Obama's last minute Holiday shopping trip
December 21st, 2011
03:56 PM ET

Obama's last minute Holiday shopping trip

With Christmas only four days away, President Obama did some last-minute holiday shopping escaping the legislative stalemate in Congress over the payroll tax extensions.

The president took first dog Bo with him to visit an Alexandria, Virginia shopping center.

First stop: PetSmart – where Bo checked out a small poodle named "Cinnamon," according to its owner.

On the same day the White House website asked "what does $40 mean to you?" the president spent $41 for a rubber chew toy and a large bone.

His next stop: Best Buy – where the president said, "this [stop] is for the girls now." After browsing games in the Wii section, he settled on Just Dance 3 for first daughters Sasha and Malia.

"The girls beat me every time on these dance games," the president said. "But you'll never get a picture of me (playing) because I get graded F every time."

His total bill came to almost $200 for the dance game, the Sims 3 Pets video game and two $50 Apple gift cards. As he pulled out his credit card at the big box store the president joked, "Let's see if my credit card still works."

All that shopping can leave a president hungry, so stop #3: a local pizzeria where he purchased three large pizzas to-go.

Grand total: The president spent nearly $300 on his last-minute shopping trip.

First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters are already in Hawaii on vacation. Hopefully, they have been busy enjoying the beach and not reading online about their famous father's shopping excursion! Gifts are so much better when they are a surprise.

Topics: Christmas • President Obama • The Family
The first family is a "Modern Family"
(Photo by Mike Theiler-Pool/Getty Images)
December 15th, 2011
02:00 PM ET

The first family is a "Modern Family"

President Obama revealed in an interview with People Magazine that the ABC comedy hit Modern Family is also a hit with the Obama family.

"For the girls and me, Modern Family, that's our favorite show," the President says, adding that he's "a little darker" in his TV habits, listing Boardwalk Empire and Homeland as his must-sees, other than sports.

Topics: The Buzz • The Family
Family photo
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
December 15th, 2011
12:37 PM ET

Family photo


Today the White House released an updated family portrait.    The Obama's got all dressed up on December 11, went to church and then posed in the Oval Office for Pete Souza the official White House photographer.

Topics: The Family • The Visuals
O's Christmas Tree
The Obama family joins Carson Daly, Kermit the Frog, and Santa Claus in singing a song at the Lighting of the National Christmas Tree.
December 1st, 2011
08:03 PM ET

O's Christmas Tree

WHITE HOUSE (CNN) - The Obama family went to their backyard on Thursday evening to participate in a holiday tradition. The Obamas attended the 89th annual Lighting of the National Christmas Tree and the Pageant of Peace held on the Ellipse of the White House grounds.

President Obama, joined by his daughters and the "Grandmother in Chief" Marian Robinson, spoke of the birth of Jesus and how the message of the Christian faith should bring together all Americans to serve their communities.

"No matter who we are, or where we come from, or how we worship, it’s a message that can unite all of us on this holiday season," Mr. Obama said. "It’s important for us to keep in mind the central message of this season, and keep Christ’s words not only in our thoughts, but also in our deeds." 

Among the star-studded cast was Kermit the Frog who joined First Lady Michelle Obama in reading  "Twas the Night Before Christmas." 

The National Christmas Tree is a new tree this year after the previous one was destroyed by a wind storm last February.

"We all know that this tradition is much larger than any single tree.  And tonight, once again, we gather here not simply to light some decorations, but to honor a story that lights the world," the president said.

Topics: Christmas • The Family • The Visuals
President's Retail Therapy for Small Business Saturday
US President Barack Obama and his daughters Malia and Sasha shop for books at Kramerbooks and Afterwords, a local bookstore, in Washington.
November 26th, 2011
04:18 PM ET

President's Retail Therapy for Small Business Saturday

On one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, President Obama and first daughters Sasha and Malia dropped by a local area bookstore in support of the 2nd annual Small Business Saturday.  The First Family, known for their bookstore outings provided some Thanksgiving retail therapy to Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe in Washington's Dupont Circle neighborhood.  The family was dressed casually, with both girls wearing jeans.  The visit didn’t seem like a spur of the moment decision, since the area in front of the store had been cordoned off with yellow police tape.

The President and first daughters were greeted with applause, as some stunned shoppers stopped in their tracks at the scene of Secret Service and travelling Media in the crowded bookstore.  The First Family browsed together, spending time in the travel/writing section of the trendy bookstore/restaurant known for its eclectic variety of books.

The President greeted 5-year old Alexander Lee Mussehl at the behest of the youngster’s Grandmother, Susan Lee of Washington. Obama asked Alexander if he was doing some Christmas shopping.  The President then responded for him “Well, we're starting early. This is 'Small Business Saturday.' So we're out here supporting small business."

Daughter Malia,  loaded down with an armful of books, also said hello to young Alexander.  The White House provided this list of the books purchased at the shop by the first family.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret – by Brian Selznick

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever – by Jeff Kinney

Tails – by Matthew Van Fleet

Descent into Chaos – by Ahmed Rashid

The Tiger's Wife – by Tea Obreht

The Phantom Tollbooth – by Norton Juster

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – by Junot Diaz

Zen Shorts – by Jon Muth

Topics: Malia Obama • Sasha Obama • The Buzz • The Family • The News • Travel Pool
POTUS and First Family give back
November 23rd, 2011
06:33 PM ET

POTUS and First Family give back

WASHINGTON (CNN) – In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the First Family spent time counting their blessings and serving their community when they visited the Capital Area Food Bank on Wednesday.

