The president comes to town and all we do is complain about traffic?

The president comes to town and all we do is complain about traffic?
Steven Spielberg, founder of the Shoah Foundation, presents its award to President Obama at the Century Plaza Hotel. (Genaro Molina / pool/Getty Images)

The small group of reporters covering the president of the United States at particular events to report them back to the larger group of White House reporters is called the pool. The Times’ Maeve Reston was in the pool covering President Obama’s visit to Los Angeles on Wednesday to receive the “ambassador for humanity” award from the Shoah Foundation, and to raise money for the midterm elections.

Once again, great liberties have been taken by me to edit a number of pool reports into … a Beat poem.



Cheviot Hills Recreation Center.

Baseball field, no greeters.

First stop: fundraiser, Bel-Air, Alan & Cindy Horn.

Intimate … 90 people, circular tables, orange tablecloths. Trees, wrapped in white lights. A cool night. Some? Warm under blankets.

President convincing the crowd. Climate change? "Some say it's a hoax. Fundamental difference in


Car alarm goes off.

President: "Sound the alarm, because we've got a problem."

On the move: USC Shoah Foundation. President receives award, paid tribute to Holocaust survivors.

Conan O'Brien, ribbing president about traffic:

"We love you.

"But … do you have to physically come here?

"Skype works."