Michelle surprises White House tourists
February 16th, 2012
12:58 PM ET

Michelle surprises White House tourists

Tourists at the White House had a surprise on Thursday. First Lady Michelle Obama made an unexpected visit to the Blue Room to greet visitors as they toured the main floor of the White House.

The first lady tweeted that she and  "@WhiteHouse’s biggest celebrity (our dog Bo)" would be surprising folks on the tour. She shook hands and gave hugs to visitors for one hour and 15 minutes. Most of the guests had obtained tickets through their member of Congress.

Mrs. Obama greeted one boy who was celebrating his 12th birthday. She also greeted a group from Tennessee.

"We didn't expect to see you," one woman said.

"It's a surprise.  I don't do this all the time.  But every now and then I like to come down and say hello," the first lady said. "This is the rare tour.  It's rare that we hang out at the tour. "

No cameras were allowed- by either the tourists or the media- but the event was streamed live on whitehouse.gov. Mrs. Obama has made similar surprise visits in the past.

Topics: Michelle Obama • The Buzz • White House

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soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Joi Gibson

    What a lovely surprise. I wish I could be so lucky!!!! She's great!!!

    Four more years!!!!!!

    February 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Howard

      White House ??? Michele should be kept in the OUTHOUSE !!!
      This complete phony, and her corrupt husband, are both publicity whores,
      who have to depend on planted stories, photo OPS, P.R., and spin ...
      since they can't possibly run on their lack of achievement, or failed policies !!!

      February 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
      • Be Sane

        Howard, you are a pitiful excuse for a human being, or anything else for that matter.
        It must be horrible living in your hateful skin.

        February 17, 2012 at 9:35 am |
      • Joi Gibson

        Good God man, what is wrong with you? Your vitriol is out of control. No matter. I still say the First Lady is wonderful.

        February 17, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Howard

      This complete phony, and her corrupt husband, are both publicity whores,
      who have to depend on planted stories, photo OPS, P.R., and spin ...
      since they can't possibly run on their lack of achievement, or failed policies !!!

      February 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
      • jean2009

        @HoweeKKK...You are one pitiful hate ravaged moron.

        February 17, 2012 at 11:30 am |
      • scott

        I like Michelle, she is very down to earth, its a shame she married an idiot like Obama. He is slowly destroying this country with his far left views. Arming the Mexican Drug Cartels, opening the borders to illegals, I heard he was passing out welcome to the USA pamphlets as the illegals came across. he refused a pipeline that would give thousands of jobs and reduce our dependency on middle east oil. Trying to force Religions to go against their beliefs, by providing funding for abortions. Under Obama our credit rating is going down, debt is going up, spending out of control, more and more government, we now have a czar for everything. Apologizes to Afghans for burning the Koran, Did he ask the President of Afghanistan apologize for killing our troops. Four more years of Obama I think not, this country can not take four more years of him

        February 24, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
  2. Central Park West

    I so admire her focus on family and children. Very commendable and a great great role model for so many. Michelle Obama's warm and approachable style is very refreshing in public life!

    February 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  3. Norma

    Those people will not soon forget that wonderful surprise!

    February 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  4. Howard

    The Obama's have to depend on planted stories, photo OPS, P.R., and spin ...
    since they can't possibly run on their lack of achievement, or failed policies !!!

    February 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • oldschool

      Why so hostile? Life is short.

      February 16, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Fe Fe

      Please!!!!!!!!!! Please!!!!!!! cut the crap

      February 17, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • KatR

      Only in America are people like you guaranteed the freedom to speak your piece. And, only in America are people like me and others free to tell you that you have some serious issues to deal with. I've never seen anyone agree with your comments. Thus, ask yourself why you continue to post your words filled with hate.

