Michelle Robinson, the future first lady of the United States, may have dated Treasury Department Inspector General J. Russell George at Harvard Law School, a new report claims.
J. Russell George, 49, has testified in two congressional hearings about the IRS’s unethical targeting of conservative organizations with special scrutiny after they applied for tax-exempt status.
The revelation of a previous link to Michelle Obama came in a lengthy interview with J. Russell George – published a week after the IRS scandal was brought to light.
Michelle Obama has never spoken publicly about her boyfriends during the years before she met Barack Obama – the future president – at a Chicago law firm where they were both associates.
J. Russell George and Michelle Obama, then Michelle Robinson, graduated together from the university in 1988.
He told the National Journal that the two shared social circles at Harvard, and were both active in the Black Law Students Association.
But Virginia Republican Rep Tom Davis, who worked with J. Russell George as staff director of the House Oversight committee in the late 1990s and early 200s – the same committee that questioned George on Wednesday, said the relationship was more than just friendly.
“I think he actually dated Michelle at one point,” Tom Davis told National Journal.
Pressed about his purported love interest from a quarter-century ago, J. Russell George said that conclusion “is overstating it”.
“Michelle was a lovely person, and down to earth,” he said, recalling times when Black Law Student Association members “went out for pizza; we would go out together”.
Michelle Robinson, the future first lady of the US, may have dated Treasury Department Inspector General J. Russell George at Harvard Law School
“Don’t get me in trouble,” J. Russell George told the Washington newspaper, after “pausing for a beat”.
From Harvard, the future Michelle Obama got a job at a law firm in Chicago, one of just 14 black lawyers in an office of hundreds.
It is at that firm of Sidley & Austin that she met Barack Obama, who arrived as a summer associate in 1988.
For their first date in 1989, Barack Obama took her to the Art Institute of Chicago and to see the Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing.
After stopping for ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, the two shared their first kiss. A plaque now marks the location.
Barack and Michelle Obama married in 1992 at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
J. Russell George, who was born in New York City, attended Harvard Law in between stints working for then-Senator Bob Dole of Kansas and serving in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, both Republicans.
In 1995, he returned to Washington for good after he took a job at Committee on Government Reform, among other high-profile positions in government.
J. Russell George was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as inspector general of the Corporation for National and Community Service before moving on to his current post in 2004.
Michelle Obama’s time at the prestigious Cambridge, Massachusetts law school put her squarely in the middle of the nationwide debates raging about race politics in the 1980s.
During her final year at Harvard, Michelle Robinson wrote an article for the Black Law Students Association’s newsletter in which she argued that the school was perpetuating “racist and sexist stereotypes” because it wasn’t hiring enough minority law professors based on the color of their skin.
The Daily Caller first reported on the essay, in which Michelle Robinson wrote that hiring on the sole basis of merit, instead of recruiting according to affirmative-action principles, “serve[d] to legitimize students” tendencies to distrust certain types of teaching that do not resemble the traditional images’ of law school.
The future first lady lauded the teaching styles of liberal academics Martha Minow and Charles Ogletree, who ignored the traditional question-and-answer “Socratic method” in favor of other habits.
She also praised critical race theory, the idea that powerful groups of people – including Caucasians – use the law as an instrument to oppress the powerless, including blacks.
Michelle Obama also wrote a message for the Harvard Law School’s yearbook in which she called for greater civility in American society.
“After three years,” wrote the graduating lawyer-to-be.
“I continue to be struck by the tremendous talent and energy among HLS students and faculty.
“The diversity of campus life challenges all of us to question our assumptions, listen to other viewpoints, and articulate our values in a spirit of mutual respect and tolerance.”
Richard DeCoatsworth, a former Philadelphia police officer once hailed as a hero and given a seat next to First Lady Michelle Obama at a speech by President Barack Obama, has been arrested and charged with rape and other crimes.
Authorities allege that former officer Richard DeCoatsworth left a party with two women early Thursday and took them to another location, where they claim that he produced a handgun and “forced the two females to engage in the use of narcotics and s***al acts”.
A police spokeswoman said the two called police after he left, and 27-year-old Richard DeCoatsworth was charged with rape, s***al assault, terroristic threats and related offenses.
Richard DeCoatsworth was hailed as a hero after he was shot in the face during a traffic stop in September 2007 but still managed to chase after his attacker, who was later sentenced to 36 to 72 years in prison.
He was invited by Vice President Joe Biden to attend President Barack Obama’s televised February 2009 address to Congress and sat with first lady Michelle Obama.
Former Philadelphia police officer Richard DeCoatsworth once hailed as a hero and given a seat next to Michelle Obama, has been arrested and charged with rape and other crimes
Richard DeCoatsworth said he didn’t know why he had been singled out, but being in the presence of the nation’s leaders was an honor “that I will keep with me for the rest of my life”.
WCAU-TV, which first reported his arrest, said Richard DeCoatsworth retired from the department on disability in December 2011.
Police were tight-lipped Saturday about the details of the incident, declining to give even general locations for the party.
According to investigators, at around 2 a.m. Thursday, two 20-year-old women were at a social gathering at an unknown locale when they bumped into Richard DeCoatsworth and later left with him, NBC 10 Philadelphia reported.
The trio then went to the home of one of the women in the Fishtown/Kensington area, where the alleged incident took place involving drugs, s***al acts and use of a firearm. The two women contacted police after Richard DeCoatsworth left.
At around 6.30 a.m. Saturday, police raided the retired officer’s house in the 2700 block of Salmon Street in Port Richmond and took him into custody.
Richard DeCoatsworth’s record with the local police department was far from spotless. Before leaving the force, he was involved in two others incidents in April and September of 2009 where he shot two suspects.
The Philadelphia cop retired in December 2011 at age 25 after accumulating nine Internal Affairs complaints lodged by citizens accusing him of assault, abuse and misconduct.
Last year, an arrest warrant was issued for Richard DeCoatsworth after he allegedly threatened his neighbor’s mother.
Prince Harry joined First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House at the start of his week-long U.S. tour.
Michelle Obama welcomed the 28-year-old prince to her home on Thursday afternoon for a reception in honor of military mothers and their children after he caused a stir in Washington D.C.
As well as meeting Sen. John McCain at Capitol Hill, Prince Harry was welcomed by a bevy of grinning female staffers – who were promptly ushered back inside by police, according to their colleagues’ tweets.
“If all the women on Capitol Hill were dust bunnies, #princeharry would be a Dyson Vacuum. Every woman is gone. Every. Single. One,” Chris Mickey tweeted before the royal’s arrival.
When the women were asked to leave, sparking “grumpy faces” according to further tweets, they swiftly found other balconies over which to peer at the prince.
At his last event of the day, Prince Harry entertained US policy makers and wealthy donors at a British embassy reception.
Prince Harry joined First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House at the start of his week-long U.S. tour
Prince Harry chatted with 200 guests at the champagne bash hosted by British ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott and the HALO Trust anti-landmines charity before a dinner for 37 key influential donors and decision-makers.
