Tales from the Trail

Game Night AND Date Night for President Obama

May 3, 2009

It was unlikely that President Barack Obama, a big basketball fan, was going to miss the seventh and final game of a hard fought NBA playoff series between his hometown Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.  
 
get_thumbnail2But it happened to fall on one of the regular “date nights” that the U.S. leader had promised First Lady Michelle Obama upon their arrival in Washington in January. 
 
Solution: an early dinner at French restaurant Michel Richard Citronelle in Georgetown. A 14-vehicle Presidential motorcade pulled up outside the swanky restaurant, drawing hundreds of onlookers and blocking traffic as the upscale area’s Saturday night party scene got underway.  
 
The restaurant is one of Washington’s most exclusive eateries. A table was not available on its online booking system until May 29, and that was before the Obamas appearence made headlines and was widely Twittered. After the U.S. leader dined with Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty at Ben’s Chili Bowl in January, the landmark DC institution had queues outside for weeks. 
 
Although Citronelle’s website boasts that Conde Nast Traveler magazine called it “one of the world’s most exciting restaurants,” Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema was not so flattering in an October 2008 review. 
 
“Throughout a recent dinner at what used to be a four-star experience, an unmistakable joylessness courses through the fading underground dining room that bears the name of one of the country’s most esteemed chefs,” Sietsema wrote http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/restaurants/michel-richard-citronelle,795996.html#editorial-review 
 
Nonetheless, Sietsema added in his review that Richard and his staff still put on an impressive show. “I adore Citronelle’s tomato tart, which springs from a pastry base (and cucumber gelee) like a colorful bouquet. And sablefish marinated with sake, miso and mirin before hitting the broiler is about as good as that creature gets.” 
 
Like clockwork, two hours after departing the White House, the Obamas’ 14-vehicle motorcade departed cheering crowds in Georgetown and arrived home apparently in time for the Bulls-Celtics 8 p.m. tip-off. 
 
The President then took the First Lady for a brief stroll across the White House grounds, waving to photographers. Game Night could now begin. 
 
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Comments
2 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

I have no problem with the Obama’s taking a date night, I think it’s charming. However, when my wife and I have a date night I pay for it, and I can’t even deduct it. Whereas the Obama’s use government airplanes to go on personal trips and require a whole city to incur the cost of the extra security so they can go on a date. The same government requires any corporate executive using a company plane for personal reasons to either determine the cost and reimburse the company or, report the cost as income subject to income tax and report it as perquisite in the executive compensation section of the proxy. Seems hypocritical to not follow the same principle for using his employer’s plane for personal purposes. I’m sure the corporations feel just as strongly that their executives need the extra security and ease provided by a private jet. And for all those who seem inclined to jump on any who critisizes President Obama for anything I feel the same way about President Bush using the planes for personal purposes.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive
 

I’m all in favor of the president working on his marriage, but why do I have to pay for it?

Probably less money out of the presidents pocket if he goes to dinner outsided the white house, afterall he has to pay for his meals in house from his wages.

 

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