Obama does some 'Small Business Saturday' shopping
November 30th, 2013
02:25 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama does some 'Small Business Saturday' shopping

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama continued what's become an annual post-Thanksgiving tradition by stopping at a bookstore for Small Business Saturday.

With his two daughters alongside, the President went to Politics and Prose in Washington to pick up a few books, telling reporters he bought a "long list" of titles for every age group, including his own. (Read the full list below)

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The President chatted at length with several customers, while his daughters, Sasha and Malia, browsed.

He went to the cashier to make his purchase after about 20 minutes. As he left the shop, the President wished everyone a "great holiday," and customers applauded.

Started by two people in 1984, Politics and Prose has grown to a staff of 50 employees and is known as a popular spot for book discussions and readings, with daily visits by authors.

First lady Michelle Obama, who was not with the family Saturday, held a book signing at Politics and Prose in May to promote “American Grown,” a book about the White House garden and her campaign against obesity.

Last year, the Obamas shopped at a different bookstore - One More Page Books - in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Virginia.

Small Business Saturday is a tradition started by American Express in 2010.

In 2011, they went to Kramerbooks and Afterwords Café in Washington.

List of books purchased by Obama, according to the White House:

“Half Brother” by Kenneth Oppel
“Heart of a Samurai” by Margi Preus
“Flora and Ulysses” by Kate DiCamillo
“Jinx” by Sage Blackwood
“Lulu and the Brontosaurus” by Judith Viorst and Lane Smith
“Ottoline and the Yellow Cat” by Chris Riddell
“Moonday” by Adam Rex
“Journey” by Aaron Becker
“The Lowland” by Jhumpa Lahiri
“Red Sparrow” by Jason Matthews
“Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson
“A Constellation of Vital Phenomena” by Anthony Marra
“The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance” by David Epstein
“Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football” by Nicholas Dawidoff
“Ballad of the Sad Cafe: And Other Stories” by Carson McCullers
“My Antonia” by Willa Cather
“Ragtime” By E.L. Doctorow
“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini
“Buddha in the Attic” by Julie Otsuka
“All That Is” by James Salter
“Wild: From Lost to Found On the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed

Obama also encouraged Americans to take part in Small Business Saturday via Twitter on Saturday.

Attorney General Eric Holder, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and other members of the President's Cabinet also promoted shopping at locally-owned stores. The Small Business Administration's chief post, a Cabinet-level position, is currently held by an acting administrator.

A number of Republican lawmakers on Captiol Hill also urged followers to take part in the relatively new tradition.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (158 Responses)
  1. Name

    The emperor has no clothes.

    November 30, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  2. MrManhattan

    Bags of Books?
    Bush would have bought bags of cocaine!

    November 30, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  3. jvburrows

    Soooooo now he thinks about small businesses? A little late for that. You already said you think small business owners should pay there fair share and pay for all the non workers. Don't forget about forcing them to have high healthcare costs for workers here in the near future.......Im a small business owner and Im telling you its been hard to keep the doors open since 2008. Not a small business friendly administration at all.

    November 30, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  4. jvburrows

    I wish he would pick a normal small business that isn't "Pre-Screened" with actors walking around. Im a small business owner and he has made it harder than ever to keep the doors open since he took office. And with the new healthcare costs that hit my family thanks to this guy Im not sure it will remain open. Anti business except union buddies that he keeps bailing out and giving free six figure jobs to......

    November 30, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  5. signed mr. x on the bottom line

    I'd buy a bag of books too if I could read.

    November 30, 2013 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  6. wb

    I know the difference between leadership and a cheap photo op.

    November 30, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  7. earth science society

    Oh, he bought 'Harold and the Purple Crayon'!! One of my favourite chilhood books. I recommend it highly, who doesn't want to know why the moon travels with you? And who wouldn't want to create their own world with a purple crayon?

    November 30, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  8. meki60

    Obama buying non-muslim books???!!??

    November 30, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  9. Transplant

    Great PR stunt for a man who continues promoting an anti-small business economic policy, just like his predecessors.

    November 30, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  10. anon

    Funny I don't see "Running the USA, for Dummies" in the long reading list.