In the sweltering humidity, the Prince repeatedly mopped his brow as he stood in a receiving line to greet each guest before working the room.
Among them were numerous American politicians, and President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser Anthony Blinken.
Guy Willoughby, director of the HALO Trust, praised Prince Harry’s determination to continue his mother’s work.
Prince Harry is visiting various areas of the U.S. from May 9 to 15 and wanted to include areas of the Jersey Shore that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
The roguish heir to the British throne will also attend a reception at the British Ambassador’s home and pay visits to Arlington National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where Harry will spend time with wounded veterans.
The tour is not limited to New Jersey and Washington, as he will also attend a diplomatic reception in Denver, Colorado, as well as the 2013 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs -an event that benefits disabled veterans.
In New York City, Prince Harry’s visit will include an event promoting a community baseball program involving a new partnership with the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, which bills itself as the culmination of the charity lives of Harry and his brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Kate.
Harry will be promoting the charity’s “Coach Core”, which is an initiative dedicated to improving training facilities for inner-city kids.
Prince Harry also will take in a polo cup match in Connecticut.
Barack Obama has warned his daughters Malia and Sasha that if they get tattoos, he and his wife Michelle will get matching ones on the same place on their bodies.
In an interview on NBC’s Today show, President Barack Obama said he hoped the “family tattoo” threat would discourage teen rebellion.
Barack Obama said he had warned Malia, 14, and Sasha, 11, that he and First Lady Michelle Obama would show off their matching tattoos on YouTube.
The girls are the first teenagers in the White House since Chelsea Clinton.
Barack Obama has warned his daughters Malia and Sasha that if they get tattoos, he and his wife Michelle will get matching ones on the same place on their bodies
Chelsea Clinton was 12 when her father President Bill Clinton took office in 1993.
In the interview the president also reacted to Michelle Obama’s recent remark that she was a “busy single mother”.
In her own interview with a local television news station, Michelle Obama quickly corrected herself.
Calling the first lady’s comment a slip of the tongue, Barack Obama added that at times – for instance when he was running for office – Michelle Obama was both working and looking after their daughters and may have felt like a single parent.
According to his newly-released tax returns documents, President Barack Obama made $608,611 in 2012, down more than 20% from 2011.
The decline in Barack Obama’s pay comes as sales of his books slow.
Barack Obama’s presidential salary is $400,000.
The President and First Lady Michelle Obama paid an effective tax rate of 18.4% and donated $150,034 to 33 different charities.
Barack Obama’s tax rate will rise next year under a recent agreement with Congressional Republicans.
President Barack Obama made $608,611 in 2012, down more than 20 percent from 2011
“Under the president’s own tax proposals, including limitations on the value of tax preferences for high-income households, he would pay more in taxes while ensuring we cut taxes for the middle class and those trying to get in it,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney in a statement accompanying the release of the president’s and vice-president’s tax returns.
President Barack Obama also paid $29,450 of state income tax in Illinois, the White House said.
About two-thirds of the Obamas’ charitable contributions were given to the Fisher House Foundation, an organization that provides assistance to military servicemen, veterans and their families.
Barack Obama’s earnings have declined significantly from 2009.
In 2009, Barack Obama’s first year in office, he earned $5.5 million, mostly from sales of his books Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope.
Vice-President Joe Biden and his wife Jill reported $385,072 of income and paid $87,851 of federal tax.
During a televised interview last week First Lady Michelle Obama accidentally called herself a single mother.
Michelle Obama was talking about healthy foods as part of her ongoing Let’s Move! initiative and made the slip when she was discussing how the demands of raising a family can leave little time for nutritious cooking in a CBS interview.
First Lady Michelle Obama accidentally called herself a single mother
“Believe me, as a busy single mother,” Michelle Obama said, before quickly correcting herself: “Or I shouldn’t say single – as a busy mother.”
Michelle Obama’s remarks came the same day that the President was criticized for remarking that California’s Kamala Harris is the ‘best looking attorney general’ in the country.
Though Michelle Obama did not comment on her husband’s gaffe, she did try explaining her slip-up by adding: “Sometimes, you know when you’ve got the husband who’s president it can feel a little single. But he’s there.”
Though Barack Obama is obviously busy, leaving much of the child-rearing on Michelle’s shoulders, she does have a good idea about what she is talking about.
When Barack Obama was a Senator and living in Washington, D.C. during the work week, Michelle raised the two young girls on her own in Chicago.
Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga and National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre are the newest targets of a group that claims it has hacked the financial data of 38 celebrities, sports stars and public officials.
The hacker group made headlines last month for posting documents that it said exposed personal details about bold-faced names including First Lady Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney and Vice President Joe Biden (See full list below).
The site where the group published its information, which was believed to be hosted in Russia, went offline weeks later.
The website reappeared today, apparently based on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean.
TMZ.com first reported the new leak. The FBI is still investigating the hackers.
Phone numbers, addresses, credit scores, and even car payments and cable bills are all part of a document dump posted online by the unknown group of hackers.
Other new targets include convicted Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, Penn State child molester Jerry Sandusky and Robert De Niro.
Also on Wednesday, the Twitter account associated with the hackers was suspended.
FBI Director Robert Mueller, US Marshals Service Director Stacia Hylton and LAPD boss Charlie Beck weren’t alone. Michelle Obama, VP Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had their addresses and other sensitive information posted online.
Angelina Jolie and other stars are the newest targets of a group that claims it has hacked the financial data of 38 celebrities
Beyoncé, Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian were also exposed by the site – although it is unclear how the information was obtained or why these individuals were selected.
Social Security numbers allegedly belonging to Mel Gibson, Jay-Z and 15 others matched records in public databases.
Ashton Kutcher, Paris Hilton, Donald Trump and Attorney-General Eric Holder also had their personal details made public in the mass dump of “secret files”, known as being “doxxed”.
There has so far been little comment from representatives of the public figures targeted in the cyber attacks as to the accuracy of the information revealed.
The site, which bore an internet suffix originating in the former Soviet Union, remained active on Tuesday and bears a quote from the TV show Dexter as the tagline: “If you believe that God makes miracles, you have to wonder if Satan has a few up his sleeve.”
It appears as if the site is continuing to reveal the details of yet more famous people today.
The names of Sarah Palin, Hulk Hogan and Arnold Schwarzenegger were added to the list on Tuesday.
Michelle Obama’s on the other hand is largely positive featuring an “I Love Michelle” sign and the message: “Blame your husband, we still love you, Michelle. <3.”
The existence of the hacker’s website was first reported on Monday by TMZ. The site reported that both the LAPD and the FBI are investigating the hack.
Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the LAPD was investigating the posting of chief Charlie Beck’s information and would also investigate the posting of information on any celebrities who live in the city and request an inquiry.
Store cards, car loans and cable bills are among the sensitive information that has appeared on the web.
Several of the purported credit reports appear to have been generated last week. Many of the pages featured unflattering pictures of the celebrities or government officials whose information was posted.
Forbesreported that some of the credit unions involved were investigating.
