White House officials offered no details about the Rose Garden barbecue and birthday party thrown for President Obama last night. No menu, no guest list, the event did not appear on his official schedule.
Ann Compton reports that the Obama family paid for the celebration out of its own pocket.
Their silence might be so as to not create the impression that the president was celebrating just hours after the Dow Jones fell 500 points. Politicians hate to be portrayed as fiddling while Rome burns, Nero-style.
“Just left the Presidents birthday party at the White House. Herbie Hancock played, Stevie Wonder sang and yes they did the electric slide. A great night,” comedian Chris Rock tweeted.
Rock joined other celebrities such as Tom Hanks, Jay-Z, Charles Barkley, Steve Harvey and Grant Hill, as well as the Rev. Al Sharpton, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelsoi, D-Calif., Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, White House chief of staff Bill Daley, senior adviser David Plouffe, political advisers David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and more.
The menu included barbecue chicken, ribs, hamburgers and hot dogs, pasta and salad. The president loves pie, so last night he had a choice of apple, cherry, huckleberry and/or peach.
After the First Lady and daughters Sasha and Malia gave the president a cake, the festivities moved into the East Room where Hancock and Stevie Wonder performed, and a DJ spun tunes.
This was at least the 4th celebration of the president turning 50. In addition to the Rose Garden barbecue, his reelection campaign threw both small and large parties/fundraisers for the president in Chicago on the eve of his birthday, aides feted him in the Blue Room at noon on his birthday.