Tuesday, December 03, 2013

President Obama Delivers A Birthday Cake

West Wing cake walk
Chief of Staff Denis McDonough gets the sweet treatment from the Cakemander in Chief...
Washington, DC - President Barack Obama on Monday took a break from running the country to celebrate the 44th birthday of his right-hand man, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.  

Accompanied by McDonough's gift-toting daughter, the President was clad in his shirtsleeves as he surprised McDonough with the candle-lit cake in his West Wing office, according to the White House photo of the delivery mission, released on Twitter on Monday.

McDonough's cake
The President presented McDonough with a white-frosted cake decorated with fresh berries and seven neon candles.  Offering birthday cakes and cupcakes to world leaders, aides, and even members of the press corps is something of a signature move for the Cakemander in Chief.

While McDonough got a birthday cake, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett got a 57th birthday dinner last month, with the President joining her at DC's Restaurant Nora for a four-plus hour party.

Meeting in the Oval on the day McDonough was appointed CoS
Born in Stillwater, Minnesota on Dec. 2, 1969, McDonough is a foreign policy expert, and has served since the President's first term in various National Security capacities.  President Obama appointed him his fifth Chief of Staff on Jan. 25, 2013. Among other issues, McDonough is currently embroiled in mopping up the botched roll-out of healthcare.gov.  

In a profile last week The New York Times described McDonough as "a fanatically fit, workaholic hard charger who sometimes left bruised feelings across the administration in Mr. Obama’s first term...who has become a much-praised right-hand man in Mr. Obama’s troubled second term."

The McDonough cake photo was Photo of the Day on the White House blog.  Chief Photographer Pete Souza has created a whole mini-genre of images devoted to capturing the President's cake presentations, whether aboard Air Force One for a Senator hitching a ride or at Camp David, offering a cake to a visiting world leader.

*Photos by Pete Souza/White House