The site’s page on LAPD chief Charlie Beck includes a taunting reference to former police officer Christopher Dorner, who was killed in a shootout after killing four people over several days last month.
Charlie Beck reopened Christopher Dorner’s case and ordered a review of the LAPD disciplinary system after the black ex-cop’s online manifesto accused the department of racism and bias in his firing and vowed to get even with officers and their families
Christopher Dorner killed four people, including two police officers, in his rampage before he committed suicide during a fiery shootout in a California mountain cabin two weeks ago.
Charlie Beck’s page on the hackers’ site included the message “#YouCantCornerTheDorner” and an image of a woman protesting police corruption.
The hacker group Anonymous had threatened a cyber-attack in retaliation to Christopher Dorner’s death last month.
While government officials often have to disclose details on their finances – and celebrity divorces sometimes feature public financial data – the information posted online exceeds those disclosures.
Social Security numbers are rarely included in public records anymore because they can be used for identity theft.
Thirty eight celebrities and public officials have been targeted in the hacking attack, since the website was revealed last month:
President Barack Obama is being accused of sexism for publicly remarking on California Attorney General Kamala Harris’s good looks at a fundraiser in San Francisco yesterday.
Barack Obama said of Kamala Harris: “She’s brilliant and she’s dedicated, she’s tough…She also happens to be, by far, the best looking attorney general.”
The president added: “It’s true! C’mon!”
According to a pool reporter who attended the event, Barack Obama was doting on Kamala Harris, “noting a couple of times that she is, objectively, easy on the eyes”.
Commentators both liberal and conservative immediately took to Twitter to blast the president’s remarks as “unsettling”, “disgraceful” and “disrespectful”.
President Barack Obama is being accused of sexism for publicly remarking on California Attorney General Kamala Harris’s good looks at a fundraiser in San Francisco
“Obama’s comment about Kamala Harris is disgraceful and really terrible for workplace equality,” wrote Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine.
Rebecca Traister, writer for The New York Times Magazine and Salon: “On What planet in [Barack Obama’s] mind did he think that sounded like the right thing to say?”
Barack Obama’s supporters argue that the president and Kamala Harris, who is not married, are good friends and that it shouldn’t be considered a crime to compliment a women on her obvious good looks.
“The fact that this has in some way become a story about his overall respect of women (or lack thereof) is a slap in the face to the first lady, the first daughters, and every other woman who appreciates a compliment that extends far beyond appearance from the president or any other man,” Angela Rye, a Democratic political consultant, told Politico.
First Lady Michelle Obama has not commented on the controversy , but she did have a slip-up of her own on Thursday in a TV interview where she accidentally called herself a “single mother”.
During an interview with Burlington, Vermont CBS affiliant WCAX, Michelle Obama was discussing healthy foods and how the demands of raising a family can leave little time for nutritious cooking.
“Believe me, as a busy single mother,” Michelle Obama said, before quickly correcting herself: “Or I shouldn’t say single – as a busy mother.”
Explaining her slip-up, Michelle Obama added: “Sometimes, you know when you’ve got the husband who’s president it can feel a little single. But he’s there.”
Kamala Harris, 48, is a Democratic favorite and a trailblazer in her home state.
Her mixed race descent – having been born of an Asian Indian mother who emigrated to the U.S. from Chennai and a Jamaican American father- made her the first female, African American and Asian American attorney general in the state.
On top of that, Kamala Harris is the first Indian American attorney general in the US.
Kamala Harris’ career shows no sign of stopping, as she is regularly mentioned when pundits speculate about possible Supreme Court nominees should a new judge be appointed during President Barack Obama’s second term.
Another possible track for her is the gubernatorial one, as attorney general is a common springboard position for those hoping to climb the local ladder.
Little is known about Kamala Harris’ current romantic situation, except that she was in a serious relationship with the former mayor of San Francisco Willie Brown.
Kamala Harris and Willie Brown were a serious item and dated when he was the Speaker of the California State Assembly, but they reportedly broke up in 1998.
There are no pictures of President Barack Obama and Kamala Harris together at Thursday’s event, which was a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee held at the home of John Goldman, the heir to the Levi Strauss fortune.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the annual White House Easter Egg Roll this morning, welcoming 30,000 of visitors, children and families, into the grounds of their home.
First off, the Obamas took to the South Lawn to help young competitors in the traditional egg-rolling race and later took a well-earned break reading aloud snippets from their favorite books.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off White House Easter Egg Roll 2013
The theme of this year’s event was Be Healthy, Be Active, Be You! – fitting with Michelle Obama’s campaign to lower childhood obesity rates by encouraging physical activity. “We are so excited. The Easter Egg Roll is the biggest event that we have here on the South Lawn of the White House each year.
“Today we’re going have more than 30,000 people pass through this yard in celebration of nutrition, and health, and activity,” Michelle Obama announced from the balcony of the White House as the sun made a welcome appearance.
First daughters Malia and Sasha Obama also played a role in today’s event.
After President Barack Obama recited passages from his favorite book Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom, they read aloud the popular children’s picture book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?.
Like their parents, Malia and Sasha Obama opted for casual wear, and looked comfortable dressed in jeans and sneakers.
Michelle Obama joined her daughter in the reading corner, narrating passages from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
“Thanks for coming, have fun,” the first lady said after her story-time session, which was also attended by the family pet, Bo the dog. She instructed him to keep his paws off her white pants.
The president’s basketball and tennis courts were open for play, along with an obstacle course and yoga garden.
A dance party was set up at the Hop To It Stage, and professional athletes and coaches were helping teach their sports in the Eggtivity Zone.
Among the stars scheduled to attend were Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick, gymnast John Orozco and Washington Wizards point guard John Wall.
Two of the younger celebrities in Monday’s lineup are Oscar-nominated actress Quvenzhane Wallis, star of Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Robbie Novak, who plays Kid President in a series of popular YouTube videos.
A track suit-clad Elmo and other Sesame Street Muppets performed and encouraged exercise.
The White House had warned more than 35,000 expected attendees that the 135-year tradition could have been cancelled because of budget battles with Congress this year.
White House tours have been called off because of government-wide spending cuts, but the egg roll was not.
The National Park Service, which organizes the event, says it’s largely funded by sales of commemorative wooden eggs, plus some private donations.
The park service would not say how much the event costs.
The White House said 14,500 eggs were dyed for the egg roll and hunt, with another 4,500 hard-boiled eggs available for children to decorate.
There are also special eggs that make a sound like a chirping bird so visually impaired children can participate in the hunt.
Yesterday the First Family attended an Easter service at St. John’s Church.
After First Lady Michelle Obama wore a red and white check dress by online fashion retailer ASOS.com last year it quickly became a sellout.
Now fashionistas who missed out stealing Michelle Obama’s style the first time round can get their hands on the dress again as it has gone back on sale today.
The cotton skater dress is back in stock and currently available to buy for the bargain price of £55 ($85).
Michelle Obama, who regularly tops lists of the world’s best dressed women, has worn the sleeveless dress herself on more than one occasion.
