For Obama, Blowing Out Candles Over a Working Lunch
By Cheryl W. Thompson
President Obama will celebrate his 48th birthday Tuesday by spending at least part of the day working.
Obama will have lunch with Senate Democrats at the White House, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday. They are likely to discuss health care, the economy, energy legislation and the "Cash for Clunkers" program.
"Chuck E. Cheese was booked," Gibbs joked during his daily White House press briefing.
Gibbs did not say how Obama would spend the remainder of his day.
Obama kicked off his birthday a few days early with a weekend trip to Camp David. Along with his wife, daughters and mother-in-law, he was joined Saturday by longtime Chicago pals Marty Nesbitt, chairman of the Chicago Housing Authority Board, and physician Eric Whitaker, along with several of the president's childhood friends from Hawaii, according to an administration official.
At his Maryland getaway, the president played basketball and bowled. Obama, who was chided during the campaign for his unimpressive bowling skills, bowled a 144 over the weekend, Gibbs said -- a marked improvement from the 37 and gutter balls Obama rolled as a presidential candidate in March 2008 in Altoona, Pa.
"I watched ..... the last four throws; three strikes and a nine," Gibbs said. "I told the president, 'Look, if you had done this in Pennsylvania, my life would have been a little easier.'."
This year's birthday celebration will almost certainly pale in comparison to last year's, when 850 people joined him at a fundraiser in Boston. Obama, a White Sox fan, was given a Boston Red Sox-themed Hawaiian shirt, and he later passed out slices of birthday cake to more than three dozen journalists traveling with him.
Posted at 5:43 PM ET on Aug 3, 2009
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