Obama Visits Washington Post
Barack Obama visited the Washington Post to meet the editorial board and national staff, but his tour of the 5th floor newsroom nearly stopped the presses.
Staff writers, photographers, editors and employees from other departments lined the hallway after word spread that the President-elect would be walking through the newroom.
At about 3:15 p.m., Obama entered through a back hallway and began shaking hands, as professional newsmen and women reached over to shake his hand and take pictures. Obama was trailed by advisor David Axelrod, assistant Reggie Love, Post Chairman Donald Graham, Publisher Katharine Weymouth and Editor Marcus Brauchli.
“I want to talk about the Redskins and the Nationals,” Obama said, as he made his way down a defacto rope line made of office cubicle dividers, behind which Secret Service agents asked the journalists to stand. Asked by a reporter if he had any quotes he wanted to get in the paper for tomorrow, Obama, referring to the National staff and editorial board, said: “They all got the scoop.”
He added: “Where’s the weather person? What’s Tuesday looking like?”
Later, he was asked, "Are you having a good time?" Obama responded, "If I didn't have to move twice in five days I would be happy."
At one point, after passing the foreign and national desks, Obama turned a corner and Graham introduced him to David Ross, 66, an electrician who has worked at the Post since 1960.
According to Ross, Graham said: “Barack, I want you to meet Dave Ross, the longest serving person at the Washington Post.”
Obama reached for Ross’s hand, then pulled him into the aisle and put his arm around Ross, telling the Secret Service, “For Dave, I’ll make an exception.”
Ross quickly called his daughter, Rebecca Kousa, an elementary school teacher in Arlington. “I’m glad I didn’t retire,” he told her.
Obama left the newsroom around 3:30 p.m.
“There goes our journalistic objectivity,” one reporter quipped, as people traded stories and pictures.
Story by David Nakamura, Photos by David Betancourt
David A Nakamura
January 15, 2009; 3:45 PM ET
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