Barack Obama celebrates first White House birthday with press corps - PHOTO

Barack Obama celebrates first White House birthday with press corps - <font color=red>PHOTO</font>
# 06 August 2009 08:53 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. President Barack Obama, born 48 years ago Tuesday in Honolulu, celebrated his first birthday in the White House with a family breakfast in the private residence, a birthday song at lunch sung by senators in the State Dining Room and a song of his own for the dean of the White House press corps: columnist and veteran news service correspondent Helen Thomas, who turned 89.

On Tuesday afternoon, the president walked into the press briefing room in the West Wing carrying a plate filled with cupcakes, one with a lighted candle atop it. Obama was singing "Happy Birthday" as he walked.

"Happy birthday to you," some called to the cupcake-toting president.

But Obama, proving that a president can turn the celebratory table when he wants to, was focused on Thomas, who has covered every president since John F. Kennedy and was the first female bureau chief for a wire service.

Presenting the plate, Obama told her: "You’ve got to blow it out to make it come true." The president sat down next to Thomas and placed his arm around her as reporters behind him asked what wish he was making.

"Helen wished for world peace, no prejudice, but she and I also had a common birthday wish," Obama said. "She said she wishes for a health-care reform bill."

Much of the president’s birthday was a more private affair.

Helen Thomas is a Lebanese-American news service reporter, a Hearst Newspapers columnist, member of the White House Press Corps and author.

On February 9, 2009 Thomas was present in the front row for newly elected President Obama’s news conference regarding the federal bailout bill. President Obama called on her with the statement "Helen. I’m excited, this is my inaugural moment."
This was seemingly a reference to her long-term presence in the White House Press Corps.Thomas asked the new president if any Middle Eastern country possessed nuclear weapons. This was an obvious reference to Israel’s speculated nuclear weapons arsenal, which both the Israeli and the U.S. governments have refused to acknowledge. Continuing this policy, Obama replied that he didn’t want to "speculate" on the matter. Source: Chicago Tribune, Wikipedia.

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