The small crowd of about 40 people on my side of the street contained the only enthusiastic Obama fans I encountered all day. Some of the rubberneckers jumped up and down in excitement.
As soon as he passed, I scampered into the One Market complex. Oddly, despite all the security outside, the building remained completely open, with no guards. The elevators had all been blocked off, so scores of frustrated office workers gathered in the lobby. Word began to spread that Obama was in the building, so out came the cell phones to snap pictures of the President. But I could tell at a glance that they were all going to be disappointed: everyone should have realized that the complete lack of Secret Service agents and security police outside the elevators meant that there was no way he was going to emerge unguarded into a crowd like this. He surely zipped up a service elevator. He never came out.
But while we were waiting something interesting happened anyway. A White House staffer ushered the White House press pool through the uncaring crowd.
Each one wore a special hexagonal White House press pass. But since they were excluded from this private mystery fundraiser, they were probably being ushered into a waiting area so they couldn’t see who was meeting with him upstairs.
I also took note of (and tried, with only marginal success, to snap pictures of) the strange Soviet-style red-and-gold pins each journalist wore. There were two styles: arch-shaped for the professional media…
…and hexagonal for Obama’s staff photographers. Or at least that was my best guess.