On Thursday night, President Barack Obama celebrated his 50th birthday with a barbecue in the White House Rose Garden. Two-hundred of his friends joined him for his fourth or fifth celebration of the week (his campaign threw several fundraiser bashes in Chicago). Jay-Z, Steve Harvey, Rev. Al Sharpton, Charles Barkley, Grant Hill, Ledisi, Hill Harper, and Whoopi Goldberg were among the chosen few. White House officials like Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett also attended.
Malia Obama rushed home from summer camp just in time to join her mother and younger sister in presenting a cake to the President. Stevie Wonder sang his song “You and I” (it was the President and First Lady’s wedding song) as guests feasted on a menu of barbecued chicken, ribs, hamburgers, pasta and an array of pies. A DJ took over and tables were pushed aside as the President challenged everyone to dance. Some even took it a step further and began dancing barefoot. The attire for the evening was slacks and button downs for men and sleeveless summer dresses for women.
It’s been reported that the Obamas paid for the five-hour barbecue out of their own pockets. The White House didn’t release any information about the party since it didn’t want to give the impression that the President wasn’t concerned about the fate of FAA workers or the fact that the Dow Jones fell 500 points. Most details came from Politico and the blog ObamaFoodorama.
Comedian Chris Rock provided a glimpse of the festivities by tweeting: “Just left the President’s birthday party at the White House. Herbie Hancock played, Stevie Wonder sang, and yes they did the electric slide. A great night.”