      February 17, 2012 at 11:06 am |
      • Natasha

        No Chuck those were from the caagmipn and the first 100 days so well over a year now not three months. Gaffes are gaffes. The only dumb thing I rember was the 57 states thing.But idiotic statements were another thing for Bush. He had his own vocabulary for words, come on!It's like you guys are afraid to admit it! He was the biggest gaffe president in history.The blank stares on his face etc.... that's what made him an easy target. How can you say I would never admit hypocrisy? Of course the MSM is hypocrites. They are all liberal and will publicize republicans gaffes more than democrats. But watch Fox and conservative sites and they do the exact same, they just don't have as many outlets as we do.Look, past republican presidents did not get pummeled like W. has. He was his own worse enemy. His dad did not have it no where near as bad neither did Reagan.When it's easy to make fun of someone the media will do it. You act like Clinton wasn't made to look like a greedy fat ass horn dog that he was. All the time in the media they made fun of him.The thing is Chuck conservatives and liberals are both hypocrites, and we know it. And now the last few quotes before Bush left office:"In terms of the economy, look, I inherited a recession, I am ending on a recession." –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2009"I'm telling you there's an enemy that would like to attack America, Americans, again. There just is. That's the reality of the world. And I wish him all the very best." –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2009"I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system." –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 16, 2008"This thaw - took a while to thaw, it's going to take a while to unthaw." –George W. Bush, on liquidity in the markets, Alexandria, La., Oct. 20, 2008"First of all, I don't see America having problems." –George W. Bush, interview with Bob Costas at the 2008 Olympics, Beijing, China, Aug. 10, 2008All that in the last few months.....that guy was comic gold.No jokes about Reagan or his Dad.....just him.

        March 1, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • John

      So I guess you will not be voting for the president, correct. The man who saved the auto industry in America. The man who has changed job loss from losing every month to gaining every month. The man who got Osama. The man who got us out of Iraq.

      February 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  5. mongopoo

    Once in a while I like to see the common folks up close and personal which reminds me of my superiority.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  6. JD

    Thank Howard. I always love the wet-blanket comment on a really nice, positive story and you were the first. Good job, jerk!

    February 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  7. sara

    Love this first lady. Intelligent, warm, authentic, smart and have a great focus on the nation's children (health) and our military families. I just love her.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  8. gary

    Come on howard – lighten up. must everything be so nasty with you republicans.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
  9. Ann

    I just love Michele Obama's warm and down to earth style. She is the First Lady but not aloof and stuffy and thefore people feel a real connection to her. That is so good for the country in these days.

    4 more years

    February 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Jude

      Even if the US ienpmmelted the toughest imagiinable sanctions, it would make no difference. Other nations could and would violate them with impunity. In the end, sanctions would make no difference and very likely have negative utility as they only increase the hatred felt for America around the world. Actually there are other possibilities besides the ones you mentioned on why the Obama Administration acted in the manner they did. One such possibility is after careful consultation with military and intellegence leaders it has been correctly concluded that America cannot prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. As such, unless the Israelis and the Saudis are successful in stopping it we will have to "live with a nuclear Iran." The IAF has the flying skills and the technical savy to defeat the Iranian air defense system. The USAF does not. Also, Israeli and Saudi intellegence services are much more skilled than US intellegence services at identifying and destroying key nulcear weapons infrastructure. Any effort by Israel or Saudi Arabia to eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program is much more likely to be successful if America stays out of the way. Since it is in our interest that they succeed, stay out of their way is what we should do. If they should fail, it would not be good for us but if we take prudent steps regarding the deployment of our forces to defensible positions along our borders and closely monitor what comes into our country we can have an effective deterent to Iran. Also, upgrade our nuclear arsenal and the delivery capabilities so we have nuclear strike capabilities. It seems unlikely that the Obama Administarion would launch a war against Iran in eight or nine months. Such a move would not enhance his election prospects. It would be disasterous for them. He'd be in effect handing the election to whom ever his Republican opponent happened to be. The American people are not going to support this, European and other "western" allies we'd need for the operation to be successfuL are not going to suppor this, the action would create further enimity between us and Russia and China, the "street" around the world would be staunchly against the operation driving "allied" governments even further away from us, anti-Americanims would explode exponentially, the strait of Hormuz would be cut off, the price of oil would double over night, the US military would suffer masive losses in ships, men, planes, and other equipment, and Iranian forces or terrorist proxies would attack the American mainland kiling tens of thousands and possibly millions of American civillians. This is not a complete list of the disasters that would result from a US military operation against Iran. All of these things would happen and probably much more and on top of this the chances of the military operation successfully harming Iran's nuclear program are only 50/50 at best. Certainly not a strategy one would pursue if trying to get reelected.