Then last August when Michelle Obama joined her husband on the campaign trail as he sought re-election, she opted for the ASOS number again, this time wearing it with a wider black belt and ballet flats.
As if endorsement from the First Lady wearing it wasn’t enough, ASOS got even further free advertising when an image of Michelle Obama while wearing the dress while hugging Barack became the most shared picture in history on social networks.
After First Lady Michelle Obama wore a red and white check dress by online fashion retailer ASOS.com last year it quickly became a sellout
Barack Obama’s campaign team posted the image that was taken over the summer on his Twitter and Facebook accounts when it was announced he had won another term as President, along with the caption “another four years”.
The president’ss online campaign manager told Time Magazine the picture was chosen because it summed up the “elation, relief and joy” they were all feeling at that historic moment.
The picture was then retweeted 816,000 times on Twitter shared more than 4 million times on Facebook – breaking records for both social networks.
ASOS was launched in 2000 with the aim of helping twenty-somethings replicate the style of the stars at affordable prices. Now more than a decade on, its success means they’re now setting the trends as well as following them.
Iranian Fars News Agency has digitally altered an image of Michelle Obama announcing the Oscar for Best Picture last night, in order to make her dress appear more modest.
The State-controlled Fars News Agency added a high neckline and cap sleeves to the silver Naeem Khan gown worn by Michelle Obama, who from the Diplomatic Room of the White House, remotely presented the award to Ben Affleck for his film Argo.
Michelle Obama’s image was Photoshopped in order that the garment would be in keeping with the country’s Islamic dress codes that require women not to expose too much skin.
Pre-Photoshop, one can see that the dress actually has a low neckline that stops short of exposing any cleavage, though it does show décolletage.
Instead of sleeves are inch-thick straps, exposing those toned shoulders and arms for which Michelle Obama, 49, is so well-known.
Accepting the Best Picture award last night, Ben Affleck said: “I thank you everyone in the movie, on the movie, worked on the movie, did anything with this movie gets thanked.
“I want to thank Canada. I want to thank our friends in Iran living in terrible circumstances right now.”
Iranian Fars News Agency has digitally altered an image of Michelle Obama announcing the Oscar for Best Picture last night, in order to make her dress appear more modest
Argo is a dramatization of the real-life experience of CIA operative Tony Mendez, who led the rescue of six US diplomats from Tehran, during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.
The film relates how Tony Mendez used a fake sci-fi movie as a cover to help the diplomats escape the country.
Iranian State television, however, dismissed the star’s Oscar-winning film today as an “advertisement for the CIA”.
The semiofficial Mehr news agency called the Academy Award “politically motivated” because Michelle Obama had joined Jack Nicholson via video link to help present the best picture prize.
And Mohammed Hosseini, Iran’s Culture Minister, said that Argo “distorted history” for propaganda purposes.
Argo has been banned from Iranian cinemas, but on the streets of Tehran there is a healthy trade in bootlegged copies, with DVDs selling for less than a dollar each.
Michelle Obama showed off her dancing moves during her Friday appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
First Lady Michelle Obama was a crowd favorite on the NBC comedy show and wasn’t afraid to get physical in front of the New York audience at the program’s studio at Rockefeller Center.
While in New York Michelle Obama was also interviewed by Good Morning America host Robin Roberts and health guru Dr Oz, as part of the celebration for the 3 year anniversary of her Let’s Move! campaign to fight childhood obesity.
In his opening monologue for the show, Jimmy Fallon said he planned to ask Michelle Obama if she thought he could pull of bangs, in reference to the hot topic of her new coiffure.
“She’s coming on the show to talk about her Let’s Move! initiative. Next week [New Jersey Governor] Chris Christie will be on the show to talk about his new initiative, Let’s Sit!” Jimmy Fallon joked.
Instead of starting out with an interview, Jimmy Fallon and his famous guest decided to break a sweat.
“In honor of the first lady’s Let’s Move campaign, and to encourage parents everywhere to get up and get moving with their kids, Jimmy Fallon and Michelle Obama present the Evolution of Mom Dancing,” the show’s announcer Steve Higgins said.
Jimmy Fallon donned capri khaki pants and a matronly pink cardigan, with white Keds sneakers and a wig, to get in the mood and show off his dance mom moves with Michelle Obama.
Michelle Obama channeled her mom coolness in black capri jeans, pink ballet slippers and a bright green cardigan.
Michelle Obama showed off her dancing moves during her Friday appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
The mashup of moves performed by the pair included hilarious gestures like “Go Shopping, Get Groceries”, “Raise the Roof”, the “Hip Bump”, “Just the Hands Part of Single Ladies” and the “Driving the Station Wagon”.
After the aerobic exercise, Michelle Obama changed into a brightly colored sleeves, silk dress for her sit down chat.
The first lady dished on her pop culture favorites including her love of Beyoncé and her daughter’s help in introducing her to new music like Elle Varner and Frank Ocean.
Admitting that the Bravo reality show, Real Housewives, is among her guilty pleasures, she did say she has not yet watched Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
Despite not watching the TLC show, Michelle Obama did praise cast member June “Mama” Shannon – who recently lost more than 100 lbs.
During her interview, Jimmy Fallon inquired after the first lady’s plan once her husband leaves the White House in 2016.
Jimmy Fallon, 38, asked if she would be interested in a Michelle-Hillary ticket for president in 2016, as speculation swirls that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has her eye on the Oval Office.
“You know, I have my eye actually on another job. And I hear that when Jay Leno retires that The Tonight Show position is going to open and I’m thinking about putting my hat in the ring,” she joked.
Jimmy Fallon quipped: “I got my hat in the ring” about replacing the NBC host.
Michelle Obama’s appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s show was the finale to her busy day doing the media rounds.
Washington D.C. reverberated to the sounds of partying for a second consecutive evening last night as Lady Gaga headlined the Inauguration Staff Ball, a spectacular private event for thousands of Barack Obama staffers.
Lady Gaga, who wore a jaw-dropping white Versace dress, sang The Lady Is A Tramp with renowned crooner Tony Bennett at the Washington Convention Center to the delight of those who had campaigned for Barack Obama’s re-election.
Although no media were allowed into the event, many in attendance took to social media and Instagram to share pictures.
President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama took to the stage before Lady Gaga’s entrance to thank supporters for their hard work, saying that the thousands of guests at his staff ball represented his “deepest hopes for America”.
Tuesday’s inauguration festivities came hot on the heels of Barack Obama’s Gangnam Style dance off with singer Usher at the spectacular after-party he and wife Michelle Obama threw at the White House on Monday night after attending two glitzy events to celebrate his inauguration.
At last night’s event, the final celebration of his inauguration, Barack Obama welcomed more than 10,000 guests, including campaign employees and volunteers, inaugural workers, Democratic Party members, and White House officials, saying: “You all clean up pretty good.”
The president continued: “It makes me know that America’s future is in good hands. As long as all of you understand the immense and incredible power that you possess when you work together, when you join voices.”
