I haven't seen any reporting that explains why President Barack Obama motored from Van Nuys Airport to the Woodland Hills Hilton after doing Jay Leno this evening. But there he seems to be for the night. If you were caught by the traffic shutdowns for the motorcade, well, sorry about that. At least he flew from Burbank to Van Nuys rather than driving. Before leaving VNY, Obama reportedly greeted employees at the Raytheon Corporation.
Victor Girard would be proud that President Obama is spending the night in Woodland Hills. Girard was the developer who in 1923 began selling lots in a 2,000-acre parcel he acquired from the dairy of Otto Brant, one of the LA subdividers who carved up the Valley's wheat fields to take advantage of water from the Owens Valley aqueduct (which turns 100 years in November.) Girard named his development for himself — the town of Girard — and planted more than 100,000 trees, hoping to make the inhospitable, shadeless west end of the Valley desirable. It didn't fully succeed — Girard the town folded and Girard the developer left the Valley — but the trees he planted and some of the weekend cabins he sold survive. The name Woodland Hills caught on after World War II. Because of Victor Girard, parts of Woodland Hills up against the Santa Monica Mountains are some of the most charming — and shaded — neighborhoods in the city. Obama is staying closer to Victory and Canoga, which is another story — suburbia central. A savvy observer on Facebook quips: "I wonder where he's getting dinner delivered from — BJs? Cheesecake? Morton's?"
In the morning Obama is scheduled to take part in an online discussion about housing with Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff. That will be live-streamed at Zillow.com/WhiteHouse. Then the president apparently returns to Van Nuys Airport to catch the helicopter that will take him to Camp Pendleton for a media op with Marines, before departing aboard Air Force One from LAX around 2:30 p.m.
Obama on "The Tonight Show" on NBC: