Tuesday, March 20, 2012

President Obama: We Like To Prolong The Party

Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny visits the White House for President's second St. Patrick's celebration...
President Obama had sprigs of shamrock stuffed into the breast pocket of his blue suit this morning as he welcomed Taoiseach Enda Kenny of Ireland to the White House for the start of a belated day-long celebration of St. Patrick's day. Kenny also (sham)rocked the look. (Above: In the Oval Office)

"Technically, it's not St. Patrick's Day," the President admitted. "We like to prolong the party around here."

Besides, the President added, most Americans who celebrate the holiday aren't even Irish. On Saturday, the President celebrated with hundreds of Irish-for-a-Day locals when he quaffed a pint of Guinness at DC's favorite Irish pub, The Dubliner. He was joined by his Irish cousin Henry Healy, and publican Ollie Hayes, who hosted him last May during his visit to his ancestral village of Moneygall, Ireland.

Following a bilateral meeting, the President and Prime Minister Kenny made brief remarks, with Mr. Obama hailing "the deep bonds that exist" between the two countries. He mentioned the ongoing work to stabilize Ireland's banking system, and touched on Ireland's role in global affairs.

"Ireland punches above its weight internationally," President Obama said.

Kenny, who is on a six-day visit to the US, said he has been impressed with the "outpouring of enthusiasm" he saw during his visits to Chicago and New York. He said that he and the President talked about Syria and Iran, among other topics, during a private conversation in the Oval Office, but did not elaborate, according to pool.

The President and Prime Minister left the White House grounds at 11:56 AM en route to the U.S. Capitol, where they will be having the annual St. Patrick's Day luncheon with House Speaker John Boehner and Members of Congress.

This evening, the President and First Lady Obama will host a St. Patrick's Day Reception at the White House in the East Room, for Kenney and his wife, the Irish Delegation, and hundreds of invited guests.