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Malia Obama to Dad: Speech 'Better Be Good'

President-elect Barack Obama made a surprise appearance on a conference call with major donors to his Presidential Inaugural Committee today, sharing a fun little outing he had with his girls the other night.

First, Obama thanked everyone for relinquishing their cash in such hard times to help fund his historic five-day celebration. Despite the dismal economy and the super heightened security that will force celebrants at his inauguration --even top donors -- outside for many hours on end Tuesday morning, Obama told everyone on the call to stay focused on "havin' some fun, making history."

According to one Sleuth informant who joined the call, who asked to remain anonymous for fear the leak-proof Obama team will retaliate, Obama told the finance team "as tough as these times are" and as worried as people may be about the economy, their contributions will go a long way to helping create the kind of five-day celebration Obama hopes will be an "antidote to some of the gloom."

He lightened the mood by telling them about taking his daughters, Malia and Sasha, to the Lincoln Memorial one night this week. They looked at the statue, read the Gettysburg address inscribed on one wall and Lincoln's second inaugural address inscribed on the other.

According to our conference call informant, Obama said Sasha, who is 7 years old, stared at Lincoln's second inaugural address and said, "Looks long." She asked if her dad's speech would be that long.

To which Malia, 10, replied, "First African-American president, better be good."

Besides thanking them for underwriting his inauguration, Obama cautioned his inaugural donors to "be patient" and advised them to stay "bundled up."

Obama surprised the finance team by joining the conference call toward the end, after some griping from top donors -- who are giving anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 to help underwrite the massive, star-studded celebration -- about transportation logistics (there are none, really) and security. One issue of particular concern focused on bottled water, which law enforcement officials have banned at the swearing-in ceremony.

Presidential Inaugural Committee staff who conducted the conference call told donors to arrive at the checkpoints to the swearing-in ceremony at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning. Obama isn't scheduled to take the oath of office until noon, which means they'll be standing in the cold -- and it is expected to be bitter -- for five hours with no water.

The big donors won't have access to a place for them to warm up inside the Capitol. If they leave the security perimeter, they'll have to get in the back of a long line that will likely trail for many city blocks. In other words, there is parity in security: there will be no separate line for the wealthy donors funding all of the parties that come before and after the swearing-in ceremony.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  January 15, 2009; 6:10 PM ET
 
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Comments

Shameless, using these kids. They whine about their privacy, then have stories like this and that 'letter' released. Unreal, staged, PR spin.

Posted by: dahozho | January 15, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm...at 7 AM where will the President-elect be? Most likely nice and cozy and warm, having a yummy breakfast in Blair House with wife and kids. Certainly not standing in 29 degree weather outside the Capitol. If I donated $20,000 or more, I'd sure expect something better than this deal!

Posted by: Z914 | January 15, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

See this is the REAL meaning of Obama-Nation. This massive spending is the "change" we can expect.
What audacity to have a Gatsbyesque party when people like me are starving, cold and almost homeless. Unemployed goes without saying. And President "change" here is having a five day party for his donors? Let's spend that money and bail out the unemployed who are sick without medical care, and those in debt for student loans they can never payoff due to no jobs, and people like that. What a scum-bucket! Hillary would have never done this if we had elected her.

Posted by: brose1969 | January 15, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

I really preferred when there were no leaks and thus far all of the leaks have been counterproductive.

The person who broke the confidence should look in the mirror and ask themselves why they stooped so low as to share something as inconsequential as this.

Posted by: AinBmore | January 15, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

brose1969: if you're so homeless, how do you afford a computer? Just curious.

Posted by: chappell1 | January 15, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

chappell1 stole my thunder! I was going to suggest brose1969 sell his computer and take the money, along with the savings from no longer having internet service, and buy some food if brose1969 is starving. Hillary wouldn't throw a party? Ha!

dahozho - this story was leaked, its not Obama telling it to reporters. The letter to his daughters was requested by Parade magazine to be written, it was intended for an audience.

Posted by: edzeppelin | January 15, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

See this is the REAL meaning of Obama-Nation. This massive spending is the "change" we can expect.
What audacity to have a Gatsbyesque party when people like me are starving, cold and almost homeless. Unemployed goes without saying. And President "change" here is having a five day party for his donors? Let's spend that money and bail out the unemployed who are sick without medical care, and those in debt for student loans they can never payoff due to no jobs, and people like that. What a scum-bucket! Hillary would have never done this if we had elected her.

Posted by: brose1969
---------------------------------------
Oh really...so I'm assuming that you are one of those PUMA people who voted for McCain because Hillary didn't win the nomination. Well did you think McCain would have taken office in a cafeteria with people like you and then offered you the keys to one of his 7 homes least you be homeless. You obviously are not one of those donors contributing to Obama's events, so why does it matter to you how much they are spending and why do you believe they should be giving the money to "people like you" instead. I happen to be one of those donors and I certainly wouldn't want my hard earned money going to bitter "people like you" who believe that if your candidate isn't the winner then everyone else should spend their money supporting "people like you" rather than celebrating the success of our candidate.

