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Eye on the Irish at the White House


President Obama meets with Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen in the Oval Office of the White House. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

By Scott Wilson
The fountain in front of the White House spouted green, and yes, the president wore a matching tie.

"Green tie, not bad, huh?" Obama said at a morning event ostensibly about his budget proposal. "Conrad didn't get the memo."

He was referring to Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), the senate budget committee chairman who stood at his side in a non-green tie. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC), who chairs the House budget committee, apparently did receive it.

So began St. Patrick's Day for the president, a guy with lots on his plate, but whose calendar on this day is essentially all St. Paddy's Day all the time. Even for a politician from Chicago, where the Irish vote early and often, it's a lot.

But most of it is unavoidable tradition -- not that he said he wanted to avoid it.

After his morning economic briefing, Obama met with Brian Cowen, the Taoiseach of Ireland (the equivalent of prime minister), followed by a Shamrock Ceremony in the Roosevelt Room. Northern Ireland's first minister and deputy first minister -- Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness, respectively -- came next on the president's calendar.

Then onto Capitol Hill for the St. Patrick's Day lunch hosted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R-Ca.) His day is scheduled to end with remarks at the St. Patrick's Day reception at the White House.

The fountain returns to its normal white froth tomorrow.

Posted at 12:36 PM ET on Mar 17, 2009  | Category:  Barack Obama
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Previous: Obama Announces Rooney as Ambassador to Ireland | Next: Obama to Appear Sunday on '60 Minutes'


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Comments

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Still hoping to have the luck of the Irish!
www.vernasmith.com

Posted by: Victoria5 | March 19, 2009 4:06 PM

It's all in good fun.

"May you be in heaven 1/2 hour before the devil knows you're dead."

Posted by: Skye1er | March 18, 2009 1:10 PM

Dia duit, Roism007

Pog mo thoin!

Posted by: seemstome | March 17, 2009 11:33 PM

Another subliminal act by the President of USA to promote one religion over other. I wonder how many journalist and commentators know that St Patrick was known to spread christianty and nothing more.

A sad day in America

Posted by: Roism007 | March 17, 2009 6:41 PM

Posted by: MikeLicht | March 17, 2009 6:08 PM

hmmm....
i wonder who is wearing ORANGE !!!


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 17, 2009 3:54 PM

That would be Peter Robinson, leader of the DUP in Northern Ireland and current firts minister of the Assembly.

I'm curious as to what, if anything, Robinson and McGuinness had to say jointly regarding the current round of violence.

Posted by: RedBirdie | March 17, 2009 4:49 PM

Which one’s the leprechaun?

Posted by: justhere | March 17, 2009 4:21 PM

Brian Cowen is, from what I've read, deeply unpopular and facing a possible collapse in his minority government caused by rumblings from junior party members who believe that they may lose reelection if they stand on his Fiana Fail party's ticket.

Posted by: pgowan733 | March 17, 2009 4:08 PM

Today the president can be Irish: O'Bama

Posted by: TOMHERE | March 17, 2009 4:07 PM

hmmm....
i wonder who is wearing ORANGE !!!

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 17, 2009 3:54 PM

"The article identifies Nancy Pelosi as a Republican from California."

Guess she heard they were looking for a leader . . .

Posted by: nodebris | March 17, 2009 2:24 PM

Looking for some St. Paddy's Day fun? Check out http://www.thelintscreen.com for a dab o' the good luck

Posted by: guzelvis | March 17, 2009 1:46 PM

((((( burp )))))

yes, but what is Michelle doing today?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | March 17, 2009 1:46 PM

Am I seeing double, JDM1918? Maybe *I've* had too much green beer!

Posted by: goku234 | March 17, 2009 1:37 PM

The article identifies Nancy Pelosi as a Republican from California. Any chance you guys are indulging in the green beer???

Posted by: JDM1918 | March 17, 2009 1:35 PM

The article identifies Nancy Pelosi as a Republican from Democrat. Any chance you guys are indulging in the green beer???

Posted by: JDM1918 | March 17, 2009 1:35 PM

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