September 22nd, 2010
03:47 PM ET
4 years ago

White House Dispatch: Unseen and unscripted moments at backyard summit

Washington (CNN) – Despite its carefully choreographed set-up, President Obama also encountered a few humorous, unscripted moments at a backyard discussion on health care at a private residence in Fairfax, Virginia on Wednesday.

Following a question and answer session to mark the sixth month since his signing of health care reform, the president shook hands with a man who informed Mr. Obama that his daughter had just graduated from the alma mater of Rahm Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff, and that his son shared a similar background with Emanuel. "Tell Rahm Emanuel my daughter just graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, and my son's a ballet dancer," said the man, a neighbor of the host of the event. "So you and he connect huh," the president said to laughter.

Emanuel, who is possibly leaving the White House soon to make a run for mayor in Chicago, studied ballet in his earlier years. At a roast of Emanuel in September 2005, then-Senator Obama quipped that Emanuel "was the first to adapt Machiavelli's 'A Prince' for dance," to laughter from the audience. "It was an intriguing piece as you can imagine there were a lot of kicks below the waist," Obama said in reference to Emanuel's scrappy reputation from his days as congressman on Capitol Hill.

A few moments later, the president was poised to take a photo with a woman in the audience when she asked the president if her son Wes could join the photo. Wes had disappeared from his mother's side so that he could visit the food table that included a donut display. "Oh, you are eating the donuts," the president asked of Wes as soon as he was spotted. "That makes sense." As soon as the photo was snapped the president told Wes it was okay to go back to the donuts. "Don't tell the first lady," the president said.

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    hmmm...weird...seems to have switched articles on me mid-post....new software CNN?

    September 22, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. ex-repulican since McCain picked Palin

    He is wonderful, so down to earth, shame on all of you who lie on him and promote hate and fear. You need to get your facts from more places than Fox News and Palin. How could any of you fall for the lies and the spewing of hate from the likes of them. This President is trying very hard to help all of us and he REALLY cares. He does not just say what will get him political gain and popularity like Palin.

    September 22, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |