Saturday, June 16, 2012

President Obama And First Family Attend Jarrett Wedding In Chicago

First Family makes rare visit to Windy City for Father's Day weekend...
President Obama and his wife and daughters are in Chicago this weekend for their first visit as a family to their home in the Kenwood neighborhood in more than two years. After a quiet day spent at home on Saturday, the First Family walked to the nearby home of the President's Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, to attend the wedding of her daughter Laura Jarrett, held under a big white tent in the backyard. (Above: The President and First Grandmother Marian Robinson during their stroll)

The First Family made the trip at a little after 6:00 Central time, walking down South Greenwood Avenue on a balmy night with a major security presence monitoring the action.

"Tonight the First Family is attending the wedding of Laura Jarrett," a White House official said, but gave no further details because it was a private event.

Laura Jarrett exchanged vows with fellow Harvard graduate Tony Balkissoon; both bride and bridegroom are lawyers (their gift registry happens to be online). The President wore a tan suit and a light-colored tie, while First Lady Michelle Obama wore a dress with a sparkling silver tank top and a cream colored pleated skirt. She held hands with daughter Malia, who wore a yellow sundress. Daughter Sasha was in a green sundress, while First Grandma Marian Robinson wore a black and white patterned short-sleeved dress. Media was held well back. (Above: Mrs. Obama with Malia and the President)

Notable wedding guests spotted arriving included Attorney General Eric Holder, Clinton Administration adviser and civil right activist Vernon Jordan--who has joined the Obamas for dinner during their summer vacations on Martha's Vineyard--and John Rogers, Jr. He is an Obama campaign bundler and CEO of Ariel Investments. Rogers' ex-wife is the President and Mrs. Obama's former White House Social Secretary, Desiree Rogers. She was left off the guest list, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report. John Rogers played on the Princeton basketball team with the First Lady's brother, Craig Robinson.

Valerie Jarrett, 55, was formerly a Chicago lawyer and deputy chief of staff for former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, and is a longtime personal friend of the Obamas. The neighborhood was under tight security for the event, with law enforcement officials setting up a perimeter. Guests arriving at the Jarrett home were screened by Secret Service, and there were security sweeps of automobiles.

President Obama and Mrs. Obama returned to Chicago for the NATO summit in May, but did not visit their Kenwood home. Earlier in June, the President was in Chicago for a fundraising trip, during which he spent a rare night in his own house.

The First Family flew to Chicago on Friday evening, immediately after President Obama hosted a reception for LGBT Pride Month at the White House. (Above: Guests are screened outside the wedding)

Shortly after arriving in the Windy City, the President and Mrs. Obama walked a few blocks to the home of businessman and longtime friend Martin Nesbitt, who served as treasurer of Mr. Obama's 2008 campaign. After a five-hour visit, the President and Mrs. Obama returned to their Kenwood home after midnight.

On Sunday, the President will depart Chicago for Los Cabos, Mexico, heading to the the G20 Summit. Mrs. Obama heads west for fundraising events.

UPDATE: The President and First Lady returned from the wedding after midnight, according to the White House.

*Pool photos