From: Matt Viser [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 07:02 PM
To: Velz, Peter; Allen, Jessica
Subject: In-town pool report #6 / congressional picnic and lid
In brief remarks, POTUS welcomed members of congress and their guests to the South Lawn for the Congressional Picnic, under overcast skies that were threatening to sprinkle, if not downpour, at any moment.
“You know, usually it’s broiling hot when we have our congressional picnic,” POTUS said at the start of his 4-minute remarks. “So this is one of those days where we welcome a little cloud cover.”
He said he would keep his remarks short, so that he could talk with folks.
“I want to warn in advance, I can’t do a selfie with everybody,” he said.
“How about a kiss?” someone in the crowd shouted.
“A kiss, I can give you,” POTUS responded.
“My main message, as is always..is just to say thank you,” he continued. “America faces extraordinary challenges.”
He ticked off a series of things — including terrorism and climate change — and said he had confidence they could be solved.
“We’ve got a democracy that, as frustrating and messy as it can be sometimes, still represents the best hope for freedom and prosperity for any society,” he said. “We are the longest continuous democracy on Earth. We have set the model and the tone for people around the world who aspire to the values that we cherish so dearly.”
“Obviously democracy can be contentious,” he continued. “There are times when people have deep, principled disagreements. But I hope that events like today remind us that ultimately we’re all on the same team. And that’s the American team.”
He thanked families (who face “enormous burdens”) and staffers (“you make us look good. And you have all the sacrifices, but you don’t always get the attention”)
"So I want everybody to have fun. Eat up!” he said, before having one last thought.
“I do want to also say how wildly impressed i was at the quality of baseball when I went out to Nats stadium the other day. You guys actually looked like you knew what you were doing. Flake, I saw you man, at bat. You were alright.”
He left the stage, and began shaking hands as the pool was escorted out at 6:40 p.m.
We don’t have a full list of attendees, but beforehand House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was spotted eating a burger. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was with her husband and kids, getting some ice cream. So was Representative Jason Chaffetz. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was engaged in conversation with Senator Dick Durbin.
There were tables spread around the South Lawn, with red, white, or blue tablecloths. Stations were set up surrounding the perimeter, where attendees could go get something to eat. The foods: Burgers (with or without cheese, and veggie) and handcut fries; nachos; chicken; and ice cream, and cookies.
Somewhere between the Capitol and the White House, everyone lost their ties. Most members kept their jackets with pin on. Kids were kicking beachballs.
The pro trade Democrats, who had gone into the White House more than an hour earlier, came out around 6:15 p.m.
The Marine Band played from a stage, which had a large US flag as the backdrop. Among the selections:“Stand by Me,” and “In the midnight hour.”
Just after the pool was escorted out, a travel photo lid was called at 6:44 p.m.
The Boston Globe, Washington bureau
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