      March 1, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  10. sujith

    love this lady!

    February 16, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  11. Vijay

    The president is said to be aloof and a loner; his wife is warm and touches people (remember Q Elizabeth). Michelle should be out a lot more to find out for her husband's benefit, what people are saying and what is hurting them. God bless you Michelle; keep doing what you do so well talk to the folks.

    February 16, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • tnwoman1948


      "The president is said to be aloof and a loner....." That is a meme certain members of the press have put out there for the public's consumption for their agenda whatever that may be. He seems to be a "people" person to me. In fact, Mrs. Obama has mentioned several times in interviews with various journalists that it is her husband who PUSHES her to get out of her COMFORT ZONE.

      She just said recently she is the "pessimistic cynical'" one while the president is the "optimistic, outgoing" one. They complement one another.

      February 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  12. Samantha

    I was there!!! Was such a cool surprise! And Bo is so all behaved 🙂 awesome

    February 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  13. AMERICA 1st

    So mrs. nobama met people. Thats newsworthy? BIG DEAL!

    February 16, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • PC0909

      It's newsworthy because the tourists weren't charged $100-$3500 for the "so called" privilege of meeting her.

      February 16, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • jean2009

      @America's#1Idiot....If you will look at the menu bar on The 1600 Report ,it does offer news about the Family living in the White House as a choice. In the future if you are not interested in this discussion there are other links. I strongly suggest that you quit unloading your racist hate on the rest of us. Your hate is your problem not ours.

      February 17, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  14. wastelandpast

    People got a surprise at the WH!! I'd be surprised too if i ran across a loose Ba-boon.. in the ORAL office...

    February 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • heeler

      Your poor mother and all of her wasted energy.

      February 17, 2012 at 1:50 am |
      • Eduselia

        Hi John. What we have here is a fuilare to communicate. I don't disagree at all with what your wrote. I never did. I never claimed that Reagan ever consciously embraced Keynesianism. He increased defense spending for the reasons you stated. But cutting taxes without cutting spending is not conservative, because it increases debt. The household analogy would be me adding a swimming pool to my house while shifting from full time to part time work. If I want to go part time, I should cut back my spending. Reagan didn't do this. He increased spending, while cutting taxes, both financed by increased borrowing and increased debt. This is Keynesian, no matter what rationale or motives behind it.So tax cutting, in a vacuum, is not conservative. Reagan justified this on the basis of supply side (Laffer curve) theory. This was a radical theory which had never been tested and Reagan's pilot project was the biggest economy in the world. This was also not a conservative action.Now, you are focusing on Reagan's motives and not on what he actually did, divorced from his personal motivations. I'm focusing what he actually did, not on the motives behind what he did.- Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach, CAReply

        March 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • sara

      If you can live with yourself for an entire lifetime, some of us can read your ignorant, disgusting, racist post for a second. Wipe your nose, you're leaking with racial hate.

      February 17, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • jean2009

      Frankly I think your name more appropriately should be "wasteofspace".

