WASHINGTON - When it was reported Tuesday that former child star and diplomat Shirley Temple Black had died, White House staffers immediately undertook great pains to keep the sad news from reaching the desk of Vice President Joe Biden, fearing that the news would utterly devastate the 71-year-old Biden, a known softie. Biden's chief of staff Steve Ricchetti instructed his team not to speak a word about the beloved starlet's passing during Biden's morning briefing, which staffers described as "uncomfortable."
WASHINGTON, DC - White House staff went into damage control mode Monday following an embarrassment for President Obama at a special weekend screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II at the White House, during which the president answered an incoming call on his Blackberry. The president, his family, as well as administration officials and invited members of Congress were well into the third act of the final film of the beloved Potter franchise, when Mr. Obama answered his phone, in flagrant disregard of accepted theater etiquette.
"You know, for some of us this is more than a film; this is a tearful goodbye to some very good friends," fumed House majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), who stormed out of the screening after the president's faux pas. "I was waiting for this movie for – literally – forever, and he ruined it. If you'd rather talk to your phone buddies than watch as Harry takes Snape's tears to Pensieve, then you can take it out in the lobby."
Pres. Obama and mother-in-law Marian Robinson
WASHINGTON, DC - As the United States barreled toward an unprecedented and potentially catastrophic default on its national debt following a breakdown of negotiations between the White House and congressional Republicans, President Barack Obama reluctantly got up off a comfy couch in the East Wing to exercise some measure of control over the proceedings. The decision was a unique one for President Obama, who has history of leading from behind the scenes, preferably near a TV broadcasting one of his "stories."
White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Monday that the president was blindsided when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) walked out of the negotiations last Thursday night, leaving any hope for a deal in the hands of Mr. Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH).
"The president was all settled in for the night," said Carney. "He was expressly looking forward to the season premiere of Futurama and a rerun of The Office he hadn't seen, when he got the call that he'd have to come downstairs to the Oval Office to meet with Speaker Boehner. By the time he returned, the beer he'd popped open was flat, and he missed all of Letterman's monologue. He was definitely pissed."