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.”