News / USA

Obama Celebrates 50th Birthday at White House

President Barack Obama turns with Col. Kenneth Rizer to listen to members of the media and crew sing him Happy Birthday on the tarmac as he arrives from Chicago on Air Force One, Aug. 4, 2011, at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland
President Barack Obama turns with Col. Kenneth Rizer to listen to members of the media and crew sing him Happy Birthday on the tarmac as he arrives from Chicago on Air Force One, Aug. 4, 2011, at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland

Multimedia

Kent Klein

President Barack Obama marked his 50th birthday at the White House on Thursday. It was the second day of celebrations for the president.  

The aroma of barbecued chicken drifted through the White House grounds on Thursday, as chefs prepared for President Obama’s birthday parties.

Senior administration staff members held a brief toast for the president at midday, followed later by a reception for friends and family in the White House Rose Garden.

Mr. Obama’s birthday celebrations started on Wednesday night in his home city of Chicago, with about 2,400 people attending a fundraising event for his 2012 reelection campaign.  

“I could not have a better early birthday present than spending tonight with all of you," said President Obama. " [Audience member shouts “I love you!”]  I love you back! "

Supporters at the event were treated to music by jazz legend Herbie Hancock and singer Jennifer Hudson.

Those who paid almost $36,000 for the most expensive tickets were invited to a small, private dinner with the president.

Mr. Obama has been facing his milestone birthday with a sense of humor.  He told the crowd that as he gets older, he is paying more attention to social welfare programs for the elderly.

“And it is true that I turn 50 tomorrow, which means that by the time I wake up, I will have an email from AARP, asking me to call President Obama and tell him to protect Medicare," said Obama."

Joining the powerful senior citizens’ lobby AARP is almost a rite of passage for many Americans as they turn 50.

Mr. Obama is the fifth-youngest of the 44 U.S. presidents, and the seventh to celebrate his 50th birthday while in office.  Bill Clinton was the last, in 1996. 

Mr. Obama recently observed that his hair has turned considerably grayer in the 2.5 years since he became president.  But he said his wife, Michelle, still thinks he is “cute.”   

Related video by Kent Klein:

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid