Michelle Obama, Sasha visit Md. State House
A visit to Maryland's State House billed as a sort of First Family summer school for 9-year-old Sasha Obama and her cousins briefly halted work inside the state capital and produced a spectacle in Annapolis on Tuesday as police pushed crowds further from the capital.
A spokesman for Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said Michelle Obama remarked that the tour was one of a series of summer educational trips. The state's archivist showed the Obamas around the floor where George Washington resigned as commander of the Continental Army, and where Maryland's legislature still meets today. O'Malley gave Sasha and her two young cousins pewter pillboxes engraved with the state seal.
The visit was described as a "private tour" and a Washington Post reporter with an office in the State House was told to leave the building as the Obamas arrived. Other reporters were told they could not enter the building once the tour had begun. Several House and Senate staffers who were allowed to remain inside said they were told to turn away down hallways or into offices as the family passed. Outside a crowd of about 50 onlookers were pushed back three times, ultimately across a roadway.
Following the tour, the Obamas emerged from the State House and walked through Lawyer's Square, pausing at the memorial to Thurgood Marshall, the nation's first African-American Supreme Court Justice. Michelle Obama waved to the crowd before the motorcade sped away.
It was the first trip to Annapolis by a member of the First Family since the Maryland governor's race heated up this spring. President Obama is expected to campaign for O'Malley before November, but Tuesday's visit produced no campaign image for the Democratic incumbent. A governor's office photographer was instructed not to take pictures.
Aaron C. Davis
August 10, 2010; 3:19 PM ET
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