He introduced Michelle Obama, who was dressed in a silver and black ensemble, and referred to her new hairstyle.
“Here’s the First Lady, bangs and all, looking very sparkly,” Barack Obama said.
Lady Gaga sang The Lady Is A Tramp with renowned crooner Tony Bennett at the Washington Convention Center to the delight of those who had campaigned for Barack Obama’s re-election
First Lady Michelle Obama echoed the President’s campaign-year chant of “fired up, ready to go”. And fired up she was, dancing in her seat when her husband announced the musicians.
“It’s been a long weekend,” Barack Obama said.
“She’s getting a little silly now.”
The crowd then serenaded the President and the first lady with an impromptu rendition of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours”, one of the many campaign theme songs, according to one report.
Lady Gaga sang a few of her hits including Born This Way and Edge of Glory before Tony Bennett joined her for a duet of The Lady is a Tramp, a track the odd couple first recorded together in 2011.
David Plouffe, the campaign manager for Barack Obama’s 2008 bid for the White House, and Jim Messina, the former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, also addressed the crowds, followed by speeches of thanks from Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill.
Proceeds from the ball will go to a memorial fund for Alex Okrent, a campaign worker who collapsed and died at Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters in July.
“Alex was one of you,” Barack Obama said of Alex Okrent.
“This incredibly thoughtful, talented, compassionate, caring young person who decided to get involved because he thought he could make a difference. And tragically, he ended up leaving us while working on the campaign… It was heartbreaking. It reminded us of how precious our time on this earth is.”
Staffers who attended the exclusive ball were treated to a spectacular cake made to resemble the White House.
Lady Gaga tweeted a picture of the edible 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, with the comment: “The cake inside the White House party!”
President Barack Obama made an emotional tribute to First Lady Michelle Obama last night as they danced at the inauguration balls to celebrate the beginning of his second term.
The Obamas appeared on stage at the Washington Convention Center to wild cheering and thunderous applause from thousands of people. First Lady Michelle Obama’s choice of dress was finally revealed – a dramatic, red chiffon and velvet gown by Jason Wu. The designer had also created her dress for the 2008 ball.
Barack Obama paid tribute to his wife saying that although he was often criticized as President, “nobody disputes the quality of the First Lady”. The couple then danced as Jennifer Hudson sang Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together.
The Obamas were scheduled to attend two glitzy occasions on Monday evening. That’s far fewer than the ten they attended after the 2009 inauguration, though this year’s events are still expected to draw around 40,000 people.
Barack Obama spoke briefly and offered his deep gratitude to the military, saying: “I have no greater honor than being your commander-in-chief.”
The president then spoke to troops in Afghanistan via video-link, telling them: “You will be on our minds tonight and every single night until our mission in Afghanistan is completed.”
He promised them they would get the equipment and support they need.
Barack Obama made an emotional tribute to First Lady Michelle Obama last night as they danced at the inauguration balls to celebrate the beginning of his second term
Barack Obama then turned his focus to Michelle to whom he paid glowing tribute as First Lady and his wife.
He continued: “I’ve got a date with me here. She inspires me every day. She makes me a better man and a better president. The fact that she is so devoted to taking care of our troops and our military families is just one more sign of her extraordinary love and grace and strength. I’m just lucky to have her.”
The First Lady’s choice of the same dress designer surprised many as she had returned to Jason Wu, whose career was made by her decision four years ago. She teamed the red gown with shoes by Jimmy Choo and a diamond ring by Kimberly McDonald.
Jason Wu told Women’s Wear Daily that he was completely surprised by Michelle Obama’s decision to wear another of his designs.
He said: “Mrs. Obama likes to keep her secrets. She fooled me again.”
The Inaugural Ball saw performances from Alicia Keys, Black Violin, Brad Paisley, Far East Movement, FUN., members of the Glee cast, John Legend, Katy Perry, Maná, Smokey Robinson, Soundgarden, Stevie Wonder and Usher.
The Commander-In-Chief’s ball for members of the Armed Forces were entertained by Alicia Keys, Brad Paisley, Chris Cornell, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson and Marc Anthony.
The President’s second inauguration sees the lowest number of official balls in 60 years. Obama cut back this year’s festivities to two balls and a concert honoring military families as an effort to reduce government spending in line with current economic conditions.
Alicia Keys took to the stage in a backless, floor-length, sequined gown where she sang an altered version of her hit Girl On Fire for President Obama. Her performance was followed by Mexican band Mana.
Jennifer Hudson who sang Al Green classic Let’s Stay Together to the first couple looked slender and glamorous in a form-fitting black gown with plunging neckline and sparkling platforms.
Vice-President Joe Biden appeared with his wife Jill who was glamorous in a blue silk dress by Vera Wang. The couple danced as Jamie Foxx sang the Ray Charles’ song I Can’t Stop Loving You before pairing off with young members of the military.
Earlier today, President Barack Obama urged Americans to stand together to secure prosperity and freedom for the entire nation as he was sworn in to his second term as president at his spectacular inauguration ceremony in Washington D.C.
Barack Obama has officially been sworn in today for his second term as US president in a small ceremony at the White House.
Although the US Constitution requires the oath of office to be taken by noon on January 20, that falls on a Sunday so the public inauguration will take place on Monday.
Barack Obama took his official oath in the White House’s Blue Room.
The public ceremony with pomp and circumstance will follow on Monday.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to Barack Obama, witnessed by First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Sasha and Malia as well as some family members and reporters.
Resting his hand on a bible used for many years by his wife’s family, Barack Obama vowed “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”.
He will repeat those words during Monday’s public inauguration, in which he will set out his plans for the next four years.
Barack Obama has officially been sworn in today for his second term as US president in a small ceremony at the White House
Vice-President Joe Biden was sworn in for a second term at a small ceremony at his official residence earlier on Sunday morning.
Joe Biden, 70, will also repeat his oath publicly on Monday.
Thousands of workers and volunteers have been working to finish construction for Monday’s celebrations, with white tents, trailers and generators being set up along the Washington Mall’s parade route as nearby buildings were adorned with red, white and blue bunting,
For his part, Barack Obama rolled up his sleeves and donned gloves to spend Saturday sprucing up a school with other volunteers, as part of a National Day of Service kicking off the inauguration ceremonies – similar to the way he spent the day before his first presidential inauguration in 2009.
He urged volunteers to honor the memory of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, whose birthday, a national holiday, falls on Monday. This year is the 50th anniversary of King’s march on Washington.
President Barack Obama’s second term work will be more of a challenge than Saturday’s school work, trying to change America’s gun laws, reforming immigration and dealing with the country’s debt.
In 2009, nearly two million people crammed into Washington to witness President Barack Obama’s first inauguration.
Four years on, the mood is unlikely to match that excitement.
But the second inauguration of America’s first black president is a moment many will not want to miss.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected in Washington for that event – a smaller number than the 1.8 million who flocked for the swearing-in in 2009.
They will crowd onto the Mall leading to Congress wrapped up against the cold, to see their president take the oath of office on the steps of the flag-draped Capitol and listen to his speech.
The day will include music from Beyonce and Fun, parades, black tie balls and very tight security.
First Lady Michelle Obama paraded her new haircut as she took the stage with her daughters at Kids’ Inaugural Concert, the star-studded gala for military families Saturday night, marking the beginning of inauguration weekend festivities.
Some of Hollywood’s biggest recording artists, from Usher to Katy Perry, Alicia Keys and Fun., gathered at the Washington Convention Center in DC entertain hundreds of DC-area children and spouses of service members.
Dressed in a casual yet chic ensemble consisting of a while loose blouse cinched at the waist with a vibrant belt paired with ankle-length trousers, Michelle Obama appeared on stage accompanied by her daughters. President Barack Obama was not in attendance at the gala.
“Inauguration is a really big deal. There’s balls. Everybody dress up and dances,” Michelle Obama told the children.
“Let me tell you: I love every single minute of it. Every single minute. But I have to tell you that my very favorite part of this entire weekend is being right here with all of you.”
Usher performed his hit song OMG after Yeah and Without You, while Katy Perry put on a patriotic show with Firework set to a slideshow of President Obama shaking hands and talking on the phone.
Far East Movement and a gospel fusion group called Soul Children of Chicago performed as well, but neither Stevie Wonder nor Smokey Robinson, who were both originally reported to be in the lineup, made an appearance.
The night’s entertainment also included Mindless Behavior and members of the cast of the Fox series Glee.
The concert continues a tradition started at the 2009 inauguration by honoring the nation’s military families. It’s being hosted by Michelle Obama and the vice president’s wife, Jill Biden, and emceed by Nick Cannon.
But the Kids’ Inaugural Concert was not the only glamorous event in town Saturday night.
Michelle Obama paraded her new haircut as she took the stage with her daughters at Kids’ Inaugural Concert
To continue the weekend’s festivities, the Texas State Society hosted the Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball at the Gaylord National Resort in DC.
The western-themed gala featured performances from several country acts, including legendary signer Charley Pride, Rodney Foster, Jack Ingram, with a special appearance by actor Jamie Foxx.
This year’s ball continues a tradition that has been in place for more than 30 years.
The glamorous variety show featuring musical performances, a presidential puppet show and speeches from dignitaries came just hours after the first family took part in the National Day of Service.
On the brink of a second term, the president invoked Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to service Saturday.
“I think we’re on the cusp of some really great things,” Vice President Joe Biden predicted for a country still recovering from a deep recession.
The president made only a glancing reference to race as he spoke at an elementary school not far from the White House after he and first lady Michelle Obama stained a bookcase as part of a national service event organized by the inaugural committee.
“We think about not so much the inauguration, but we think about this is Dr. King’s birthday we’re going to be celebrating this weekend,” the president said.
The National Day of Service and the night’s star-studded event set the stage for a weekend of festivities to mark the beginning of Barack Obama’s second term in office.
Freshly built inaugural stands at the Capitol gleamed white in the sun, and hundreds of chairs for special guests were set out on the lawn that spills down toward the National Mall as the president and vice president began their inauguration weekend.
Officials estimated that as many as 800,000 people will attend Monday’s public ceremonies. That’s more than live in the city, if far fewer than the 1.8 million who were at Barack Obama’s first inauguration in 2009.
Because the date for inauguration set in the Constitution, January 20, falls on a Sunday this year, Barack Obama and Joe Biden were to be sworn in for second terms in separate, private ceremonies on Sunday.
The public ceremonies are set for Monday, when Barack Obama will take the oath of office at noon, then deliver an inaugural address before a large crowd and a national television audience in the millions.
American Idol alum Kelly Clarkson will perform My Country Tis of Thee, James Taylor will sing America the Beautiful and long-time Barack Obama supporter Beyonce will entertain the crowd with her rendition of the national anthem.
The traditional lunch with lawmakers in the Capitol follows, and the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue toward the White House.
There, a reviewing stand was adorned with the presidential seal and equipped with seats enough for Barack Obama and other dignitaries to watch in relative comfort as military units, marching bands, floats and thousands of participants go past. A pair of inauguration balls will cap the day, including one with a guest list that runs to 40,000 names.
A select few – those who donated as much as $1 million to defray inauguration expenses – received special access to public as well as invitation-only receptions and parties.
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton headlined a National Day of Service gathering under a tent on the National Mall, where she said she had been inspired by her grandmother, as well as her famous parents. She urged her audience to become part of a “chain of service” by helping the less fortunate.
Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, spent time at an armory pitching in as volunteers packed 100,000 care kits for deployed members of the military, wounded warriors, veterans and first responders.
Joe Biden credited former President George H. W. Bush, a Republican, for starting the “Points of Light” program, which was a sponsor of the event. He said service was an antidote to “the coarsening of our culture. We’ve got to get back to reaching out to people”.
As Michelle Obama turned 49 her office unveiled her new Twitter identity, @FLOTUS, and a second tweet revealed her new blunt bob, with heavy bangs.
Dressed in a burnt-red, elbow-sleeved patterned jersey dress, Michelle Obama showed off her new hairstyle, reminiscent of Katie Holmes’ chop in 2008, when she met with Inaugural citizen co-chair David Hall earlier today.
Michelle Obama has always had shoulder length hair, but since her entry into the White House in 2008, she has so far preferred to keep her look loose and flowing – or tied back.
Her new cut, sharper, more sophisticated, comes in the wake of supermodel Karlie Kloss’ new bob, after she cut off seven inches of hair late last year.
As Michelle Obama turned 49 her office unveiled her new Twitter identity and a second tweet revealed her new blunt bob
The New York Times coined this return to shorter hair, “The Karlie”, last night.
So far the response to Michelle Obama’s new do’ has been positive, with thousands of Twitter users agreeing in unison that they “love” her new bangs.
In an age of the overused term “style icon”, Michelle Obama proves again she is one of the few modern women to deserve it.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wished the troops a merry Christmas with a visit to a U.S. Marine base in Hawaii on Tuesday.
Barack Obama’s appearance with servicemen at a Christmas ceremony was his last public stop in Hawaii before he cuts short his vacation and flies back to Washington to return to negotiations over the fiscal cliff.
The president is expected to arrive in Washington early Thursday, the White House said Tuesday night. Michelle Obama and the couple’s two daughters will remain in Hawaii.
In the past, Barack Obama’s end-of-the-year holiday in his native state had stretched into the new year. The first family had left Washington last Friday night.
Congress has been expected to return to Washington late Thursday. Before he departed for Hawaii, Barack Obama told reporters he expected to be back in the capital the following week.
Automatic budget cuts and tax increases are set to begin on January 1, which many economists say could send the country back into recession. So far, the president and congressional Republicans have been unable to reach agreement on any alternatives.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wished the troops a merry Christmas with a visit to a Marine base in Hawaii on Tuesday
Lawmakers have expressed little but pessimism for the prospect of an agreement coming before the New Year. On Sunday, Sen Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Texas Republican, said she expects any action in the waning days of the year to be “a patch because in four days we can’t solve everything”.
