Monday, April 09, 2012

President Obama, First Lady On A Roll At The 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll

Frolicking on the South Lawn with 35,000 guests...
President Obama and First Lady Obama made their way through their crowded backyard on Monday, joining the thousands of guests invited to the 134th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. The President, due to meet with Brazil's President Dilma Rouseff later in the morning, seemed only to have fun on his mind as he visited the Easter Egg Rolling race course with Mrs. Obama at 11:00 AM, watching as lines of kids tried to roll hard-boiled, brightly dyed Easter eggs up a grassy track. 14,500 eggs would be rolled before the day was through, the White House said. (Above: The President on the Egg Rolling course)

The President was clad casually in a blue button-down, his shirtsleeves rolled up, and khakis. Mrs. Obama took her fashion cue from the food of the day: She wore a bright yellow cardigan, a bright red camisole, bright purple pants, and blue ballet flats, her hair rolled in a bun. the theme of the day, pegged to the First Lady's childhood obesity campaign, “Let’s Go, Let’s Play, Let’s Move!,” was designed to encourage fitness, healthy eating, and of course, gardening. The event, the largest on the social calendar, was the biggest and longest in White House history, beginning at 7:20 AM and lasting until 6:30 PM, with more than 35,000 guests.

The President and Mrs. Obama greeted thrilled guests along the Egg Roll course, shaking hands and posing for photos. After the Egg Rolling, both read books to a gang of excited kids in the Storytime Garden, joined by all three of their children: Daughters Malia and Sasha, and First Dog Bo, whom Mrs. Obama has called "my son." (Above: The President responds to some Egg Rollers on the race course)

The girls gave a reading on their own, and Bo joined too, howling along as the President read from Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, one of his favorite books.

At the White House basketball court, the President shot hoops and did pushups, surrounded by stars of the Harlem Globetrotters. Not to be outdone by the First Lady, who recently did pushups on national television, the President dropped to the court and did a series of push ups. He also got in a little tennis, joined by kids and some legends: Womens' pro champions Chris Evert and Chanda Rubin. USTA has long been a supporter of Mrs. Obama's campaign. (Above: The President shooting hoops)

DOWNLOAD the 2012 White House Easter Egg Roll Program by clicking here; it describes the events and stations on the South Lawn [PDF]. CLICK HERE for all posts about the Roll. (Above: The President does pushups on the basketball court)

The sporty pool report:

The WH basketball court has been divided, half for tennis with foam balls and the other half for hoops.

The president, of course, went for basketball first.

Four players on the court are wearing mostly red Harlem Globetrotters sweats while a few others are in black and navy. Some of the balls they're playing with are red, white and blue with a presidential portrait (pooler has a photo). The list of players is in some of the materials the WH sent out.

Kids on the court practiced with some shooting and stretches until the president arrived at 11:13 after visiting a storytelling station (another pool is there).

The president hugged and shook hands with the pro players.

They're playing "Shoot for Strength," where each shot a pro or the president makes means a pushup for the kids. The president got down on the ground and did some too.

"Somebody saw me cheating on my push ups," the president joked in the direction of the pool. At one point, Pete Souza got hit by a ball after it missed the basket.

The president was game for pushups until near the end of the game when he said he was done. He was 0 for 3 shots hit early on.

The players gave him a black t-shirt with a line drawing of Bowen 12 jersey, for the retired Spurs star.

He also signed one of the red, white and blue basketballs and posed for photos with the pros, including one with the Globetrotters spinning their balls.

At 11:25, the president moved onto tennis and is playing doubles with a little girl, matched up against Chris Evert and a little boy. Chanda Rubin was playing on the adjoining court.

After playing for a few minutes, the President shook hands with a giant tennis ball.

"Four more years" one woman said as he exited. "With your help," he responded.

Determined to make a shot before leaving the court, the president took five more before sinking one from the three-point line. (For those counting -- and it seemed that the president was -- he missed seven shots before making one.)

At 11:30, POTUS was gone.

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*Egg Rolling photos by Pete Souza/White house; pushup photo tweeted by @UTAustinLiberal

*Pool was Jennifer Epstein of Politico.