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Obama's Irish roots: "We may be related," he says at Moneygall bar

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President Obama explores his Irish roots on Monday morning in Moneygall, the Irish town where his mother's family came from. With First Lady Michelle, he stops at a bar.

"You look a little like my grandfather," Obama said to one man.

"We may be related to him as well. I'll have to check it out when I get back."

"What's your name?"

"We got to get a good picture with everybody. Michelle squeeze in here."


Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown has the pool report at the click.


From Carrie Budoff Brown:

Along the street, the president Obama accepted kisses from more than a handful of residents, and stretched his arms across rows of the crowd to shake hands.

At 3:45 pm, he and the First Lady walked into Ollie Hayes bar to cheers. He stood in a corner shaking hands with a small group.

The bar had low ceilings and plush maroon colored seats and stain-glass. On the walls: A t-shirt encased in a picture frame with Obama's likeness and the words "O'Bama's Irish Pub." Several 2008 campaign posters, including one with Biden. A banner hung over the bar, "Welcome to Ireland!"

Bits that could be overheard:

"You look a little like my grandfather," Obama said to one man.

"We may be related to him as well. I'll have to check it out when I get back."

"What's your name?"

"We got to get a good picture with everybody. Michelle squeeze in here."

"We got a family tree here and everything."

In brief remarks to the bar crowd of several dozen, Obama said: (check against transcript, but will provide fuller quotes shortly.)

"What a thrill it is to be here."

"There are millions of Irish Americans who trace their ancestry back to this island."

At the conclusion, he said: "And with that let me have a pint."

After a few more "family photos" and greetings, he saddled up to the bar with the First Lady, who had a wardrobe change since Dublin. She shed her dark gray dress for a dark rose-colored dress.

"Yes we can!" one man yelled.

The First Lady got a glass that looked like a half pint, the president got a pint. Both Guinness. They lifted their glasses to toast with the bartender.

He took a swig big enough to elicit cheers.

"I just want you to know the president pays" his bar tab, he said. (It's unclear how much he put down; will ask.)

"How often has our staff been in here?" the First Lady asked.

"How much advance did they do?" Obama asked.

More quotes and color to come.
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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 23, 2011 10:38 AM.

Obama meets with Irish Prime Minister Kenny in Ireland. Transcript was the previous entry in this blog.

Newt Gingrich: Says his presidential campaign is not dead is the next entry in this blog.

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