No, that is not a birther headline. After a pre-birthday bash in Chicago, President Obama celebrated on the actual date Thursday at a White House celebration featuring music from Ledisi, Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock.
The mix of about 200 guests included Jay-Z, Chris Rock, Hill Harper, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg and Charles Barkley, per the Huffington Post, as well as an array of friends, administration figures and campaign vets. Coming from California were Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti and political consultant Andy Spahn.
The event wasn’t on the official press schedule, but details were leaked to Politico, which reported that dinner was in the Rose Garden followed by an East Room mini-concert. “Stevie Wonder came up at the end and sang a medley ending in “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.” DJ Cassidy played Motown, hip hop, and ’70s and ’80s R&B.”
Rock Tweeted, “Just left the Presidents birthday party at the White House. Herbie Hancock played, Stevie Wonder sang and yes they did the electric slide. A great night.”
Obama Food-O-Rama reports on the event and the cuisine: “Dinner was grilled chicken and steak, and Chicago-style hot dogs, with salad made with fresh greens plucked from Mrs. Obama’s Kitchen Garden, as well as vegetable sides, accompanied by American wines. Tables were covered with simple gray cloths, and anchored by sprays of yellow flowers and greens. There was birthday cake, of course, and pie.”
Update: Fox Nation’s characterization of the event as a “Hip-Hop Barbecue” was an “odd” editorial decision, writes Dave Weigel of Slate. “Fox Nation could have gone with the “Jazz BBQ Doesn’t Create Jobs” hed, I guess, but why not cut to the chase with something like: “Uppity Blacks Eat Soul Food and Laugh While You Hunt for A Job You Can’t Get Because of Welfare Queens, Affirmative Action, and Carjackers.””
Kal Penn Speaks: Mike Fleming of Deadline talks to Kal Penn, returning to TV after spending two years in the White House working in the Office of Public Engagement (and at a very reduced salary).
Vid of the Day: Making the rounds is this video from an episode of “I’ve Got a Secret” in 1956. The panel game show, hosted by Garry Moore, featured guests who had done extraordinary things in their lives, i.e. their “secret.” The guest on this show was a man who witnessed the Lincoln assassination.