li>(Screen grab of Chris Rock's Twitter feed)
WASHINGTON--President Obama celebrated his 50th birthday Thursday night with a celebrity-filled bash, as entertainer Chris Rock reported on his Twitter feed: "Just left the Presidents birthday party at the White House. Herbie Hancock played, Stevie Wonder sang and yes they did the electric slide. A great night."
Daughter Malia, 13 just arrived home from summer camp in time for the Rose Garden party as she was joined by her sister, Sasha, 10, First Lady Michelle, grandmother Marian Robinson and their godmother, Eleanor "Mama Kaye, Wilson," who flew to Washington from Chicago on Air Force One with Obama when he returned from his Thursday fund-raiser back home.
Obama's party--paid for, the White House said, by the First Couple--was closed press and not on his official schedule. Obama's team was not eager for pictures of the bash, coming as the stock market was plunging and a new jobless report comes out Friday morning.
Eddie Gehman Kohan, who presides over Obama Foodorama, the website of record about entertaining in the Obama White House, put together a detailed report about the five-hour barbeque, based on interviews of people who were there. Read her entire article here.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama's former Chief of Staff, was also at the party. END UPDATE
From Kohan's article: "Stevie Wonder gave a "surprise" performance during the celebration; his hit "You and I" was the President and First Lady Obama's wedding song. Revelers included Jay Z; Tom Hanks; Chris Rock; hoops legends Charles Barkley and Grant Hill; Whoopi Goldberg; Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith; and actor Hill Harper. He's one of the President's closest chums from Harvard law school, and star of CSI: NY. Jazz great Herbie Hancock and his ensemble played; R & B singer Ledisi dazzled the crowd.
"The night was balmy, and when dinner was done, a DJ spun dance tunes--"like at a Bar Mitzvah," said one guest. The twenty tables for ten in the Rose Garden were pushed aside so guests could dance, led by the President and Mrs. Obama.
"...Also on hand to mark the Presidential milestone were former governors Bill Richardson and Tim Kaine, and Mr. Obama's staunchest allies in the debt battle--Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Senior White House staff also celebrated: Chief of Staff Bill Daley, Cecelia Munoz, John Brennan, and Valerie Jarrett. Mrs. Obama's former Chief of Staff, Susan Sher, flew in from Chicago, as did two of the President's closest pals: Dr. Eric Whitaker, University of Chicago Hospital Vice-President, and The Parking Spot President and CEO Marty Nesbitt. Campaign fundraiser Andy Spahn was spotted, too."
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