.
Hillary Clinton also sees the value of the area. She arrives Thursday for two days of fundraising. She has two events in Miami Thursday and a stop in Parkland Friday before making her way to Orlando.