[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/02/art.rothlisberger0202.gi.jpg caption="Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger received a call from the president after winning the Super Bowl Sunday night."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The White House theater was packed, all 40 seats filled, so guests spilled out into the East Wing, where big TV sets were set up overlooking the first lady's garden. The Super Bowl game blasted from the theater, but Sunday's party hosted by the president and first lady focused more on family.
Attendees say about 75 people showed up, including several dozen children from age 2 on up.
The children gathered around a Nintendo Wii where, Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent said, his 8-year-old son, Jack, took on two sisters determined to win. No, not the two sisters who live upstairs.
President Barack Obama, wearing a casual button-down shirt, walked from room to room serving his guests brownies, and oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies. Michelle Obama worked the crowd, too.
There were hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, chips and salsa, soft pretzels, hot fudge ice cream and pizza.
The crowd was diverse. Attending were Attorney General-designate Eric Holder, Rep. Elijah Cummings, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, wounded soldiers, and plenty of children running around in oversized jerseys.
Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona, decked out in an Arizona Cardinals jersey, placed a wager with Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania, whose wife and kids donned Steelers gear. The loser would have to wear the other guy's team jersey when the House returned on its first full day in session on Wednesday.
Franks accepted his loss Monday, saying he'd be wearing the Steelers jersey –"It's always important to be magnanimous in victory and humbling in defeat."
Franks, who had voted against the House version of the stimulus plan, said he and the president did not talk about the economic package, but rather about their children. Franks now has 6-month-old twins, a boy and a girl.
He said the president was "very gracious." The Arizona congressman gave the president a Cardinals jersey with the number 40. It is the number of former Cardinals player Pat Tillman, who left the team to join the military and was killed in Afghanistan.
Franks said Obama responded, "I'd be honored to accept that."
He was making no political statement about the war in giving the president the shirt, he said: "He was a very famous Cardinal who personified everything that is noble. The men who are on front lines so some can stay home and watch the Super Bowl."
Later several guests cracked up when a young boy approached Obama and asked, "Mr. President. Where is the bathroom? Can you tell me where the bathroom is?"
Obama responded with a smile, "How would I know? I've only been living here 10 days."
Despite a healthy group of Arizona representatives, Steelers' fans outnumbered the Cardinals. Among them were Pennsylvania Democratic lawmakers Rep. Patrick Murphy and Sen. Bob Casey.
Attendees described the cheering as "somewhat restrained" and any foul language was "under control."
Rep. Charlie Dent, a Republican representing Pennsylvania's 15th District, said the party was "really fun." But he warned it wouldn't necessarily change his view about the president's stimulus plan.
Dent voted against the House version and said, "I take each issue on a case-by-case basis. There are areas on which I agree and disagree. I think it's important to have some kind of stimulus package, it just depends on what's in it. I'll have to see the revised version."
But politics aside, Dent said his family had a ball. "I really commend the president for reaching out. Very smart."
"It's always good for members of Congress and the president to personalize and humanize each other, regardless of what events they face together in the future," he said. "The hope is it will diminish politics and encourage working together for the country's best interest."