President Barack Obama spent his second day in the Desert playing golf in Rancho Mirage at Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison’s home, Porcupine Creek.
We found out that means neighbors were under close watch.
Traffic in Rancho Mirage came to a stop at around 9:45 Sunday morning when President Obama left a private home where he’s been staying in Thunderbird Heights and headed to Larry Ellison’s Porcupine Creek Golf Course.
DeVonne Towery-Septien was on her morning walk with her dog Chuco when she saw the Presidential motorcade roll by.
“It was hard to figure out what car he was in though, so they all looked alike but yeah, we did, it was fun,” said Towery-Septien.
DeVonne noticed what many others have in the neighborhood and throughout the city; green x’s seen on trash cans, mailboxes, even car windows. She said secret service was happy to give a simple explanation.
“He said it means they were cleared of any problems,” said Towery-Septien. “Very, very nice secret service guys, telling jokes. He was funny, very nice.”
The Secret Service was screening homes in the area, even as President Obama was already on the course with childhood friends Bobby Titcomb, Mike Ramos, and Greg Orme.
They checked for explosive devices, even certain chemicals.
It is something Towery-Septien says makes her feel confident.
“All of our neighbors say it’s the most secure neighborhood because there are cameras on each end because Larry owns the houses on each end of the street,” said Towery-Septien.
Others in the neighborhood, just blocks from Rancho Mirage Elementary School, are waiting for their chance to see the President go by one more time.
“I teach Kindergarten, and I’ve been talking to my students about it all week because it’s President’s week, we’ve learned George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and now the real President Obama is in town, my 5-year-olds are so excited,” said Anne Zelaya.
President Obama did get in some business speaking with Ukrainian President Poroshenko to express his sympathy for the mounting toll of the conflict in eastern Ukraine and his deep concern about the ongoing violence.
The two leaders emphasized the pressing need for all signatories to implement the cease fire and protocol agreements reached at Minsk last September and reaffirmed by the Minsk Implementation Plan this week.
They agreed to remain in close contact in the days ahead. Both leaders stressed the importance of establishing a lasting peace that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and unity.
Separately, the President congratulated Poroshenko on Ukraine reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on an ambitious package of reforms that will help to stabilize Ukraine’s economy and lay the groundwork for growth and prosperity.
The President also spoke with German Chancellor AngelaMerkel about the ongoing violence in eastern Ukraine and the ceasefire scheduled to begin at midnight. The President and Chancellor Merkel are particularly concerned about the intense fighting in and around Debaltseve.
They also agreed on the pressing need for all signatories to implement the cease fire and protocol agreements reached at Minsk last September and reaffirmed by the Minsk Implementation Plan this week. The President thanked the Chancellor for her tireless efforts to bring the conflict in eastern Ukraine to an end in manner that preserves Ukraine’s sovereignty and unity.
The President is scheduled to fly back to Washington Monday afternoon.