The Obamas were spending the holiday at a rented home near Honolulu. On Christmas Day, the president and first lady visited with Marines to express thanks for their service.
“One of my favorite things is always coming to base on Christmas Day just to meet you and say thank you,” the president said at Marine Corps Base Hawaii’s Anderson Hall. He said that being commander in chief was his greatest honor as president.
Barack Obama took photos with individual service members and their families.
On Christmas Eve, Barack Obama called members of the military to thank them for serving the nation, then joined his family for dinner, the White House said. The Obamas opened gifts Christmas morning, ate breakfast and sang carols.
Friends were joining the Obamas for Christmas dinner Tuesday night, the White House said.
President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle celebrated Christmas from their tropical Hawaii getaway as they released a more festive looking picture of themselves onto their Twitter feed.
Despite leaving for Barack Obama’s home state of on Friday, the pair released the seasonal picture to the White House twitter feed today and spoke together during the weekly presidential address of how much they enjoy a White House Christmas.
Both the president and his wife spoke of the joy at spending the Holidays with loved ones and paid a special tribute to the men and women of the armed forces – serving abroad with their families in Afghanistan and in other deployments across the globe.
Former first granddaughter and daughter Jenna Bush spent scores of Christmases at the White House while her grandfather and father were President.
Jenna Bush was more than qualified to sit down with Michelle Obama to compare notes about the holidays at America’s most famous address.
During the interview, aired this morning on Today, Jenna Bush recounted treasured memories including helping her grandmother, Barbara Bush, put the star on the tree when she was a child.
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama said the smells and sounds of the White House and opening it up to the public were the most magical things of the festive season.
“It’s the most special time to be in the White House,” Michelle Obama said.
“It is the one time of the year when the White House really opens up. We have thousands and thousands of visitors streaming through each day.
“Everything looks great. The smells are magnificent. I feel very blessed to be able to be here during these times.”
Michelle Obama said her daughters, Sasha and Malia, equally loved the holidays but were less involved now they’re getting older.
“We have a teen and a pre-teen so there is less involvement from them because their lives are so full,” she said.
“But they do still enjoy every second of the holidays.”
Jenna Bush and Michelle Obama compare notes on Christmas at the White House
Jenna Bush added that her and her sister Barbara’s favorite part was “the cookies”.
One member of the Obama family who will never grow out of Christmas is Bo – the family’s Portuguese water dog.
“We always find a way to incorporate Bo in our Christmas themes,” Michelle Obama said, agreeing that he was the family’s muse.
“He is the most popular member of the family,” she said.
“The President is clear on that. There are times when people recognize Bo and don’t even see him.”
When it comes to the Christmas meal, Michelle Obama, who refers to herself as “hostess-in-chief”, likes to serve up traditional fare, adding that it’s a time when diets go out the window.
“(The meal is) very traditional. There’s turkey, there’s string beans and stuffing, a little mac and cheese,” she said.
“Everybody deserves their mac and cheese.”
The family actually spends Christmas day in Hawaii, where President Barack Obama was born and went to high school.
“We go out there, and we spend time with friends and family,” she said.
“That tends to be our gift to each other, the president and I. We don’t exchange gifts. We say: <<We’re in Hawaii. Merry Christmas>>.”
Asked by Jenna Bush whether the First Family was looking forward to a relaxing vacation more than ever this year, Michelle Obama said yes, but that the family was prepared for anything.
“We are going to see,” she said.
“This job never stops. It’s a wonderful privilege. It’s a blessing. We’re so glad to be here for four more years.
“But you don’t have control over where the wind blows.”
However, one thing was certain.
“Whatever happens, we’ll be together. It really is just a time to be together and be thankful.”
During the slot on Today, Jenna Bush recounted a few more of her favorite memories from Christmas at the White House with presenter Susannah Guthrie.
“Reading with my sweet grandpa the night before Christmas, that was a tradition,” she said.
Jenna Bush agreed with Michelle Obama that the music and the festive scents wafting through the halls made the residence a magical place to be during the holidays, and she thanked the “amazing people” who put it all together.
“I have such precious memories… and it was really lovely being back,” she said.
First Lady Michelle Obama delivered about 900 gifts to the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots campaign but perhaps lost in the seriousness of her mission, forgot to wear her smile.
Taking a few minutes to thank military families at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C. Michelle Obama shared how they make her job “easy” in their representation of the U.S. as well as in inspiring her role in the White House.
“The military families are what inspires my work,” she said at the annual toy drive started by a Marine reservist and his wife.
“Somehow you’re always the ones who find the extra hours in the day to give back, above and beyond what life has thrown your way anyway,” she said.
Among the unwrapped toys donated today by White House employees and American CEOs were Michelle Obama’s two daughters 14-year-old Malia and 11-year-old Sasha, according to the White House.
Michelle Obama along with Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, started the Joining Forces campaign in 2011 to honor and support military families.
Michelle Obama delivered about 900 gifts to the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots campaign but perhaps lost in the seriousness of her mission, forgot to wear her smile
Before slapping her hands together to get to work, Michelle Obama wished volunteers and service members at the military base “Happy Holidays”.
She then assisted the marines in sorting the gifts into bins marked for boys and girls by different age groups.
Noting the lack of toys for older children, Michelle Obama advised a little help in donors remembering the big kids this year.
“A lot of times when we do the shopping we like to reach for the cute little bear or the little doll, but the truth is that they also need gifts for older kids as well,” she said.
For children ages 11 to 14, she suggested books, games, backpacks and clothes “because if your teens are like mine, they want some clothes, something cute to wear”.
Retired Marine Lt. Gen. Pete Osman, president and CEO of Toys for Tots, said the demand for gifts seems to go up every season, especially in the Northeast after this year’s “curveball” Superstorm Sandy.
Pete Osman thanked the first lady for being the program’s “No. 1 volunteer” since she has enlisted public support and rolled up her sleeves to help in each of her four years in the White House.
“When Michelle Obama leads, the American people follow,” he said.
Presents collected from the White House toy drive included school supplies, books and toys by K’NEX Brands. President Barack Obama picked up the toys last month when he visited a suburban Philadelphia toy factory as part of his campaign to get the public to pressure Congress to act to prevent the so-called “fiscal cliff”.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were in fine form during Sunday night’s Kennedy Center Honors, laughing and holding hands at the event, which recognize the nation’s most culturally influential artists, performers, actors, and musicians.
Wearing a stunning Michael Kors gold lamé dress embellished at the neckline, Michelle Obama dazzled as she entered the East Room of the White House with her husband, who was wearing a smartly-tailored tuxedo and an American flag on his lapel.
Barack Obama honored seven of the country’s most influential artists, including Dustin Hoffman, Chicago bluesman Buddy Guy, late night host David Letterman, ballerina Natalia Markarova, and surviving members of rock band Led Zeppelin.
The festivities later transitioned to the Kennedy Center, where fellow performers put on a show which will be broadcast later this month.