    November 30, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  11. ericgoestoholland

    I read this and all I can think is, "It must really suck to be president."

    November 30, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  12. Joyce

    Can't tell you how impressed I am that Obama bought a bag of books. Kudo's to him for shopping small businesses

    I've been unemployed for almost a year. The only shopping I get to do is for groceries, and I relish that. I compare prices, nutritional values...I plan all my menus ahead of time.

    I can't think about Christmas shopping; what I spend is totally for survival. And I am one of the lucky ones, because I still have a 401k I can draw from, and a house over my head. I've paid my mortgage for 27 years, and have 3 more to go. I pray that I'll be able to do that.

    Merry Christmas to the rest of you. And thanks to Obama for supporting small businesses.

    I thought that, as President, he would be able to do more.

    November 30, 2013 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  13. ImvotingforHillary

    Too bad the tea party fools don't read.

    December 1, 2013 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  14. Dave Green

    I'm sorry but the article link says "Obama buys a bag of books,"......Really? A whole bag? I bet it was more like a sack of books, or perhaps a satchel of books. Join back tomorrow when Obama walks across the street!

    December 1, 2013 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  15. Just

    With the obamacare clown thing going on was the O wearing the huge clown shoes today?

    December 1, 2013 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  16. JackBeHumble

    @justagoodcitizen, if you have any computer savvy, learn the SAS programming language. A SAS base certification and a Bio degree = 5k/month starting in the biotech industry, managing clinical trials data.

    December 1, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  17. Richard

    Not one science book. What a goofball.

    December 1, 2013 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  18. ThinkAgain

    @Concerned: "When asked what he bought Obama said he had no idea. Just like everything else."

    Repub policies tanked the global economy; President Obama's have resulted in consecutive private sector job growth since May 2010. Under GW Bush, my retirement savings decreased by half; since President Obama took the oath of office FOR THE FIRST TIME, my retirement savings have regained their value.

    Bush forgot about bin Laden; Obama gave the kill order to take him out. Private equity companies like Bain Capital wouldn't touch the American auto industry; Obama saved it. Bush lied us into Iraq and didn't have a plan for it or Afghanistan; Obama has gotten us out of Iraq and is getting us out of Afghanistan. Bush cut taxes during wartime, something NEVER done before in our nation's history because it is a DUMB IDEA; Obama has asked the wealthy to pay their fair share (it's the least they can do for the country that has given them so much).

    So, yeah, go ahead and tell yourself President Obama has "no idea". You and all the other deluded, ignorant, hateful RWNJ can all take a flying leap. And I wish you would: straight out of our country so the rest of us can get on with the business of cleaning up the mess you left us!

    December 1, 2013 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  19. Francisco Decastro

    The book, "The Kite Runner", is a good book that is very well known.

    December 1, 2013 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  20. ThinkAgain

    @JeffCatlett: "Well, I just hope Obama brought his HHS Secretary the latest edition of "Websites for Dummies".

    Really? Because last time I checked, Sec. Sibelius isn't a Java programmer – and that all the contractors working on the website are private companies.

    If you repubs (I'm thinking Issa) want to investigate something of merit, how about checking to see if there are any Libertarian/tea bags working on the healthcare website that have been doing their best to sabotage it?

    December 1, 2013 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  21. ThinkAgain

    @HenryMiller: ""Politics and Prose has grown to a staff of 50 employees..." Soon to be 49. courtesy of Obamacare.

    Oh, bull. Most companies that have dropped coverage have done so because what they were offering didn't meet the basic standards, they were junk policies. And any company that uses Obamacare as an excuse to screw their employees deserve to go out of business, being the piles of poop that they are.

    December 1, 2013 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  22. Peter Herz

    Wow for once Obama doesn't do something that coincidences with racial subtext i.e. "Black Friday"

    December 1, 2013 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  23. Polopoint

    any of these books 'webbuilding for dummies'?

    December 1, 2013 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  24. Name


    December 1, 2013 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  25. BO

    Maybe there is a book somewhere in there about how to create jobs. Probably not.

    December 1, 2013 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
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