President Obama, first lady depart Houston

HOUSTON - Extra security was on hand in downtown Houston, where President Barack Obama and the first lady spent Wednesday night.

The president arrived in Houston Wednesday afternoon, after attending the memorial in Fort Hood by honoring the soldiers killed during a rampage at the base.

The streets in River Oaks were packed with police, interested neighbors, protestors and special guests as the president attended a fundraising event at a private home Wednesday evening.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, of the 18th District, was among several other leaders who flew with Obama on Air Force One from Ft. Hood to Houston and then attended the fundraiser.

"It makes you feel extremely patriotic to travel with the president of the United States," Lee said. "He obviously spoke about education and good health care, about fixing America in terms of building a better quality of life through investing in infrastructure. I think the evening was one of hope."

The president's visit was met with mixed reviews around Houston.

"It's nice to have the president in and hopefully he has a good visit to Houston," said Steve Norrid, who works downtown.

Near the fundraising event, some protestors called on Obama to stop deportations and the Keystone Pipeline.

"We'd like to get some attention. We'd like to get the attention of the president as well as the community," said protestor Stephanie Thomas.

The street closures impacted Houstonians.

"I was just coming for an interview and had to detour around the back of downtown. Louisiana is closed, so I had to figure my way out," said Clarissa Juarez.

The president and first lady left Houston around 10 a.m. Thursday. They boarded Air Force One at Bush Intercontinental Airport to fly to Austin, where Obama will speak at the Civil Rights Summit.

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