Just in time for Christmas, students at Long Branch Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia, were treated to a visit by the most famous Santa Claus of all, Barack Obama. In addition to living his life to hand out goodies to entitlement-minded kiddies, Barack is also a skilled teleprompter aficionado aptly equipped to demonstrate to children the fine art of reading.
When out spreading good cheer, Obama is famous for referencing himself. Why, just last week the President congratulated the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Chinese dissident and prisoner Liu Xiaobo, by reminiscing about the Michelle and Barry 2009 Extravagant Oslo Experience. Thus, with thousands of children’s books to read it’s not surprising Barack chose one that he himself authored.
For the book reading, America’s impassive President sat on a “wooden chair as the children sat cross-legged on the carpet,” giving credence to the affectionate label “rug rats.” In keeping with the holiday spirit, Obama selected “‘Of Thee I Sing,’ an illustrated volume in the form of a letter to his daughters describing the lives of 13 great Americans.”
Leaving space for himself in the ever-growing “one of” group, Obama commented on Albert Einstein, saying “He was one of the smartest men ever.” The President avoided mentioning overhand throws and affinity for mom jeans when talking about Jackie Robinson: “the first African-American to play in major league baseball.”
Being careful not to misquote Honest Abe a second time, Obama moved to the back of the book to remind the children that Lincoln “helped to end slavery in the United States.”
Barack then lent his valuable signature to a copy of “Of Thee I Sing” for the school library, leaving one little entrepreneurial autograph seeker disappointed, contending that “If I sign autographs, then I’d have to sign for everybody.”
Obama said one reason he dropped by Long Branch is that Sasha and Malia don’t always let him read to them – a revelation that may explain Barry’s extra-presidential evening activities. The President gave his young charges a glimpse into great moments in history with a short lesson on lawn consideration, biodegradable fertilizer and the joy of owning a pet.
Off-teleprompter Obama told the kids he takes his dog Bo for a walk at night and, being conscientious, shared that “Sometimes I have to scoop up his poop, because I don’t want to just leave it in the lawn” (a scenario strangely similar to the task that lies ahead for Congress in the coming months)!
Nevertheless, obviously unaware that in Tennessee, without presidential prodding, a secret Santa placed $100K in a Salvation Army kettle, Obama felt compelled do a little prodding himself.
First, the President told the children, “I hope you guys have fun.” Then, amidst the festive mood, Obama “went straight to his work” filling the stockings of the merry tots with sobering reality. The President reminded the children, on Christmas morning when opening presents they should “spend time thinking about the less fortunate.”
The President gifted already anxious seven and eight year-olds with additional concern, which was a strange way to wish second graders Merry Christmas. Obama told them that “Not everybody is as lucky as we are. There are a lot of kids out there who may not be able to get a lot of presents for Christmas because their parents don’t have a lot of money.”
So, after simultaneously spreading literacy, holiday cheer and a good dose of worrisome guilt, Obama left the kids to go back to the White House to tend to dog poop, while Long Branch teachers were probably trying to get four dozen children to stop crying.