From: Alexis Simendinger [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, June 01, 2015 4:06 PM
To: Allen, Jessica
Cc: Barnes, Desiree N.
Subject: POOL Report #2 -- East Room color & Travel/Photo lid
POOL Report #2 — East Room, Young Southeast Asian Leaders fellows — “town hall”
June 1, 2015
The East Room event was OPEN PRESS. Some color that might not have been visible/audible in coverage….
Event began at 2:22 p.m. President Obama exited the room at 3:25 p.m.
Demonstrating his abilities to select questioners based simply on their raised hands (ahem), Obama called on nine young people seated in front of him, alternating male and female. Each of his answers took him 4 to 5 minutes to complete, as you heard. Several times he used his hands to help make his points, offered amused facial expressions, sipped on something from a white, covered paper cup, and at one point, buying some time to formulate an answer, rubbed the inside corner of his right eye, which made his guests laugh because they knew he was thinking rather than clearing something from his vision. He read his prepared remarks at the start from teleprompter screens.
The East Room was set up with about 165 chairs and almost all were filled. The young fellows filled the center of the room, and guests sat to the president’s right and left, including ambassadors from ASEAN countries in the front row on the right.
To Obama's left in the front row sat some administration officials, including Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.
The president shook hands with the ambassadors, and with as many of the young fellows as he could reach, with the White House photographer capturing the handshakes. He seemed relaxed and unhurried.
“Thank you,” the president told each of his guests with a smile. To the young female fellow quoted during his opening remarks, Obama said, “beautiful words. You’re a good writer.” To a row of female fellows seated in the back row, one of whom had her camera affixed to a selfie stick, the president laughed, “no selfies!” He shook their hands.
ALSO NOTE: 3:56 pm Travel/ Photo Lid called.
White House Correspondent