From: Nelson, Colleen [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, November 21, 2015 11:49 AM
To: Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO
Subject: Travel Pool Report #4b -- a little more color
Co-pooler Mike Memoli sends along some additional color from Obama's interactions with the children. Please note that the White House says this center serves low-income families, including refugees. But we have not yet received confirmation on how many -- if any -- of the kids we saw were refugees.
“You’re fine," Obama told one girl. "That’s good What are you working on today? Doing some drawing? Some math?”
Moving on to another girl seated nearby, just before the bank of cameras. “How are you?”
“Let me go say hi. What’s your name? Are you learning English? Yes?”
He asks: How old are you? [She says seven, holding up five fingers on one hand and two on the other.]
“Your English is so good.”
“What’s your favorite subject?”
Moves over to crouch next to a girl in a headscarf painting by herself at a table, who says her name is Anna. “You know my mom’s name was Anne,” he tells her.
“What are you painting? A car and a building?”
Again asks age: “How old are you?” When she doesn’t answer he guesses: “7? 8?” She says 9. “Nine years old,” he repeats. “It’s very nice to meet you. You are an excellent painter.”
“What’s your favorite subject You want to be an artist?”
He points out she has some yellow paint on her hand. “If you’re an artist it’s OK. You get a little messy sometimes.”
The pool is still holding during Obama's tour.
Colleen McCain Nelson
The Wall Street Journal