Begin forwarded message:
From: "Jackson, David M" >
Date: July 4, 2016 at 8:25:24 PM EDT
To: "Gabriel, Brian A. EOP/WHO" >
Subject: Pool Report 1
Pool Report 1
July 4, 2016
Fourth of July celebration moved to the East Room
President Obama paid tribute Monday to American independence, the sacrifices of the military -- and to his daughter Malia, leading the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" as she turned 18.
Pool entered the East Room at 7:51 p.m., just as the musicians were wrapping up on the stage at the south end of the space. The room was wall-to-wall crowded; as the White House announced earlier, rain forced the South Lawn event indoors to the East Room.
Obama took the stage at 7:57 for brief remarks on the meaning of the holiday.
"The Fourth of July is about family," he said. "It's about the American family."
Obama said he had hoped to have 5,000 guests on the South Lawn for the concert and picnic, but the weather didn't cooperate.
He saluted the "incredible job" the U.S. military does every day, and paid special tribute to those who are overseas on this holiday.
"It's important to remember what a miracle this country is," Obama said.
While Americans enjoy "the hot dogs" and the "day off" that July 4 provides, the president said all of us should remember and maintain the spirit of Independence Day.
"It's something that we have to fight for every single day," Obama said, something that has to be nurtured.
Americans should use the day to re-commit themselves to improving the nation, Obama said, whether it involves feeding the hungry, helping the unemployed, or educating children.
President Obama also thanked Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monae for their performances, calling them "amazing artists" who also understand their responsibilities and obligations as citizens.
The president finished by exercising the parental prerogative of "embarrassing" his daughter in public -- he led the crowd in a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" to Malia, who turned 18 on Monday.
Obama left the stage and the pool exited the room at 8:02 p.m.
A lid was called at 8:11 p.m.
Also: Kudos to Jeff Mason and the WHCA for pressing to have this event opened to the entire pool.
Happy Fourth, y'all.