Entries in St. Patrick's Day (5)


White House Fountain Dyed Green for St. Patrick’s Day

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In honor of St. Patrick’s Day Sunday, the White House dyed the fountain on the South Lawn green to celebrate.

President Obama spent most of St. Patrick’s Day at the White House, but went out Saturday afternoon to play basketball with his 11-year-old daughter Sasha at the Department of Interior.

While his weekend was quiet, the president will continue his St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Tuesday, first attending the traditional St. Patrick’s Day lunch at the Capitol.  In the evening, the president and first lady will host Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny for a St. Patrick’s Day reception at the White House.  The president and Kenny will participate in the annual Shamrock ceremony, a tradition that dates back to the presidency of Harry Truman.

Last year, Obama popped into the Dubliner, a pub on Capitol Hill, for a Guinness and a toast with the crowd.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Obama Jokes About Birth Certificate at St. Patrick’s Day Reception

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama embraced his Irish roots at a White House St. Patrick’s Day reception Tuesday night, taking a stab at the “birthers” who continue to question his heritage.

Visiting Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny presented the president with an official certificate of Irish heritage noting, “These are very rare.  As rare as the man himself.”

The president thanked the prime minister for the gift and, without missing a beat, added, “This will have a special place of honor alongside my birth certificate,” drawing a big laugh from the crowd.

Obama’s quip about his much-scrutinized birth certificate came after he and Kenny delivered toasts reaffirming their close relationship at the extended St. Patty’s day celebration.

The president also recounted his trip to Ireland last May, when he visited his ancestral town of Moneygall.  Obama’s great-great-great-great grandfather emigrated from the small town during the height of the potato famine in Ireland.

“We are all proud peoples who share more than sprawling family trees.  We are peoples who share an unshakeable faith, an unbending commitment to our fellow man, and a resilient and audacious hope,” Obama said.  “That’s why I say of Ireland tonight what I said in Dublin last May, this little country that inspires the biggest things -- its best days are still ahead.”

Maryland’s Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley and his Celtic rock band O’Malley’s March provided the entertainment for Tuesday night’s celebration.

The president thanked O’Malley for “rocking the White House for the evening.”

“It’s said that the curse of the Irish, as the governor must know, is not that they don’t know the words to a song -- it’s that they know them all,” Obama said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


On St. Patrick’s Day, Beer Is Bipartisan

Hemera/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- President Barack Obama and Rick Santorum have at least one thing they can agree on: Both men chose a stout Guinness to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

The president drew his beer at a local pub in Washington, wading his way through hundreds of green-clad revelers. Meanwhile, Santorum drank his with traditional corned beef at a Missouri Irish restaurant.

The imagery of the events could remind voters of a question that seems to pop up in every election: Which candidate would Americans rather share a drink with?

The concept could seem oversimplified but it entertains a larger issue of character in politics. Voters want a candidate who is at both times pragmatic and likable, and, in a broader dialogue, the beer test examines talking points campaigns frequently disperse. Is a candidate “in-touch” with the electorate? Can they relate to problems facing Americans every day?

Obviously, the test isn’t set in stone. Mitt Romney didn’t imbibe anything alcoholic Saturday, as it would have conflicted with his Mormon faith. Likewise former President George W. Bush gave up drinking long before his candidacy, but that didn’t stop him from far surpassing his rivals in polls of his personality.

So ABC News asks: This election, who would you share a pint with?

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


An Extended St. Patrick’s Day for Obama

Joshua Roberts/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The White House’s water fountains have been dyed green today to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day but for President Obama the holiday will extend another couple of days.

The president and first lady will host Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Tuesday, culminating in a St. Patrick’s Day dinner at the White House that evening. Earlier in the day House Speaker John Boehner will host the two leaders at his annual Friends of Ireland luncheon on Capitol Hill.

Also on Tuesday the president and Vice President Biden will meet with First Minister Peter Robinson of Northern Ireland.

A statement from the White House says Obama is looking forward to “reciprocating the warm hospitality the Irish people extended to the President and Mrs. Obama during their visit to the Emerald Isle in May 2011.”

Prime Minister Kenny’s visit contributes to an ongoing tradition of Irish leaders visiting the White House around the holiday. When Kenny visited last year, the president said the shared heritage of the two countries created ties that were difficult to match.

“We, obviously, have the strongest possible relationship with Ireland,” he said. “The warmth, the affection, the familial and person-to-person contacts between our two countries extend far beyond any dry policy issues. There is just an incredible bond between our two countries.”

President Obama shares a family relationship with Ireland. Last May he visited the small town of Moneygall in County Offaly, where his maternal great-great-great grandfather emigrated from during the height of the country’s potato famine.

In the meantime President Obama celebrated the day’s festivities with an afternoon stop at a Washington pub, the Dubliner. With the US Capitol building dominating the local skyline, the president ordered a Guinness and shared a toast with the lively, green-decked crowd. He brought two companions from his Moneygall trip: Ollie Hayes, owner of the town public house and Henry Healy, the president’s distant cousin.

Obama wore a pin that read “VIP Guest – Tell ‘em Danny sent you.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


O’Bama? President to Seek Out Irish Roots in Ireland Trip

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Wearing a dark suit with a green tie and shamrocks posing as a pocket square, President Obama announced from the Oval Office this St. Patrick’s Day that he will visit Ireland in May where he hopes to trace his roots.

The president did not specify the exact date of his trip, but said he will visit landmarks in the country and his great ancestor’s homeland.

"I intend to come to Ireland in May," the president told Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who was in the Oval with Obama for a meeting. "I'm expecting to, go not only to all the famous sites, but also to go to Moneygall, where my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather hails from."

In March 2008, then a candidate for president, Obama told an Irish women's dinner in Scranton, Pa., that he could relate to Irish Americans struggles because he himself has Irish blood.

"I have Irish heritage. I’m not talking about my cousin Dick Cheney," Obama joked, a reference to another discovery about his heritage: that he and the former vice president are distant relatives.

"I actually have a great grandfather who came from Ireland and settled nearby in Ohio."

In 2007, the Chicago Sun-Times published a report exploring the family tree of then-Senator Obama and this is how Obama discovered his connection to Moneygall.

Obama was welcoming Kenny to the White House for St. Patrick’s Day. The White House visit was just one of many special events Obama is taking part in on St. Patrick’s Day. Along with Vice President Biden, Obama attended a lunch at the Capitol. Tonight, Obama and the first lady will be hosting a St. Patrick’s Day reception at the White house.

In remarks to reporters, President Obama said he had an excellent conversation with Prime Minister Kenny about how Ireland’s economy is bouncing back. Obama said there’s an incredible bond between the United States and Ireland.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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