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President Obama swings through town for a luncheon at the Jacobs'.


Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

For San Diegans driving on the 5 South toward downtown, May 8 will forever be remembered as one of the most snarled traffic days of the year. President Obama and his motorcade were in town for a fundraiser at the La Jolla home of Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs, one of the president’s top financial supporters during his re-election campaign. It was also the day when photographer Brendan Smialowski captured this money shot: a secret handshake during which Obama slipped the presidential challenge coin to Sgt. Maj. Richard Charron, a longtime U.S. Marine, just after he landed at Miramar. “It actually happened so quick, it was just like a normal handshake,” Charron said. The coin ritual is a longtime military tradition. Presidents Clinton and Bush were known to award them to foreign dignitaries as a welcoming gesture, and Obama often leaves them on soldiers’ graves.