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"Welcome to the White House!" (Barack and Michelle have an open house.)

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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:39 PM
Original message
"Welcome to the White House!" (Barack and Michelle have an open house.)
On first day, Obama and first lady meet White House visitors; emotions run high for some

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Emotions ran high for some White House visitors who got the chance Wednesday to meet President Barack Obama. Some people cried. Others became flustered. One wore an Obama flag as a cape and a hat emblazoned with his name.

"We just praise and thank the Lord," said one woman who came face to face with Obama in the White House's Blue Room. "It's been better than we expected."

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama stood under a crystal chandelier as a steady stream of visitors made it to the first-floor formal room in the mansion. Some guests wore coats and scarves, a reminder of the cold they braved to see Obama just one day after he became the 44th president.

"Enjoy yourself, roam around," a smiling Obama told one guest as he shuffled through the room. "Don't break anything."

Several women, including Christine Easterling, broke down in tears when they met the Obamas. "It was overwhelming," Easterling said as she left the room. She said she had volunteered for the presidential inaugural committee. "We worked so hard and got this."

The crowd included inauguration volunteers, random guests and those selected by an Internet lottery.

One woman told Michelle Obama that she and her family were beautiful. The first lady asked that the guest stop, otherwise she would start to cry and smear her makeup.

Barack Obama shifted in the formal room as journalists along the rear wall snapped pictures. Even a meet-and-greet event now included more than a dozen journalists to capture the scene.

Obama's aides announced the open house to promote their themes of an open and accessible White House. President Bill Clinton had a similar event the day after his 1993 inauguration.

Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, also invited visitors - Washington public school children - to their official residence at the Naval Observatory.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OBAMA_OPEN_HOUSE...




Pool Report
Two-hundred people won passes on a first-come, first-serve basis through the PIC or transition (press aides not sure, checking) to attend an "Open House" at 2:30 p.m. today at the White House.

Your pool was ushered into the Blue Room, a south-facing oval room overlooking the Washington Monument, at 2:40 p.m., where we found President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama already shaking hands with guests lined up in a receiving line.

"Enjoy yourself," Obama told two young women.

"Welcome, enjoy yourself," Obama told a young man in a black sweater. "Roam around. Don't break anything."

The first couple got an effusive greeting from Tracie Jones of Bessemer, Ala., who arrived in Washington at almost midnight Monday and watched the inauguration from the National Mall.

"We just prayed, and thank the Lord!" Ms. Jones said as she shook the president's hand. "This is even better than we expected."

She told Obama he was "beautiful," then quickly corrected herself, "I mean, First Lady, you're beautiful!"

Your pool was ushered out after a few minutes, with the receiving line stretching clearly out of the room.

Outside the Blue Room, Jones said she had hoped to score both inauguration and ball tickets, but failed on both, so she was thrilled to be at the open house. Jones is black, and wouldn't give her age, but she was middle-aged and said she has a 24-year-old son.

She said she works for Wal-Mart and UPS and sells real estate on the side.

"Praise God, thank you Jesus," she said after meeting the Obamas. "We prayed to get in here. It's all the Lord. Can you put that down?"

As the door to the Blue Room opened, Linda Thomas of Philadelphia spied the Obamas as she was pushing her elderly mother, Audrey Thornton, in a wheelchair through the north front lobby.

"There's Barack! There's Barack!" she squealed. She tried to maneuver the wheelchair for a better look.

"Ma'am," a Secret Service agent said, trying to get her attention. "Ma,am? I can assure you you're going in there."

"In there!?!" Jones asked excitedly.

Your pool is holding until 6 p.m.

http://thepage.time.com/obama-pool-report-on-white-hous... /




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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. Nice pic! I'd like to go down and tour
that White House before I leave the East Coast for good. That's gotta be a goal.
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Clio the Leo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. This is one of my guilty pleasures....
http://1observatorycircle.com /

(that's the mirror address for whitehousemuseum.org which as you might understand is running VERY slow lately due to traffic)
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Thank you, I'll keep
Edited on Wed Jan-21-09 05:10 PM by zidzi
it to check :)out.
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. Wow, that is so cool! Thank you very much! :) n/t
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williesgirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. What a wonderful idea. It's about time we the people matter. rec'd
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livetohike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. We have two beautiful, gracious, intelligent, compassionate
people living in the White House now :-).
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NYC Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. "Roam around. Don't break anything" LOL! I just found that funny for some reason.
The White House is finally the People's House - as it should be. Bush of course, shut it all down and kept it closed.
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asdjrocky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. I liked that too.
Sounds just like something President Obama would say.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. I broke something in the WH when RayGun was there.
I leaned up against the wall and a piece of wainscoting came loose and tipped onto my leg. Oops. :)
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NYC Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Too bad it wasn't like the movie "Dick"
Where the two girls go on a tour of the Nixon White House and happen to find a list of CREEP payoffs with names and amounts just lying on the floor and break open Watergate! ;)
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crispini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
6. Lovely. Just lovely.
What a beautiful picture.
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jillan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
8. How wonderful. The Whitehouse once again will become the people's house.
I wanna go!
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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
11. OMG that pic made my eyes well up - look where they are and who's on the wall -
it just got to me (again). :cry:
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Stephanie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Is that Jefferson?
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Avalux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:16 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Yes it is. n/t
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 05:59 PM
Response to Original message
13. Big block of cheese day
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firedupdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
16. Thank You for this! They make me proud! n/t
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nc4bo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
17. This is so unbelievably refreshing. nt

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