In DC, the Obamas Are Everywhere

Calculated or not, first couple makes its mark on city
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 26, 2009 8:03 AM CDT
Ted Kennedy, right, laughs with first lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, and Vice-President Joe Biden during a musical birthday salute to Kennedy at the Kennedy Center March 8.   (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)
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(Newser) – The Obamas aren’t confining themselves to their ivory tower: They’re showing up everywhere in an economically divided Washington, from the Kennedy Center to a chili joint, the New York Times reports. Barack Obama is connecting to the capital more than any other modern president, says historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, though whether it’s a political move or just the first couple’s natural inclination remains to be seen.

“They want their lives not to be confined solely to the White House but rather to become a part of the urban, vibrant fabric of DC,” said Obama friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett. But at the same time, “let’s face it: It’s very good for getting re-elected,” said Letitia Baldrige, Jacqueline Kennedy’s White House social secretary. “It’s a great bank of good will in which they’re making deposits every day.”