Reporters crowding around outside the Senate Democrats’ lunch on Capitol Hill today didn’t hear much from special guest President-elect Barack Obama.
When leaving, he was greeted by dozens of camera clicks and flashes.
“Thank you guys,” Obama said, raising his hand to wave as he left the building.
Inside the meeting, he had plenty to say to the senators, but several said it was a celebratory moment.
“We all know him as a friend,” said Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat. “It was hard not to call him Barack.”
Levin grinned, adding: “He said, ‘Call me Barack, at least for the next few days.’”
Also worth mentioning, Ken Bazinet of the New York Daily News noted in the Obama pool report today there have been protesters advocating Gitmo closure outside the transition office for several days.
“While your pool was waiting in the motorcade for departure, about two dozen people in orange jump suits with black hoods over their heads and most with their hands tied behind their backs, gathered outside Transition HQ demanding that the terror prison at GITMO be shut down. They displayed a banner with a picture of the White House on it that read, “Close Guantanamo.” A few also held smaller individual signs that said, “Shut down Guantanamo.”
Your pooler was told the group has demonstrated outside President-elect Obama’s HQ the past few days. Police, who arrived in eight vehicles, asked the group to move along and they slowly marched off single file, hands behind their backs looking like dejected vision-impaired sanitation workers (except their jumpsuits were pretty darn clean). Upon departure, we observed the relocated protesters about a block away from Transition HQ.”
Finally, please submit questions here for my debut chat on The Washington Times Web site. You can post questions now and I will answer them Monday at noon.
— Christina Bellantoni, White House correspondent,
The Washington Times
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