By Mary O’KEEFE
President Barack Obama was in the southland on Monday and Tuesday, in part to help raise money for future Democratic campaigns. Then there was the visit to DreamWorks Animation in Glendale.
A very relaxed President Obama addressed the audience of DreamWorks employees. He spoke of the film industry and how Hollywood has helped shape the perception of America.
“This is one of America’s economic industries,” Obama said of the film studios in Southern California. He compared the film industry in Southern California to the car industry of Detroit. He added that entertainment is one of the bright spots of the country.
“The gap between what we can do and what other countries can do is enormous,” he said.
The country watched as the President praised the film industry, discussed the Affordable Health Care Act and talked about the economy; however, it was one thing to watch the event on CSPAN and a whole other experience to have a front row seat.
“It was pretty amazing,” said Terri Anderson, DreamWorks employee.
Anderson did not know exactly what to expect with the President’s visit but said it surpassed any expectations.
From the beginning, when she met the Secret Service people to having the President walk through the crowd shaking hands, the experience was one she will not soon forget.
“It was such a cozy, small gathering,” she said. Even though it was held on the large Glendale campus, it still seemed cozy.
“There was really not a bad seat in the house,” she added.
As the President was touring the DreamWorks studio, Anderson was able to speak to some of the U.S. Marines and Secret Service who were awaiting his arrival.
“One of the Secret Service guys said he was really excited about coming to DreamWorks,” Anderson said. She added this surprised her because her co-workers were all a little struck about the President being at their campus, yet those from Washington were excited about being at the studio.
But then, when the real star of the show came on set, it was all about the President.
Anderson admits she is more conservative than President Obama, but it was still exciting to see a seated President. Before he arrived, some co-workers who did not agree with the President’s politics said they would stay at their desk but things changed when he arrived.
“That is not what happened,” Anderson said. “By the end of the waiting period for him to come [from the studio tour] and come out to everybody, they felt privileged that [the President] was on the [campus].”
She added at the end of the speech the President shook the hand of everyone who was in the front rows and talked to everyone personally. After he left, everyone was still very excited and asked each other where they were, did they get to shake his hand? Then came the news that the speech and the employees were on CSPAN.
“I have a friend and he was just on top of the moon,” Anderson said.
The friend is from India and once he found he was on CSPAN he forwarded the link to his friends there.
“It was an awesome experience,” Anderson said.