Obama visit: updates

2:30 p.m.: President Obama departs Atlanta en route to Andrews Air Force Base.

1:20 p.m.: Presidential motorcade leaves Hyatt and heads back to Dobbins.

1:10 p.m.: Crowd of about 200 at fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Hotel serenades President Obama with "Happy Birthday" in advance of the big day Wednesday.

Obama preaches to a choir of party faithful in Atlanta, saying that giving power to the Republicans this election would be going back to the policies that "got us in this mess."

He compared the Republicans to a driver who took his car into a ditch. The Democrats have been the ones doing the hard work to get the country out of the ditch, while the Republicans stood by, he said.

Now that the country is out of the ditch, the Republicans want the keys back, he said.

"You can't have the keys back. You don't know how to drive," he said.

The President was introduced by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. He praised Reed as an "outstanding young mayor."

He praised Congressman John Lewis as "one of the genuine heroes of this country."

1:05 p.m.: After the speech to the veterans, President Obama headed to another part of the Hyatt Regency complex for a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. At the moment, he is in another room taking pictures with the big-dollar donors.

A person who insisted on being identified as a “Democratic source” came over to inform reporters that roughly 200 guests are forking over anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 apiece for a total of $500,000.

Joining Obama for the fundraiser are Reps. John Lewis, David Scott and Sanford Bishop, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Georgia Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond.

One addition to our previous report: Also traveling with Obama today is Patrick Gaspard, the White House director of political affairs.

11:59 a.m.: Speech concludes.

11:48 a.m.: President tells veterans that his health care reform plan does not change their benefits.

11:44 a.m.: Obama says "we will ultimately defeat al-Qaida."

11:34 a.m.: Obama says America's combat mission in Iraq will change from combat to support on Aug. 31.

11:30 a.m.: Obama calls treatment of Vietnam veterans after war a "national disgrace."

11:23 a.m.: Obama begins speech to Disabled American Veterans national convention.

11:19 a.m.: People stood roadside to take photos of the presidential motorcade. People are waiting outside the hotel to take photos. The ceremony is starting. About 2,000 people are here.

10:40 a.m.: President Obama arrives and is greeted by Gov. Sonny Perdue, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Congressmen John Lewis, David Scott and Sanford Bishop. Also present is the commander of the 94th airlift wing Col. Timothy E. Tarchick. Obama shares a laugh with Perdue. He enters motorcade under cloudy skies and is off to the hotel.

--Details from media pool covering President Obama.