Sunday, February 05, 2012

For President Obama, A Quiet Super Bowl Sunday

No viewing party this year; President watched with First Family at the White House...
President Obama didn't host a big Super Bowl viewing party on Sunday at the White House, in contrast to previous years when he was joined by a bipartisan crowd of Washingtonians, close friends, and celebs. Instead, the President watched the Giants beat the Patriots with First Lady Obama and his daughters, in what an aide described as "a family affair." Though he'd remained neutral on which team he was rooting for, the Football Fan in Chief publicly lamented that his hometown team wasn't on the field. (Above: The First Family snacked on nachos while watching a World Cup match)

"Looking forward to catching some of the big game tonight. Wish the Bears weren’t watching it from home, too. -bo," the President tweeted on @BarackObama.

A White House aide declined to specify if friends or family joined the Obamas, saying simply that the First Family watched "together in their home."

The President's interview with Today show host Matt Lauer aired during the pre-game show on NBC, the network that televised the Super Bowl. Mr. Obama's re-election operation, Obama for America, used the Super Bowl to fund raise, offering the Obama Family Chili Recipe and the opportunity for donors to spend $15 for "The Big Game Pack," a "limited edition" combo of the campaign-logo'd Joe Biden Can Holder and Coaster Set.

In 2011, the President hosted a Super Bowl party for about 200 guests, including Cabinet Secretaries, Members of Congress, Jennifer Lopez and her then-husband Marc Anthony. The party marked the debut of the history-making White House Homebrewed Beer. The Super Bowl menu included Cheeseburgers, Deep Dish Pizza, Buffalo Wings, a number of potato dishes, Bratwurst and Kielbasa. (At left, a bottle of the White House Honey Ale that was served at last year's party, made with about a pound of honey from the White House beehive)

The menu caused plenty of headlines, with critics calling it as unhealthy in light of Mrs. Obama's Let's Move! campaign.

"I don't even know what you have other than some hot dogs and some burgers for a Super Bowl party. That's what the Super Bowl is," Mrs. Obama said when defending the choices.

The First Lady embarks on a three-day tour later this week to celebrate the second anniversary of the Let's Move! campaign.

*Photos by Pete Souza/White House. At top, the First Family watched the World Cup soccer game between the U.S. and Japan, from the Treaty Room office in the residence of the White House, Sunday, July 17, 2011.