April 5th, 2010
12:46 PM ET
12 years ago

Kids, giant rabbit share eggs-tra special White House day


President Obama led the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House Monday. (Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama and the rest of the first family teamed up with an extremely oversized rabbit Monday to the host the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, much to the delight of visiting children from across the country.

The theme of this year's festivities was "Ready, Set, Go!" - a reference to first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative, which is designed to address the problem of childhood obesity.

The first family kicked off the event, which dates back to 1878, shortly before 11 a.m., appearing with the Easter Bunny on the White House's South Portico, a balcony overlooking the residence's sprawling South Lawn.

"Is this not the most perfect day for the Easter Egg Roll?" Michelle Obama asked the enthusiastic crowd. Washington is currently in the middle of a warm weather spell under a clear, sunny sky.

"Our hope today is that in addition to having fun and doing some of the traditional activities like the egg roll ... you can learn about beginning to live a more healthy life," she said.

In addition to participating in the traditional egg roll, families were invited to visit the White House garden and play football, basketball and tennis, among other things. Several celebrities attended the event, including players from the Washington Redskins and athletes Apolo Ohno and Billie Jean King.

The president also read the Dr. Seuss book "Green Eggs and Ham" to the visiting children.

"When your parents tell you to eat your broccoli, you don't know whether you're going to like them or not," he told the kids, emphasizing the point of the classic story. "You've got to try it. ... (And) when your parents tell you to eat your peas, eat your peas."

The first White House Easter Egg Roll was hosted by President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1878.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I love how this 1st family is so engaged with the public. Geesh! They held up Sunday service yesterday. lol

    April 5, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    what about that real big egg that congress laid.............

    you know the healthcare bill.....................

    then there are all the eggheads in congress........

    you know Polosi, Reid..............................

    i could go on and on with this one

    April 5, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. Stacie

    Great event for the kids! I'm glad to see they had nice weather.

    April 5, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. Egg-trap

    Sure Obamas' administration created 162,000 jops but the unemployment rate ist still @9.7%...Yes, America believes that the easter bunny lays eggs and in colour too..................!

    April 5, 2010 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. Lance Wells

    "Ready Set Go" was the National School Breakfast Week slogan from the American School Nutrition Association this year. I want to say they pick these about a year before the actual week March 8-12, 2010. Possibly she (The First Lady) chose that slogan in support of the many school programs who get an average buck a day for food costs in school lunch and are doing an amazing job with it. Until we decide that our child's lunch is worth more than the price of a latte, nothing will change. We get very little money per meal and are expected to do miracles with so little. Less aid to countries that still hate us, less money to banks and firms who screwed us in the first place to cause us to bail them out and more money to child nutrition programs.

    April 5, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    I can't wait to read all the negative comments from the lunatic fringe. Like, "Why isn't he at his desk working?" Some people really have to GET A LIFE!

    April 5, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. FM

    How nice to see the kids enjoying themselves. Brilliant job Mr. President!

    April 5, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Thank God for Air Force One, thereby allowing our President to be in Florida this a.m. and back in time to hang with THE SAME CHILDREN THAT HE WASN'T ALLOWED TO ADDRESS IN SCHOOL (pardon my yelling), but who are now being taken to the White House for the Easter egg hunt.

    Aren't some of you local hypocrites afraid that he might infect them with SOCIALISM at such close range?

    April 5, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. www.usdebtclock.org

    Ceremonial duties conducted for public-relations purposes, all at taxpayer expense while millions of Americans are still hurting from the 2008-2009 recession.

    April 5, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. Proud Liberal

    Hey! I'm a Democrat and I wasn't invited!

    OK; I am 48. Oh well.

    April 5, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Nice that the socialist dictator gives a very selective few children something prior to stealing all of their hard earned money when they grow up. Not the majority, just the minority which seems to be how the Chavez wannabe runs things. By the way libertards I remember all of the nasty comments about Bush and the White House Easter Egg roll from two years ago. Coming back at ya.

    April 5, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama, the greatest president in history.

    April 5, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. A. Smith, Oregon

    I'm surprised the Republican party of racial purity and bible thumpers are not all over the Obama Whitehouse for practicing an ancient pagan fertility ritual of spring under the guise of Easter Egg Hunts.

    April 5, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. Sean, Atlanta

    a real american family with real american values. I just love how this family likes to be around regular people.

    April 5, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. Mark

    A nice picture of the media's idol!

    April 5, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. seebofubar

    I don't see a giant rabbit, only a weasel.

    April 5, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. He gets an A+

    I love this president. No one works harder than him.

    Even though this comment comes with the caption of him with children at an easter egg hunt, I'm actually not kidding.

    It is amazing to see him lead strongly, wear so many hats, be a family man, and do so many tasks successfully.

    A brilliant man

    April 5, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  18. Doug,lib jersey

    Keeping in the tradition of what Obama and his family were taught with 2 decades of unwavering support for the Rev Wright Church, the white eggs were deviled.

    April 5, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  19. Charlie from the North

    Three reasons I can't get enough of Barack Obama.

    1. He wakes up every day wondering how he can help make the world a better place for me and people like (and our children).

    2. Despite GOP propaganda to the contrary..like him or not he is the most honest President we have seen from either party in a generation or more.

    3. I had to suffer for 8 long years under the tyranny of the Bush error and if my President bothers them half as much as theirs bothered me...GOOD!

    April 5, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. Bedtime for Obonzo

    I bet the Easter Bunny qualifies for 364 days of extended unemployment benefits.

    April 5, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. aunt Bea and Opie

    Is that uncle Snerdly,the invisible uncle tom sidekick of Rush Limbaugh in the rabbit suit?

    April 5, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  22. Chandler

    Sounds like a good time! I love that they are focusing on getting kids active. It is something our country (and our parents) can not hear enough!

    April 5, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. CF

    There he goes, indoctrinating our kids with his Muslim beliefs again. /sarcasm

    April 5, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. Victim of GOP Taliban

    The lunatic neo-nut GOP activists start to complain about this in 3...2...1

    April 5, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. notfooledtx

    It's a great event – well done Obama's.

    April 5, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |