FW: Pool report #2, March 17, 2015

From: Davis, Julie [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2015 2:10 PM
To: Velz, Peter
Subject: Pool report #2, March 17, 2015

Pool Report #2, March 17, 2015

Obama attends “Friends of Ireland” St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon in the Capitol

No news, lots of hand-clapping.

At 1:14 p.m., your pool was escorted into the Rayburn Room of the U.S. Capitol, where President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and several top American officials and lawmakers were seated at round tables finishing the last of their lunch and listening to a performance by a four-piece band called Derek Warfield & The Young Wolfe Tones.

Obama was seated in front close to House Speaker John Boehner, both of their chairs turned so they were facing the entertainment. The others seated at the table, according to the White House, were:

Mrs. Fionnula Kenny

Taoiseach Enda Kenny (would have been seated to Boehner’s left, while Obama would have been on his right, from your pool’s vantage point)

Lady Susie Westmacott

The Honorable Kevin O'Malley

Dr. Frank Lowe

The Honorable Peter King

Ambassador Anne Anderson

Ambassador Peter Westmacott

The band, consisting of what looked like a guitar, a banjo, a small guitar/ukulele-looking instrument and a flute-like one, performed two songs, and during the second, had the whole room, including the president, clapping their hands in time. Democratic Congressman Joe Crowley of New York was mouthing the lyrics to one of the ditties. Others spotted in the crowd included Denis McDonough, the White House chief of staff, and the following members of Congress: Senators Pat Leahy and Roy Blunt, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, Congressmen Jim McGovern, Bob Goodlatte, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Patrick Henry, Eliot Engel, Kevin Brady and Greg Walden.

According to a menu card obtained by your pool, lunch consisted of mesclun salad with fallen goat cheese soufflé and a balsamic vinaigrette; Dover Sole meuniere with steamed spinach and saffron turned potatoes; and a salted caramel pie with graham cracker crust and vanilla bean ice cream for dessert. Also spotted on the tables: shamrock-shaped cookies with bright green icing.

The pool was escorted out at 1:20 and took our position at the bottom of the steps at the east front of the Capitol under grey skies. At 1:29 p.m., the kilt-wearing bagpiper referenced in Pool Report #1a, who was wearing a tall, feathery hat, emerged playing the bagpipe as white-gloved police officers lining the steps slowly saluted. President Obama emerged flanked on his left by Kenny, and on his right by Boehner, with Congressman Peter King to Boehner’s right. Boehner and King were in on the green tie trend. Obama wore a broad smile as they descended the steps together. The president and Boehner appeared to be chatting amiably. At the bottom of the steps, Obama shook hands with Kenny, then King, and lastly Boehner, who he also patted heartily on the arm before entering his limousine and pulling away at 1:32 p.m.

Also spotted in Obama’s entourage: Katie Beirne Fallon, his legislative liaison, and Marvin Nicholson.

After a 7-minute motorcade, we arrived back at the White House and your pool saw Obama and Biden strolling together toward the Oval Office.

We have a lunch lid until 3:00 p.m.


Julie Hirschfeld Davis

White House Correspondent

The New York Times


(202) xxx-xxx-xxxx mobile

(202) xxx-xxx-xxxx direct

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