The POTUS Express

December 22, 2009

Obama spread a little holiday cheer with a visit to the Boys and Girls Club in northeast DC, where he read “The Polar Express” and shared a basket of cookies with the kids.  He also took the opportunity to chat about the meaning of Christmas.  Although the cookies don’t exactly fall in line with FLOTUS’ children’s nutrition work, can you blame POTUS for handing out Bo-shaped cookies?

I was up baking these all night! (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama expressed surprised at the technologically advanced gifts the kids were hoping for.  His response to hopes for Playstations and cell phones?  “Whatever happened to like, asking for a bike?”


The Breakfast Club

December 17, 2009

Apparently, being ignorant of White House tour policies (none on national holidays) or failing to check your calendar can get you everywhere.  Such was the case for the Dardens of Hogansville, GA.  The couple mistakenly arrived a day early for their White House tour (on Veterans Day), and ended up having breakfast with POTUS and FLOTUS! 

Breakfast Crashers? I think not! (Robin Nelson)

Since they already had tour-required security clearance, the  Secret Service allowed the couple to join a breakfast hosted by the First Couple for veterans (of which Mr. Darden is, incidentally).  The Dardens were so surprised by their good luck that they didn’t breathe a word about the First Breakfast until well after it happened (which was smart considering the soon-to-follow Salahi debacle). 

Mr. Darden’s final thought on the meal?  “I felt kind of funny because I was the only man in the room that wasn’t dressed in a coat and tie.”

You think this was on the menu? (AirBed & Breakfast, Inc.)


All I want for Christmas…

December 15, 2009

Obama’s no grinch, that’s for sure!  He’s playing Santa to more than just those bail-out recipients.  Six-year old Jasmina Anema, who has leukemia, was scheduled to meet the Prez over Thanksgiving, but fell ill and had to be admitted to Children’s National Medical Center.  She wouldn’t be deterred, though, and made it back to the White House to lay claim to her Make-A-Wish Foundation wish–to meet our POTUS.

Her visit couldn’t have gone better, either.  Obama chatted her up about books and reading while holding Jasmina’s IV bag, and didn’t let her leave without a box of presidentially sealed M&Ms, a yoyo (old school!), and a big hug with the promise, “You can write me any time.  I’ll get it.”

What did Jasmina tell Obama she wants for Christmas?  A violin.

I really wanted to play with Bo, but I guess meeting you is okay, too. (White House Photo, Pete Souza)


Twos a crowd

December 3, 2009

Poor POTUS can’t catch a break.  The Salahis crashed his very successful first State Dinner with Dr. Manmohan Singh, and all Google searches of Obama’s name soon thereafter almost exclusively yielded stories about the “Dinner Crashers.”

Now, Obama’s name and his predilection for golf will be further inadvertantly “sullied” by the upcoming cover of Golf Digest, in which editors photoshopped Tiger Woods and the First Golfer onto the cover together.  The article’s title?  “10 Tips Obama Can Take From Tiger.”  Ouch.

I'll take your golf tips, but keep the marriage advice to yourself! (Golf Digest)


Gobble Gobble, Mr President!

November 26, 2009

As the country gears up to celebrate Thanksgiving, Obama followed a tradition started by George Bush in 1989–that of pardoning a turkey.  Courage was this year’s lucky fowl, and Sasha and Malia helped with the pardon.  One may ask–what does a POTUS-pardoned turkey do after Thanksgiving?  Go to Disney World, of course!  After Courage serves as grand marshal at the Disney parade, he’ll spend the rest of his days there in safety and solitude.

Can we keep him, Dad? I'm sure Bo wouldn't mind! (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Later in the day, the entire First Family traveled to Martha’s Table, an organization serving DC’s neediest, to volunteer for an hour handing out pies, stuffing, fresh veggies, and turkeys (not all gobblers were so lucky this season!).   The Obamas were joined by FLOTUS’ mother Marian Robinson and POTUS’ sister and brother-in-law Maya and Konrad Ng.  What a family–going from a gala dinner to serving food to those in need!

Packaged biscuits? What would the Pilgrims think? (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

As for Thanksgiving dinner, the White House has been mum on plans.  Maybe they’ll have leftovers from yesterday’s State Dinner?


Asian Invasian!

November 25, 2009
Last night’s event can’t be considered anything less than success for POTUS’ first State Dinner!  This much glamour hasn’t hit DC since…the inaugural balls? 
The invitation list was a veritable who’s-who of South Asian A-listers, including Deepak Chopra, Bobby Jindal, Kalpen Modi, Sanjay Gupta, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amartya Sen, Fareed Zakaria, and M Night Shyamalan.  Other guests included Colin Powell, Katie Couric, Steven Spielberg, Alfre Woodard, and Blair Underwood.  In addition to Jennifer Hudson’s vocal stylings, AR Rahman, Oscar winner for the “Slumdog Millionaire” score, also provided entertainment.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? Hands down, FLOTUS! (Kamm/Getty Images)

 FLOTUS donned a gorgeous dress by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan.  The dress apparently took 40 people three weeks to custom create for the First Lady.

Is this the Oscars or the State Dinner? (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Is Katie wearing a sari??? (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Kalpen really pulled a "Kumar" here--did someone not get the "black tie" memo? (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

We know who was there, but what did they eat?  Guest chef Marcus Samuellson prepared a mostly vegetarian meal, and used arugula, pineapple sage, fresh dill, oregano and thyme from the White House Garden.  Guests had their choice of roasted potato dumplings with tomato chutney, chick peas and okra or green curry prawns and caramelized salsify with smoked collard greens and coconut aged basmati for the main course, not to mention a bevy of dessert options.  Yum!

Beautiful! (Mandal Ngan, AFP, Getty Images)

Wow, that's TEMPORARY? (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


The Red Carpet meets the White House

November 24, 2009

As the White House prepares for POTUS’ first State Dinner, it’s not international relations with India and guest of honor Dr. Manmohan Singh that are of utmost concern.  The media is abuzz about who will show up and what FLOTUS is gonna wear:  Will she sport a new hairdo?  Show off her blazing guns?  Looks like the First Lady has always been a fashion plate, even as a wee lass at her 1984 senior prom. 

Va va voom! FLOTUS is scandalous with that thigh high slit! (Splash News)

Word on the street is that Jennifer Hudson will provide some American Idol-style entertainment at the gala event.  Other rumored guests: Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Bobby Jindal, and Kal Penn.  BoL can’t wait to see who else will grace the “red carpet” tonight! 

Be sure to catch the live streaming of the State Dinner tonight at 8:15 pm.