WASHINGTON--First Lady Michelle Obama and President Obama host a luau Thursday night for members of Congress on the South Lawn of the White House. In order to add more substance to the event, the First Couple as part of their push to get more people involved in volunteering traveled to nearby Ft. McNair with daughters Sasha and Malia to help assemble backpacks for the kids of military personnel.
During the event, Mrs. Obama gave a preview of the Hawaii-themed picnic tonight while introducing her husband, she said "We've got a great picnic planned -- a luau -- some great hula dancers" -- and then demonstrated the dance.
"Try that again," said the president, born in Hawaii, laughing
"United We Serve" event
POTUS and FLOTUS (as well as Malia and Sasha -- but your pooler hopes
we're not calling them the FDOTUSes in these things, because that just
looks preposterous) headed to Fort McNair this morning to help assemble
what the White House says will be a total of 15,000 backpacks for
children of armed service personnel and make brief remarks. The event
was open press, and transcript should be moving soon.
Introducing her husband, FLOTUS previewed tonight's luau picnic for
members of Congress, by saying, "We've got a great picnic planned -- a
luau -- some great hula dancers" -- and then demonstrated the dance.
"Try that again," POTUS said, laughing. In his remarks, POTUS asked all
Americans to take some time this summer for service of some sort, and
got in a plug for a new government Web site, Serve.gov, which lists
organizations where people can go volunteer.
After the remarks, the whole Obama family went to assemble backpacks for
about 30 minutes. Each navy blue bag got two books -- "The Lightning
Thief," by Rick Riordan, and "The Penderwicks," by Jeanne Birdsall -- as
well as two drink boxes, a fruit cup and some Raisin Bran cereal. At
first, Sasha was handing backpacks to POTUS, who put one book in and
then passed the bag on to Malia for the second book, and then down to
FLOTUS for some of the snacks. But apparently Sasha was slowing things
down, because after a few minutes, POTUS switched places with her. Rep.
Todd Platts, R-Pa., was assembling bags near POTUS and spent most of the
time chatting him up about something; your pooler couldn't make out any
of the conversation. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., was also nearby.
Motorcades out and back were uneventful.
Salon.com Washington correspondent