Obama supporter Nadine Hoffman, 53, of Laguna Beach, arrived at 6 a.m., waving an American flag and wearing a jean skirt with a peace patch sewn on.
"I'm here to let everybody know this is not your father's Orange County," Hoffman said, referring to the county's conservative reputation.
Some parents brought their children and grandchildren to the breakfast, said Manly, a Shore Cliffs resident.
Harbor Day School seventh-grader Will O'Connor attended with his mother, SueEllen O'Connor.
"We're all still in shock," she said afterward.
The event was catered by Costa Mesa-based The Golden Truffle. Donors munched on quiche and sipped juice and coffee. As they left, each attendee received a presidential seal sugar cookie from Newport Beach-based Wonderland Bakery.
"But people didn't eat very much," Manly said. "People were nervous."
At Gallo's Italian Deli, manager Bridget Morahan enjoyed the crowds passing by. She said protests kept away her morning regulars, but they brought in new business. The shop opened at 7:30 a.m. instead of the usual 9.
"It was nice to see all the people," she said. "Maybe Corona del Mar needs this, to bring a little excitement."
East Bluff resident Mike Jacobs said he hasn't been politically active since the 1960s, when he walked precincts for Barry Goldwater and Lyndon Johnson. He and his wife, Susan, came to East Coast Highway to protest Obama's "tax and spend" policies, they said.
"We want to preserve our liberty," said the Jacobses, who are in their 70s. "This is an opportunity to express ourselves."
Latika Sethi, an Irvine resident and naturalized citizen originally from India, came to support the president.
"It was really a dream," Sethi, 60, said after the motorcade passed. "People don't realize what it means to be here, to be able to say what you want."