Posted by: Beingsensible | January 15, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

While I can somewhat understand the desire to put a smile on people's face during these gloomy times, having a celebration at this time seems in very bad taste. I would say exactly the same thing if McCain had won. At the very least, the expense this year while off-set by the rich and famous, is still more costly than conditions warrant under these circumstances.

Posted by: jkachmar | January 15, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

So amusing that you take time to ridicule posters instead of just commenting on the story, no matter what your opinion is! Hooray America, right?

Homeless (or "almost" homeless) doesn't mean STUPID - These days there is public access to computers in all sorts of places. When was the last time you walked into your public library?

Regardless of whether this person is or isn't homeless or starving - that's not the article.

I realize I'm practicing the same offense by posting to a (or some) poster, but I couldn't help myself. Try kindness people...it works!

Posted by: silvstoo | January 15, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

@ dahozho:

Barack & Michelle are the girls' parents. That means they get to decide what portion of their childrens' private lives is revealed to the public, not the press corps or the papparazzi.

Parenting is not a democracy (as anyone who remembers his/her childhood can attest to).

Posted by: PattyCakePattyCake | January 15, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Most of these balls are benefits, so many groups will receive much money from the proceeds. The Day of Service on Monday will fill food pantries across the country as most events are asking for food because we are all concerned about the unemployed and homeless. And even the homeless can go to serviceusa.org and find a project, and then distribute fliers asking for food donations.

As to Malia and Sasha, at least this President doesn't disparage his daughters about their "whining pool" or refer to their marriage as a "done deal".

Anybody who is complaining about Barack Obama after the buffoonery of George Bush needs to get some serious therapy. Seriously.

Posted by: sandnsea | January 16, 2009 12:15 AM | Report abuse

I'm touched by the way wingnuts are abruptly concerned by the plight of children and the poor. Obama is having a wonderful effect already.

Posted by: nodebris | January 16, 2009 1:14 AM | Report abuse

Please to all americans.
The world is looking at all of you, you have made this opportunity of hope for the world.
You have given this family to be at the White house, they deserve your help, they need your help.
Give them the opportunitie to show what they have in mind.
Probably they are at this very moment with a great responsibility and in the need of warmth to start in such a difficult task please Obama has asked all of you unity.
Please be as heroic as we believe you and thanks for cooperating .
The best way to do this is reyoicing of the day, thas not matter what you will eat today is not the fault of someone who hasnot started yet Viva United States and their people. Violeta

Posted by: viololeta_violetita | January 16, 2009 2:06 AM | Report abuse

URGENT TO JOHN PODESTA: WAKE UP and smell THEIR INTEL...

CANCEL risky "sitting duck" Obama-Biden train excursion

(The cold temps make it unsafe for spectators...)


• What happened to Homeland Security warnings of "heightened risk" during Presidential transition?

• How about the late November FBI warning about possible Northeast train station attacks?

• "Amtrak Joe" Biden's longstanding warnings about security flaws along the Amtrak Northeast corridor -- why isn't he waving this whistle stop tour to a halt?


It is both mystifying and frightening to contemplate the unnecessary risk to which President-elect Barack Obama and Vice-President-elect Joe Biden are subjecting themselves by going through with Saturday's planned pre-inauguration "whistle stop" train ride from Philadelphia to Washington.


In his farewell press conference on Monday, President Bush seemed to go out of his way to twice repeat that the greatest threat the nation faces is another terrorist attack. At one point in his presser, he said that by giving official voice to the threat, he was not "trying to set something up."

Here are President Bush's exact words:


"There is an enemy that still is out there.

"You know, people can maybe try to write that off as, you know, 'he's trying to set something up.'

"I'm telling you there's an enemy that would like to attack America -- Americans -- again. There just is. That's the reality of the world."


George W. Bush could not have been more plain-spoken, candid and direct. The incoming White House team ignores his words -- which he most likely thought about before uttering them -- at their peril.

FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/plea-obama-cancel-risky-reckless-sitting-duck-train-stunt
OR (if link is disabled): http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 16, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

The WaPo is just getting you mentally prepared to witness the dullest, longest and most boring speech in US history. I hear it on good authority that Obama is using one of Fidel Castro's old day long mantras! And typical of demz, use the children as a shield!

Posted by: vgailitis | January 16, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

HMMM.....MAYBE HE'S HOMELESS BECAUSE HE DONATED ALL HIS MONEY TO THE McCAIN CAMPAIGN.
...WHAT A MAVERICK!

