Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama marked St. Patrick's Day Wednesday by welcoming the Irish prime minister to the White House.
The president, who wore a light green necktie for the occasion, noted the numerous contributions made by Irish Americans to the development of the United States. He also thanked the government in Dublin for its work in promoting the peace process in Northern Ireland, as well as its cooperation on issues tied to the push for greater global economic stability.
"Thirty-six million Americans claim Irish ancestry," Obama said. "I'm sure more do on St. Patrick's Day. And it's a testament I think to how close our two countries are that America has been shaped culturally, politically, economically, by the incredible contributions of Irish-Americans. Those bonds endure."
In an apparent allusion to the acrimonious health care debate on Capitol Hill, Prime Minister Brian Cowen joked that he had decided to come to Washington during a quiet week. He also thanked Obama for his leadership, calling him the leader of the free world.
The two men were later hosted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a luncheon on Capitol Hill.
So, Obama is Irish, too?
I wonder if the fountain in the Rose Garden is spoutting green water out like last year. That was prettty cool.
Can hardly wait to hear all of the irrational, hate-filled comments about how the President is laughing! How DARE he laugh when we're all suffering sooooooooo . . . yada yada yada.
Cowen has a great sense of humor.
Look at that picture of Obama and the Irish PM laughing together, and try to tell me that he is the evil Antichrist some people think he is.
I have never seen a picture of Dick Cheney laughing like that, and I don't think one exists. His face would probably break if he tried.
I'm also happy to hear Cowen call Obama "the leader of the free world" when there are people in the US who refuse to even acknowleged Obama as the leader of their own country.
Pkm i hope both of you sang an irish song and drank a green beer happy st paddys day mr president
Please OBAMA don't embarass us anymore. Take you ignorance and stay on this soil until we can kick you to Iran where you belong. Than you can get into India where you may worships pigs to your delight.
Yup, it sure does look like the President of the United States has a horrible relationship with other world leaders...isn't that what you Obama-haters say?