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Obama makes surprise visit to Silver Spring school


President Obama greets third and fourth grade students at Viers Mill Elementary School in Silver Spring. (Jason Reed/Reuters)

By Nelson Hernandez
President Obama paid a surprise lunchtime visit to Viers Mill Elementary School in Silver Spring Monday.

Montgomery County schools spokeswoman Kate Harrison said the visit lasted just 30 to 45 minutes, and that officials had been told to keep it secret. Obama "really just wanted to interact with students and he wanted to do it during lunch," Harrison said.

According to a pool report, the president visited with third- and fifth-graders. Ben Finkenbinder, a White House press aide, said Obama chose Viers Mill because in 2005 it became the first Montgomery County school with a large population of low-income students to be designated a National Blue Ribbon School for significantly closing the achievement gap. Such schools qualify for Title I federal funding.

"It's wonderful. I'm just so happy for the kids," Harrison said. "What a thrill. To be just sitting there eating your lunch, and all of a sudden the president of the United States walks in. It's so exciting."

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By Web Politics Editor  |  October 19, 2009; 2:30 PM ET
Categories:  Education , Washington Life  
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Comments

What inspiration to young kids? Just wonderful. Keep it up Mr. President! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQCSrg9-QmE

Posted by: Victoria5 | October 21, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

He looks so father-like in the pic... http://typobounty.com/Funny/Obama_2.htm

Posted by: cheezweez2u | October 21, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, take a look at the picture in this article..enough said..President Barack Obama, America made the right choice in 2008.

Posted by: ruraledcomm | October 20, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: trinachutney | October 20, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

to see all these people talk about the position of the presidency and to have respect for the office over the man...these people seem to have ignored the total lack of respect for W for 8 years. hypocrisy runs deep.

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | October 20, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

THANK YOU DAGNYT!! Oh how refreshing to see one Republican voice not drenched in loathing and disrespect for at least the 'office' of the president! Thank you for being bold enough to speak up sensibly and identify with your party yet still disagree with the most salient voices in your party right now.

I have been a registered Democrat all of my adult voting life. Yet I voted for Bush Sr. against Michael Dukakis. I have pulled the Republican lever other times in my life when I thought that candidates' ideals more closely aligned with my own than his or her Democratic opponent. Unless somebody proves to me different, I believe I have a right and freedom to do so.

I don't necessarily agree across the board with all of President Obama's policies, as I consider myself a conservative Christian in my core beliefs. But from what he's shown me so far, from the campaign through his first days, he's the best thing to happen to this country in a long time. He is a unifier. Moderate where he needs to be, firm where he needs to be, conciliatory where he needs to be.

Wanna know something else? I would have probably voted for John McCain before I voted for Hillary Clinton if those were my only options. (Though I admit Sarah Palin gave me pause.)

Still, I await the reasonable majority within the Republican Party to raise up like yourself and, if you're going to criticize, do so with respect, and do so about real issues and concerns, and quell the nonsense now going on in your party.

I used to listen to Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck both at different times in my life. And I used to be a huge fan of Doug Giles. Believe it or not, there are many many conservatively-minded Democrats and Independants who were once in the audiences of many of these voices. But we've been ridiculed and alienated by them rather than being reasoned with like adults. Lately all the main voices of the Republican Party have to offer is divisiveness, fear, negativity, and dread. And a lot of what is being spewed is ridiculous.

I wish more Republicans like you would speak up and reign in your fringe. I'll do my part over here to ensure that we remain the "United" States.

Posted by: moonfunk | October 20, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

lurkitty; Well said. These hater...trolls...whatever you call them. They have no brain. They have no life. They're frustrated by many things and fail to realize how stupid they look with regards to this event. Thank god nobody pays them any attention (except them).

Posted by: bcs2k | October 19, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

You gotta love this guy! The POTUS, a former law school professor, is taking time to visit and motivate kids to strive high. This kind of motivation and energy was severely lacking in previous presidents. Thanks President Obama for redefining our expectations of future presidents! This visit was cool...what also is cool is bitter haters are so upset that they will get old with anger...pecking away lengthy messages about how bad it is to do good for the kids. hahahahahaha Oh well... hopefully these haters will succumb to high blood pressure due to excessive negativity. PS: Congrats on the Nobel PEace Prize Win! *Tough luck haters hahahaha*

Posted by: bcs2k | October 19, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I just cannot understand the level of vitriol by some posters here. Regardless of the political persuasions of the sitting POTUS, it's an honor and priviledge to meet him and speak with him (or her), for ANY school child.

I'm a registered Democrat and I wasn't very happy with Bush being elected to office, but I still would have considered it an exciting learning event for my child to see him and hear him at school.

I also like the fact that Obama is prioritizing education by rewarding those who are doing well. He saw this school was doing well, and chose to visit it, rather than visiting schools in trouble. "You might think the idiot would have better things to do". Really? He is putting personal attention on the quality education of lower income children, and that's not important? I respectfully disagree.

Posted by: Pezozui | October 19, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

The birthers and tea-baggers will hold a protest at the school President Obama visited during lunch hour. There is nothing beneath these contemptible and bigoted neanderthals who masquerade as neoconservatives (aka, Limpbaugh's lemming-like ditto-heads).

