Tales from the Trail

Obama’s Date Night on Broadway

May 31, 2009

USA/Campaigning for the White House last year, Barack Obama promised his wife, Michelle, he would take her to a Broadway show when he won. Four months after becoming president, Obama did just that on Saturday. 

Michelle Obama’s close encounters with Elmo, Big Bird and U.S. diplomats

May 6, 2009

Michelle ObamaU.S. first lady Michelle Obama told an audience at the U.S. mission to the United Nations that she was “thrilled” to be back in New York for the first time since her husband Barack Obama became the 44th U.S. president in January. But she said some things are even more exciting than addressing an audience of 150 U.S. diplomats, military advisers and other government officials.

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. 
 
“Click here for more Reuters political coverage”

First Draft: It’s Take-Your-Kids-To-The-White-House Day!

April 23, 2009

MASTERCARD/AMERICANEXPRESSJust as the cherry tree blossoms pass their peak and not long after the Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn, there’s another hallowed Washington spring tradition: Take Your Child To Work Day. That’s when Type A parents with Type A jobs bring their kids to the office to give them some idea of what Mom and Dad do for a living — and that includes people who work at the White House, the State Department and on Capitol Hill.

First draft: New wax likeness of Michelle awaits Obama

April 8, 2009

If a bleary-eyed President Barack Obama, tired after a whirlwind 8-day tour of Europe with a stop in Iraq, accidentally wandered a few blocks away from the White House he might be surprised to see his wife Michelle all dressed up in a red and black outfit complete with pearls.

First Draft: French kiss

April 3, 2009

Can this be France? What happened to the days when cross-Atlantic gauntlets were thrown down and French fries turned into Freedom fries?

First Draft: Atlantic crossing

March 31, 2009

Greeted like a rock star last year in Germany when he was a mere candidate for the White House, Barack Obama will see what reception he gets in Europe now that he’s actually president.

First Draft: White House “victory garden”

March 20, 2009

USA/Spring blew into Washington this morning and the signs are everywhere: the cherry blossoms are starting to come out, magnolia trees are budding and at the White House, workers are digging up the lawn.

First Draft: Heeeeere’s Barack!

March 19, 2009

OBAMA/As the AIG ire continues to bubble, President Barack Obama is in southern California, touring an electric vehicle plant, holding a town hall meeting with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and finally taping an appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” He’s been on the show before, back when he was campaigning for the White House, and he’s hardly alone. Aspiring presidents from John F. Kennedy to Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton have found late-night TV audiences alluring. But Obama is the first serving president to sit on the “Tonight Show” couch.

Did you break something at the White House?

March 13, 2009

Somebody did. And Michelle Obama knows who you are.

Talking in a television interview about how her family is adjusting to life in the White House, the first lady said her young daughters Sasha and Malia had been behaving well in the grand house filled with antiques and historic artifacts.