Obamas Treat Lawmakers to White House Luau

Gibbs, Emanuel dunked as guests sip Mai Tais

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 26, 2009 1:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – America's first Hawaiian-born president gave the annual congressional picnic yesterday a decidedly Pacific flavor, the AP reports. Tiki torches lined the White House grounds as lawmakers and their families sipped drinks under potted palm trees. "I wish I could give you all trips to Hawaii," the president said. "But I figured since, given our budget crunch we can't do that, that we'd bring Hawaii to you."

Hula dancers and fire blowers entertained the crowd, but the biggest hit was the dunking booth. Reporters had the chance to dunk White House press secretary Robert Gibbs before they were shooed away at the start of the picnic. Sasha Obama managed to dunk dad's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, with a powerful pitch.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is dunked on the South Lawn of the White House by a member of the White House press corps.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama host a luau on the South Lawn of the White House for members of Congress and their families, Thursday, June 25, 2009, in Washington. Joining the Obamas...   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
President Barack Obama walks with daughter Sasha as he hosts a luau on the South Lawn of the White House for members of Congress and their families.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs waits to be dunked on the South Lawn of the White House by a member of the White House press corps.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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