Posted by: jigsr | January 16, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Although it seems the major donors are not getting the VIP treatment and will have to wait outside like everyone else, my guess is that the thrill of knowing that they were instrumental in getting our wonderful young President to this moment will keep them warm.

Posted by: ilanbarak | January 16, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

by: vgailitis
"I hear it on good authority that Obama is using one of Fidel Castro's old day long mantras!"

LOL! Which good authority? Limbaugh? Hannity? Colter? et al?

ROFLMFAO!!!!

Posted by: citizenw | January 16, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

by: ilanbarak

"Although it seems the major donors are not getting the VIP treatment and will have to wait outside like everyone else, my guess is that the thrill of knowing that they were instrumental in getting our wonderful young President to this moment will keep them warm."

or, "Let them wear UnderArmor." Unless they gave all their cash to Obama. In which case let them stay home and watch on TV.

Posted by: citizenw | January 16, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Fellow Americans of differing opinions,

The time of cynacism is over. Let us get behind the man we elected to be our leader and be the change we want to see in the world.

Quasi

Posted by: Quasimodo777 | January 16, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

brose1969 - did you notice that the wealthy and privileged donors are still being treated like "ordinary" people? That IS change you can believe in.

And scrivener50 - I have no doubt that the Obama team, unlike the Bush team in 2001, will NOT ignore the outgoing administration's warnings about al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

Posted by: jimallc | January 16, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that the homeless in DC are being swept away into shelters, etc. for the coronation (sorry, inauguration) activities.

The irony is delicious...limousine/Lear Jet liberals don't want to share the streets with the great unwashed.

Not to mention that this is the most expensive coronation in US history, after Obama collected and spent the most money of any candidate ever. And liberals thought only the Republicans were all about money.

Posted by: Darlene_Jr | January 16, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Loving this. Here the President Elect shows himself for who he is and how he uses people and his backers still want to attack the people who are just reporting the facts.

I guess if you like being used, you just go for it and defend your right to be used.

Obama could care less about anyone other than himself and he will be happy to accept all of your money and devotion. Be happy you can stand out in the cold and think warm thoughts!

Posted by: letscheck | January 17, 2009 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Our to be beautiful 45TH President of the United States as of January 20, 2013 Sarah Palin is the best future leader for this nation, not Barack Obama. Our to be beautiful 45TH President as of January 20, 2013 Sarah Palin would be better at leading this nation from January 13, 2013 forward than Barack Obama would . The greatest reason Sarah Palin would be better at leading this nation from January 13, 2013 on would be ideology. Our soon to be Vice President Sarah Palin is conservative in that she is pro life, marriage, guns, low taxes, low government spending, small government, unintrosive government, traditional and Judeo Christian values, Bible reading and prayer in our public schools, and military spending. She is also pro free and private enterprise. Barack Obama is a liberal who is anti everything that I have described that Sarah Palin is pro about or for. Please vote for Sarah Palin over Barack Obama on November 6 2012 and give Sarah Palin the opportunity that she deserves and that being our 45th President from January 13, 2013 to January 20, 2021. From January 20 2013 to January 20 2021 or 45th President Sarah Palin will be the greatest President that we have ever had since President Ronald Reagan, and co-equally with President Ronald Reagan , our 45th President Sarah Palin will be the greatest we have ever had.

Thank You

John Warren

Posted by: johntheman07 | January 18, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm so happy that what these people think doesn't matter in the least. Let the party begin! P.S. I love the Obama girls!

Posted by: imgeorg | January 18, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

I did not vote for Obama-I wrote in Ron Paul's name.I am a totally disabled veteran.I am a true conservative in the Reagan mode.I am the least "liberal" man on the planet.The only reason I've given that information is to say this: Bush should be hauled up on war crime charges.Also for profiteering."Let's move on to the future" is not cutting it. There are 4000 US soldiers and countless innocent Iraqi women and children that will never have the chance to "move on".And don't give me that "war is hell" crap or that nonsense about Bush keeping us safe.This is not a war.This is the rape of a country(Iraq)that never did us any harm all for the benefit of Cheney's company,Halliburton and other large corporations.This is exactly what Eisenhower warned us about in his farewell speech-"The Military/Industrial complex".I know there are people at the Washington Post who remember that speech.Another reason Bush should be put on trial is to give notice to future presidents that they cannot wipe their butts on our Constitution.I expect a lot of complaints and disagreements over this post and that's fine.That's what I spent 6 years active in the service to protect.Your right to say whatever you want to.But everything I have said is true

Posted by: smithstar4 | January 20, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

WELL SAID SMITHSTAR4

THANK YOU!

Posted by: JerseyCynic | January 22, 2009 5:32 AM | Report abuse

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