Stars from New York, Hollywood and the music world gathered Sunday in Washington to salute the honorees who were tonight receiving the nation’s highest award for artistically influential Americans.
“Tonight, we continue a tradition here at the White House by honoring some extraordinary people who have no business being on the same stage together,” Barack Obama began, joking to the recipients.
The president hailed the drive and vision of the honorees, noting that many, like blues musician Buddy Guy, grew up in conditions that didn’t foster creativity. Buddy Guy, for instance, was born into a family of Louisiana sharecroppers with no electricity or running water.
He went on to pioneer the use of distortion and feedback with his electric guitar.
“[Their] passion took each of them from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of their profession,” Barack Obama said, according to The Hill.
“Tonight in the People’s House, we have a chance to say thank you.”
Former president Bill Clinton also offered lavish praise to Buddy Guy.
“Buddy Guy’s life is a miracle,” Bill Clinton said.
“Just imagine you want to be a guitar player and you get your first strings by tearing off the screen door. … He came from that to this.”
Barack Obama honored seven of the US most influential artists, including Dustin Hoffman, Buddy Guy, David Letterman, ballerina Natalia Markarova, and surviving members of rock band Led Zeppelin
Late-night host David Letterman was one of the seven honored in the annual awards ceremony. Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel joined in celebrating David Letterman’s influence on many other comedians.
“I knew Johnny, and I loved Johnny. Johnny was beyond reproach,” Stephen Colbert said in a toast to David Letterman.
“Dave was stupid. Dave was ours. Dave was like us.
“We wanted to throw things off of buildings. … We would love to stick our heads out the window of 30 Rock and yell at passers-by, <<I’m not wearing any pants!>>.”
Stephen Colbert marveled at David Letterman receiving such an award after he “corrupted the minds of a generation”.
Paul Shaffer, David Letterman’s longtime band leader, said he knew his boss was uncomfortable hearing such accolades, but that he knew Letterman was enjoying every second of it.
Meryl Streep introduced the honorees Saturday during a formal dinner at the U.S. State Department and noted that David Letterman had surpassed his mentor, Johnny Carson, in sustaining the longest late-night television career for more than 30 years.
To salute Led Zeppelin, big names from the rock world dressed in black tie for their music heroes as a string ensemble played the band’s hit song “Kashmir” and other tunes at the State Department.
Wearing a stunning Michael Kors gold lamé dress embellished at the neckline, Michelle Obama dazzled as she entered the East Room of the White House with her husband
Foo Fighters singer Dave Grohl said he never took any music lessons when he was starting out because “my teachers were Led Zeppelin. … They were the most powerful thing in my life”.
Lenny Kravitz said their influential music, at its zenith in the 1970s, became a lasting part of the culture of rock and roll.
“It’s very difficult,” he said.
“You get four guys that come together and make something so much more powerful than they all are.”
Zeppelin front man Robert Plant said he was flattered and overwhelmed in receiving the American culture prize. He said he was glad to see his former band mates, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, using good table manners.
The trio is scheduled to appear Monday on CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman. They are often asked if they’ll reunite. Robert Plant told The Associated Press he plans to continue traveling the world and wants to make new music along the way.
“If anybody wants to write some new songs, I’m game to write songs,” he said.
Dustin Hoffman was honored for charting his own path after taking a junior college class in acting that “nobody ever flunks”.
Meryl Streep, a 2011 honoree, said Dustin Hoffman’s quest to become an actor required waiting tables and typing for the yellow pages by day.
“He’d do anything if it meant at night he could find himself on the stage,” she said.
Glenn Close toasted Dustin Hoffman for defining the character actor as leading man in such movies as The Graduate, Rain Man and Tootsie – and as an artist who insisted on setting the highest standards for himself.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the ballerina Natalia Makarova “risked everything to have the freedom to dance the way she wanted to dance” when she defected from the Soviet Union in 1970.
Natalia Makarova quickly made her debut with the American Ballet Theatre and later was the first exiled artist to return to the Soviet Union before its fall to dance with the Kirov Ballet.
Hillary Clinton also took special note of David Letterman, saying he must be wondering what he’s doing in a crowd of talented artists and musicians.
“Dave and I have a history,” she said.
“I have been a guest on his show several times, and if you include references to my pant suits, I’m on at least once a week.”
The crowd of artists and entertainers gave Hillary Clinton a standing ovation as she hosted her final salute to the nation’s artists as secretary of State.
Kennedy Center Chairman David Rubenstein gave her a subtle nudge to run for president in 2016, saying there’s another room at the State Department to name after a secretary who later becomes president.
A 300 lbs gingerbread replica of the White House was the centrepiece of the White House Christmas decorations, unveiled Wednesday by First Lady Michelle Obama.
The impressive structure, which features a marzipan version of the kitchen garden and an oversized model of First Dog Bo, was pride of place in the State Dining Room.
Michelle Obama presented this year’s decorations before an appreciative crowd of military families Wednesday, then spent some time doing holiday crafts with military kids.
The theme for this year’s decorations is Joy to All, but First Dog Bo seems to steals the show.
There are 40 Bo-flake ornaments throughout the White House that feature cutout images of the dog.
There’s a life-size replica of the dog, with a string of lights in his mouth, in the East Garden Room.
And there’s an outsized statue of the Portuguese water dog next to the 300-pound gingerbread house in the State Dining Room.
Michelle Obama said that reflects Bo’s high standing at the White House.
“He’s almost as big as the house,” she declared.
“He is such a huge personality.”
A 300 lbs gingerbread replica of the White House was the centrepiece of the White House Christmas decorations, unveiled Wednesday by First Lady Michelle Obama
Visitors also will get a Bo bookmark that sends them on a scavenger hunt for Bo-ornaments stashed in eight rooms.
Bo himself made an appearance during Wednesday’s festivities, sporting a jingle bell collar, and was quickly swarmed by young guests.
This year’s decorations include lots of handmade items that could easily be done at home, including patriotic wreaths and ornaments wrapped in red, white and blue yarn to fit with Michelle Obama’s emphasis on supporting military families.
The gargantuan gingerbread house, however, is not a feat for amateurs to attempt: It contains more than 175 pounds of gingerbread and modified gingerbread and more than 50 pounds of chocolate.
Pastry chef Bill Yosses mixed up a combination of wheat, rye and white-flour gingerbread that mimics the color of the sandstone house prior to 1798, when the house was first painted white.
More than 90,000 visitors are expected to pass through the White House this holiday season.
Executive chef Cristeta Comerford said she’s drawing on the recipes in Michelle Obama’s gardening book, American Grown, as she prepares food for all the guests.
The treats will include sweet potato quick bread, green beans with almonds and a winter salad featuring fennel.
The massive decorating job – there are 54 live Christmas trees in the White House – comes together in just five days, with the help of 85 volunteers from around the country.
This year’s volunteers included Nellie Funk, a military wife from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, who was working beside retired homicide detective Tracy Jacobson from Southern California.
Asked which job was more fun – detective or decorator – Tracy Jacobson deadpanned: “This has been much more fun.”