      February 17, 2012 at 11:39 am |
  15. george of the jungle

    wastelandpast is whats wrong with the republican party. Obama/Biden 2012 Let's not let the crazy bigots loose on this country

    February 16, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Howard

      If you don't want bigots loose on the country ... you should research how the Obama's spent TWENTY YEARS in Wright's racist church. A church which gave a life time achievement award to racisst, Louis Farrakhan ... a church, where members had to swear alliegiance to the 'Black Values' rules ... which stated that members had to give special privileges to fellow black Americans, over other races. Now, followers of this doctrine, for Twenty Years, Barack and Michelle Obama, are not only loose on this country ... their running this country ... into the ground !!!

      February 17, 2012 at 12:51 am |
      • Jimmy D

        Get a grip. You do seem to have your own issues.

        February 17, 2012 at 2:05 am |
      • sara

        Howard, I used to belong to that church until I moved. I didn't ever hear Veteran Mr. Rev. Wright ever say what was said on those videos. Also, that church is not a "black" church. There are a variety of ethnic groups that belongs to that church. Some of the most spirtual and christians I've ever met. I used to volunteer at that church events on AIDS, food pantries and seminars on how to lift our black communities up and make them stronger. This isn't at all what has been protrayed by Fox News. I've worked in social services for years and it appears you can find help there with your misplaced anger and hatred. Those 2 emotions will eventually kill you, depleting you day by day. It brings on ulcers, hypertension, heart disease, anxiety and depression. It is not normal for a person to live with those kinds of emotions. I feel sorry for you.

        February 17, 2012 at 11:22 am |
      • jean2009

        You have posted that lie about the Rev. Wright for the upteenth gazillion time. I know you are pretty dumb, but have you ever taken the time to check out what the Rev. Wright actually said as opposed to the lie you want to keep pedaling?

        February 17, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Steveo

      Wastelandpast is whats wrong with WASTELANDPAST. STOP coloring everybody because of this one individual!
      Crazy bigots are NOT limited to a single party, race, gender, etc, ect!

      February 17, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  16. essie

    We love Mrs. Obama & the President!!!! Love always outweighs small-minded haters!
    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!

    February 16, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  17. tim12

    this one is addicted to the attention

    February 16, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  18. Stacy

    Love you Michelle, and Presidnet OBama. no matter what raciest people say. They are just jealous and hating on people because they are misserable. Obama 2012!!!! Ya!

    February 17, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • jerry

      sure if someone don't like obama..they are racist. Do you know how dangerous your comment is? No, you don't..because you can not think for yourself..idiot!

      February 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  19. Reason (Voice of)

    I am sad about the state of American political system and American values because the blind hatred and mindless sheep-like attitude of so many have created an environment where all progress is halted and creative solutions stifled for the sake of party lines and lust for power. The constant stonewalling and misinformation generated against this President and his initiatives since day one of his term is what has kept this country in such a lasting downturn. How do you boost consumer confidence while spewing misinformation and rhetoric designed to deceive the American people about the nature of the President. This President began his term reaching out to Republicans to generate a new era of bipartisan solutions to the problems that were brought about by the previous administration. In return he is met not with solutions and compromise, but name-calling and blind opposition.

    To the people of this nation, do you remember any politicians that have ever kept their promises? Do you realize that we have a President that made 508 promises on the campaign trail who has already kept 165 of them in their original form with another 51 kept with some compromise. These 200+ kept promises show the attitude of the administration - lets get things done. Now before everyone starts flaming based on the other 300 promises not kept, let me elaborate. Another 161 of those promises are currently in the works - that brings us up to 360 positive functional solutions enacted thus far. By my calendar, there still remains another 1/4 of his first term in which to move these numbers forward. I am thrilled with the efficacy of this President and his team in face of such stonewalling. (source of data is Politifact.com and their Obameter)

    So to those who troll and bash the character of the President and First Lady, you have my sympathy because you are apparently deluded by the media and stirred up into such a fervor that you forsake common sense values and decency along with all respect for the office. This man was elected to lead by the voice of the American people and lead he has to those who would follow. The rest have only left themselves behind.