The president, Mrs. Obama, and their daughters Malia and Sasha were joined by the First Mother in Law, Marian Robinson, and members of the Oregon State men's basketball team where they filled reusable grocery bags with produce and even some White House M&Ms.

President Obama, while handing out bags of baby carrots, greeted patrons of the food bank with a "Happy Thanksgiving" as they walked by.

The White House says that the Capital Area Food Bank distributes more than 30 million pounds of food a year to needy families.

The Obama family has had the tradition of doing a community service project around the Thanksgiving holiday since taking office. For the past two years, they put together bags of food at another local shelter, Martha's Table.

Topics: Thanksgiving • The Family
The never ending pasta bowl goes healthy with the first lady
First lady Michelle Obama applauds the decision of the restaurant chain that owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster to offer lower calorie, lower sodium menu choices. Looking on (left) is Darden Restaurant Chairman and Executive Officer Clarence Otis, Jr.
September 15th, 2011
04:47 PM ET

The never ending pasta bowl goes healthy with the first lady

First Lady Michelle Obama scored a big win Thursday in her campaign to eliminate childhood obesity within a generation.  Mrs. Obama announced that the biggest full service restaurant company in the world, Darden Restaurants which owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse among others, has agreed to cut sodium and calories on its menus across the board as well as offering healthier menu choices targeted to kids. 

"This is a breakthrough moment in the restaurant industry," Mrs. Obama told reporters and guests invited by Darden and the White House to an Olive Garden Restaurant in suburban Hyattsville, Maryland.  The first lady, who called on restaurants to rethink their menus when she spoke at the National Restaurant Association more than a year ago, praised Darden for what she called its vision and commitment. 

"Darden is doing what no restaurant company has done before. They're not just making their kids’ menus healthier so that parents have more choices and more control; they're making changes across their full menu at every single one of their restaurants throughout the country," she said. 

Darden announced it wants to cut its corporation's calorie "footprint" with a goal of reducing calories of items on its menus by 10% over the next five years and 20% over the next ten years.  The company also plans to cut the sodium or salt in its menu items by the same measure– 10% less salt in the next five years and 20% less salt in the next ten years.  FULL POST

Naughty Nixon
September 2nd, 2011
04:47 PM ET

Friday fun: Catching a ride on Marine One

We can all remember a time when driving around in our family's wheels was considered social suicide. And depending on what generation you grew up in, it could have been a dusty old pick-up truck, a velour-seated station wagon or, dare we say it, a mini-van (gasp!) If only we had been members of the first family. Pampered pups, Hawaiian vacations and college move-ins are only some of the perks for the presidential peeps while aboard the well-known Marine One chopper. So Mr. President, when is it our turn to take a ride?

Topics: Marine One • The Family • The Visuals
President monitors Hurricane Irene preparations from his Martha's Vineyard vacation
The calm before the storm? The harbor at Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard in the path of Hurricane Irene.
August 25th, 2011
12:45 PM ET

President monitors Hurricane Irene preparations from his Martha's Vineyard vacation

(CNN) Martha's Vineyard, MA–President Obama held a conference call Thursday morning with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and White House chief of staff Bill Daley about the current track of Hurricane Irene, its potential impact and the government's preparations according to White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said his agency is deploying teams from the Carolinas to Maine along the east coast of the United States.

"[O]ur briefing to the president was to update him on that status. And his direction back to us was to make sure we had what we need, keep him up to speed and he wants to make sure you know that we are stay in close contact with the governors and the metropolitan areas that are along the path of this storm," said Fugate.

The White House spokesman said they have no plans "at this point" for changes in the president's schedule for his vacation on Martha's Vineyard due to Hurricane Irene. "The President of the United States is responsible for fulfilling his responsibilities as the President of the United States regardless of where he is and regardless of where he goes," said spokesman Josh Earnest. "I think as the briefing call that he did with Administrator Fugate and Secretary Napolitano and others this morning demonstrates...the president is fulfilling those responsibilities and is committed to ensuring that everything that needs to be done from the federal government to prepare for this is being done," said Earnest. FULL POST

Topics: FEMA • Hurricane Irene • President Obama • The Family • The News
Happy Birthday Mr. President
President Obama greets supporters Wednesday in Chicago at a fundraiser.
August 4th, 2011
08:15 AM ET

Happy Birthday Mr. President

As the president celebrates his milestone 50th birthday today there is not much on his public schedule.  However a White House official tells CNN the president will take some time to celebrate with friends today at a Rose Garden birthday party.  The official says the cost of the party will be paid for by the family and not financed with public funds. 


10:30AM THE PRESIDENT receives the Presidential Daily Briefing/ Oval Office/ Closed Press

BRIEFING SCHEDULE: 12:00PM Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney

Topics: President Obama • The Buzz • The Family