WASHINGTON--President Obama and First Lady Michelle make a rare joint appearance on Saturday, both part of a round table discussion at Panama City, Fl. on efforts to recover from the BP Gulf oil spill.
The Obamas, traveling with Sasha, 9--oldest daughter Malia, 12, is still at camp--will spend a few minutes short of 27 hours on the Florida coast, with the trip designed to drum up tourism in areas not spoiled by the oil disaster.
The short overnight Florida trip comes as Mrs. Obama comes off a much criticized vacation last week to the beaches of southern Spain. On Thursday, the First Family departs for ten days of vacation on Martha's Vineyard.
Click below for pool report on Florida arrival and background briefing on the round table.
Aug. 14, 2010
President Obama arrived at Andrews AFB on Marine One at 9:44 a.m. He stepped into beautiful, sunny weather - low-humidity, the last he'll see of that today - at 9:48 p.m.
A jacketless POTUS was followed by daughter Sasha, who was wearing a white dress with a red sash and little platform-heeled sandals, and FLOTUS, who wore a teal dress and yellow flats.
Malia Obama is still away at camp.
POTUS, FLOTUS and Sasha jogged up the stairs to AF1. POTUS waved before ducking inside.
Reggie Love and Meredith Koop, an aide to FLOTUS, also traveled with POTUS on Marine One.
Bill Burton is on the trip, already on AF1 when POTUS arrived.
Bo, the first dog, is also on the trip, although no Marine One flight for him either. He was already on AF1 when first family arrived. He paid a brief visit to the press cabin, did a turn down the aisle and sniffed around, but with no food and a bunch of reporters, he was quickly tired of us and was gone.
AF1 rolling, headed to Panama City, Fla.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2010
BACKGROUND ON THE PRESIDENT'S EVENTS TODAY
ROUNDTABLE AND REMARKS
USCG PANAMA CITY DISTRICT OFFICE
PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL
The President will hold a roundtable discussion with The First Lady, Secretary Mabus, local small business owners and local elected officials on recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast.
• First Lady Michelle Obama
• Ray Mabus- Secretary of the Navy
• Gov. Charlie Crist
• Mayor Scott Clemons - Panama City
• Mayor Gayle Oberst - Panama City Beach
• Lee Ann Leonard ( Legacy by the Sea Resort)
• Captain Gary Jarvis (Back Down II Charter Boat)
• Carolyn Holman (Captain's Table)
BACKGROUND ON SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
Lee Ann Leonard is the general manager of the Panama City Beach hotel chain, BY THE SEA RESORTS. Consisting of three gulf-front hotels, a gulf-front restaurant and a church retreat, the chain has documented more than 1,000 room night cancellations to date due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill translating into $191,803.27 in lost room revenue alone. Leonard is optimistic that business will return. She has been the general manager of By the Sea Resorts since 2006.
Captain Gary Jarvis is the owner of Back Down II, a Charter Boat company that Jarvis has owned since 1989. Jarvis has seen business decline sharply as a result of the oil spill. A captain since 1980, he was able to join the Vessel of Opportunity program to skim oil from areas closed to fishing - a program that recently ended. Jarvis is concerned about business coming back as people are still hesitant to book trips and vacations to the area.
Carolyn Holman is the co-owner of Captain's Table Restaurant and owner of 2 fishing boats. Business dropped considerably in May after the oil spill, but has been returning slowly every since. And while current business is still down, Holman feels lucky to have the business that they do have.