March 2nd, 2011
05:07 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) –- The White House’s James Brady Briefing Room turned into the James Taylor Briefing Room on Wednesday afternoon.
James Taylor, fresh from receiving his Medal of Arts from President Obama in the East Room, and his wife Kim toured parts of the White House and ended up in the press briefing room where he was greeted by a dozen reporters and photographers.
Taylor said he and his wife were big “West Wing” fans and were having an “amazing” tour. He posed for pictures and took questions from reporters which quickly turned into a mini-press conference. Taylor called Obama a “remarkable leader” and recalled campaigning for him in Massachusetts and North Carolina in 2008, saying that perhaps he made the difference since it was a close race in North Carolina.
The singer was one of ten recipients of the 2010 National Medal of Arts and was honored for his contributions to American music. President Obama said that Taylor “set the mood” and he and other artists have helped to shape the president’s life.
“We still hum the great songs by the musicians in this room - songs that in many cases have been the soundtrack of our lives over decades,” the president said.
Before leaving, he followed the tradition of other celebrities and White House visitors by signing the tile wall of the former White House swimming pool that is under the briefing room. “Got my medal. Feel so proud,” signed James “Fire & Rain” Taylor.