    February 17, 2012 at 10:38 am |
  20. judy

    the repos responding here today are the exact reason why our president will get reelected. We have had enough of you narrow minded bigots. Economy is improving but the repos will not admitte that they will find some dumb thing to complaine about. Wasteland you are a waste of our time and howard you troll go back under the bridge. No first lady from either party should be called names and insulted by the likes of you. This is insulting to the whole country and the people that support them. Which is roughly half the population of this great country. I think you are all just a bunch of terriorist trying to undermind this country.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  21. jerry

    No Mz obama....we don't buy your phoney games and ideology. You already let it be known you hate the white house (and America too)...so are you your husbands lackey? Ah yes you are. At least Mrs Bush made it known when she disagreed with her husband and did her thing QUITETLY and with much grace and dignaty...you Mz obama are shameful by comparison.

    February 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  22. tnwoman1948

    This is the third year Mrs. Obama has surprised a group of citizens touring the White House. She did this in 2010 and 2011 on the anniversity of President Obama's 2009 inaugaration. For whatever reason(s), they changed the date this year. The back videos are available on Youtube, and they are DELIGHTFUL

    She seems like such a people oriented woman. I DON'T for the life of me see how she can keep up that pace of "small talk" and seemingly being genuinely interested in each visitor for almost 1-1/2 hours. She is especially good with youngsters. She actually gets down to their level., but she doesn't talk "down" to them. She also does it with the people in the wheelchairs.

    God bless this lovely woman AND her family. I am so PROUD to have them as our First Family.

    February 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  23. alabama born

    I've read these post and I agree with with both sideds. Howard is entitled to his opinion. Its what our country is based on. We don't have to agree, nor feed into his hatered, which is what he wants, he wants the attention like any child that doesn't get played with in school. He has always had these issues and its not just cause of Pres. . Obama. He was never liked as a child and therefore hates everyone, but not as much as he hates himself. So Howard its ok to be mean, angry and vile if those are the things that make you feel visible in your world but remeber a smile, hug and a kind word will make otheres see you as well

    February 18, 2012 at 9:10 am |
  24. alabama born

    Con't @ Howard Try not to let your hatered and close-mind keep you from seeing the good in our President and in others. If you are as pro-America and Anti-everything and everyone else. Then respect the man that has the title and listen w/open ears and not a mind full of hate blinded by race. If you can do that for as lil as 5-minutes maybe you can see that he has done more in his short term w/opposition than ANY President has done w/o any. My hat is off to him. He has done his best to deliver what he said and for that he has my support and should have yours as well. Isn't it time we move pass race issues. My God, its getting old people. Just my 2cents. Thank You

    February 18, 2012 at 9:22 am |
  25. crabman2

    The last time she "surprised" a tour group , four young children were so frightened at seeing a real wookie , that they needed a crisis councellor . Several of the adults were also treated for PTSS , due to the shock of seeing her regurgitating her cud several times . The rest were treated to her latest dance step , the platypus , and seemed truly amazed at the agility of America's Favorite Dancing Cow .
    Let the Liberal racist accusations begin !!!!!

    February 28, 2012 at 6:52 am |
  26. Kevin

    she will not be vntiog for him in 2012. I am, for one, on the same page with Professor Nikki Giovanni. (I heard her yesterday and today on WVON and wholeheartedly agree that he let us down.) I yet await that same enthusiasm, vigor and resiliency present during Senator Barack Hussein Obama's campaign which was why he won in 2008. The motto is: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Contrarily, he became alienated from his base by those poor advisors that surround him. Example? What happened with Ms. Sherrod was despicable a response without confirmation. I detect that our president is constanly getting poor advice and therefore needs a change BIG TIME! Last but not least, black people need to stop thinking of President Obama as the Messiah, be constructively critical, and come up with an agenda. Instead we as a people stubbornly insist on wearing rose-colored glasses which keeps us inactive while appearing/being weak. Peace and God bless during this holiday season and beyond.Leatha Patton

    March 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
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