I would love for my son to come home excited from school yelling, "Dad, the President visited our school!" Who knows? There are at least three more years of opportunities (prayerfully, more like seven)!

Posted by: meldupree | October 19, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Cryos wrote: "I think you mean the moving towards greater unemployment and a dismissal of independence and hard work."

The unemployment was caused by a republican administration which had no problem with billion dollar bonuses when companies actually were failing. Getting good money for little or no work was a Bush administration phylosophy, for the wealthy anyway. All others just need to work harder for their salaries, which get smaller every year in constant dollars. If you want to get away from the republican economic collapse, stop voting republican. Its realy that simple. You only have to look at the economy since Nixon to see it was republicans in change when things go south and democrats in charge when things improve. Clinton left us a surplus, Bush left a huge deficit, debt and two wars which were suppose to be cakewalks that paid for themselves. But you keep talking up how democrats caused this mess and ignore reality all you want, voters knew better in 2008 and will again in 2010.

Posted by: Fate1 | October 19, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

DreamOutLoud . . . Had a great laugh -- my complements, “Did the kids like the teleprompter?”

Posted by: WeThePeopleofVirginia | October 19, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Good for the President. I'd wish he'd visit school's out here in the Redneck Riviera - also known as South Anne Arundel Cty. I'm sure these "wonderful" folks would be happy to have the President try and influence our kids. Turn them into socialists.

Posted by: billm32 | October 19, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the 3rd graders could teach him that there are 50 states in the US, not 57.

Did the kids like the teleprompter?

Posted by: DreamOutLoud | October 19, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

To the GOP morons who would keep their kids home from school because the president was visiting: I hope your children are not as hateful and ignorant as you. Get a grip. Really!

Posted by: RussellNewYork | October 19, 2009 3:20 PM


And yet the 4th word in you're statement says "morons" LOL followed by "hateful and ignorant"

Some people are just to stup1d to try and save. LOL

Posted by: askgees | October 19, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Obama visits elementary school to tell children how his fantastic stimulus plan save their teachers job. After all only a 7 year old would believe his BS. This guy is pathetic.

Posted by: askgees | October 19, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

You should be ashamed of yourselves! In my day, the visit of a President, any President, would be welcomed in a school. We were taught that the office of the President is to be respected.

You sat back and called anyone who disagreed with a word out of Bush's mouth a "traitor" and "unpatriotic". Now it's you, less than a year into the term of a President who was legally and properly elected, who encourage acts of rudeness and lack of patriotism. You're the ones who are trampling on the Constitution, the Flag and the freedoms of our country by teaching your children that anyone who disagrees with them does not deserve the right to even be heard. You've accused all our European allies who fought against the Nazis and the Communists for freedom of BEING Nazis and Communists because they dare to give everyone healthcare.

I'm sick of your bigotry and hatred, and foul acts of treachery against our country as a whole. You're sick people and you're passing it on to your children.

Posted by: lurkitty | October 19, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse


Good for POTUS to get out and great for the kids. He could have a tremendous impact on kids in this area -- primary students and older -- simply by visiting their schools.

I did not vote for him. I am a Republican.

It's a thrill to meet any president. They are all historical figures, this one more than most. These kids will remember this all their lives.

Posted by: DagnyT | October 19, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Encouraging to see Obama singling out Viers Mill for turning their school around. I don't understand the hatred in most of the comments regarding this piece. This type of hostility will continue to weaken and be irrelevant as America inevitably moves towards greater diversity and a dismissal of old ignorance.

Posted by: starkastle | October 19, 2009 3:22 PM
================================
I think you mean the moving towards greater unemployment and a dismissal of independence and hard work.

Posted by: Cryos | October 19, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Encouraging to see Obama singling out Viers Mill for turning their school around. I don't understand the hatred in most of the comments regarding this piece. This type of hostility will continue to weaken and be irrelevant as America inevitably moves towards greater diversity and a dismissal of old ignorance.

Posted by: starkastle | October 19, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

To the GOP morons who would keep their kids home from school because the president was visiting: I hope your children are not as hateful and ignorant as you. Get a grip. Really!

Posted by: RussellNewYork | October 19, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Well....whoopee do, you might think the idiot would have better things to do. I happen to know that if he went to my grandson's school, my young conservative would probably walk out on him, and I don't think he'd be alone. Isn't it interesting that Obama always chooses the VERY young to visit?

Posted by: OregonStorm | October 19, 2009 3:00 PM
===================================
He's given up trying to convince thinking adults lol. Hence his temper tantrum about "oh Fox are such liars they won't suck up to me like everyone else."

The stench of congressional democrats and the Obama administrations bad decisions is so strong the strongest media bias can't cover it up.

Posted by: Cryos | October 19, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Well....whoopee do, you might think the idiot would have better things to do. I happen to know that if he went to my grandson's school, my young conservative would probably walk out on him, and I don't think he'd be alone. Isn't it interesting that Obama always chooses the VERY young to visit?

Posted by: OregonStorm | October 19, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the president visiting a school, I hope the parents were notified. If I had a child in that school and knew the president was coming, my child would not attend that day! I don't like that was he sneaks around getting to kids. You may think he is great. I know he is a dictator by proxy. He has a dangerous agenda, but most parents are very nieve! I woud trust a rattlesnake before I would trust him around my child!

Posted by: hankster6 | October 19, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

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