President Obama will host Irish Taoiseach Brian Cowen for a White House meeting on St. Patrick’s Day.
The Irish taoiseach is equivalent to the prime minister in other parliamentary governments.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs kept a straight face during his briefing when telling reporters Obama would welcome the leader on “Tuesday, March 17.”
“The United States and Ireland have a strong — have strong bilateral relations, deep cultural ties and a commitment for positive change in the world. The president is committed to strengthening our partnership with Ireland to address global challenges,” Gibbs said.
As some snickered with the realization it was St. Paddy’s Day, Gibbs added, “The president also looks forward to commemorating with the taoiseach his first St. Patrick’s Day in the White House, a celebration which serves as a reminder of the rich history and friendship that our two countries share.”
ABC’s Ann Compton teased that Obama is Irish, and Gibbs quipped back, “We probably still have those T-shirts” reading O’Bama that were popular last spring.
— Christina Bellantoni, White House correspondent,
The Washington Times
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