Obama to speak at USC Friday

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File photo: President Barack Obama speaks during a rally for the Democratic National Committee at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, October 17, 2010.

President Barack Obama will be in Southern California later this week. Local drivers hope the traffic will flow more smoothly than it did the last time he visited.

The president is scheduled to speak to students at USC early Friday afternoon. He’ll be on the same part of campus – near Doheny Library – where President Gerald Ford and then-candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon made speeches.

President Obama last visited USC four years ago, when he was still a U.S. Senator. But his real reason for this visit is the November 2 election.

He’ll attend a fundraiser for US Senator Barbara Boxer. The long-time incumbent’s locked in a tight battle with Republican Carly Fiorina for the Senate seat.

President Obama last visited the L.A. area in August on a different fundraising trip. He ticked off drivers west of the 405 Freeway because the Secret Service closed down streets for the presidential motorcade.

Thousands of drivers got snarled in the mess – some for hours. But officials said the president’s safety outweighs the inconvenience.

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