What President Obama is doing right now…

Subject: POTUS pool #5

One more note about DC taxation w/o rep plates: It appears to be only the lead car. Others in the motorcade have old Virginia or US govt plates.

About 300 people gathered in the gym of the Burrville Elementary School ("the Hidden Treasure", according to their sign, and the mascot appears to be an eagle). It's a small elementary school-size gym (though it has two hoops, raised) and the crowd filled just over half the floor area. Empty space at the back, roped-off area for POTUS at the front. Almost exclusively grown-ups, incidentally, ranging from college age to what could easily be their moms and potentially great-aunts/uncles. But I only saw one kid in the room.

Crowd made a lot of noise for Obama who started talking at 12:46pm. Michelle Obama on the little stage with him. 

He began by congratulating the school principal, calling her "outstanding" and joking that she looked young enough to be a student.

"As I look around tr room I see friends from all across the country people who have been such great supporters of ours but more imprtantly, adults to children understand the importance of giving back," POTUS said.

He said "as we think about not so mch the inauguration but as we think about the fact that this is Dr. king's birthday" and loosely quoted MLK:

"I'm always reminded that he said everybody wants to be first, everybody wants to be a drum major but if you're going to be a drum major be a drum major for service be a drum major for justice, be a drum major for looking for other people."

(Interestingly enough that is the quote get screwed up on the statue.)

Obama then gave a shout-out to City Year -- which got huge cheers -- and said all those types of orgs "show that there's a huge hunger on the part of young people to get involved, and to get engaged."

Obama says "Michelle says I did a fine job," staining the shelf.

POTUS talked about the city year people he was staining with said their parents always had them do service at holidays, and that was what got them interested in service.

"We've got some outstanding young people today, I want to say thank you to the parents, for showing early on to all out young people how gratifying how fulfilling this is," POTUS said. "This is what America is really about, this is what we celebrate."

"This inauguration is going to be, is a symbol of how our democracy works...but it should also be an affirmation that we're all in this together.".

"We're Thrilled that all of you are here we hope you guys are having a great time," POtUs said.

"We heard reports that some very young people did some really good work and some of the older folks like me who get hurt getting our knees, we were able to manage, and somehow Michelle looks fabulous the whole time we were doing it."

Michelle spoke at 12:50.

"this is a weekend of celebration but thru it all we have to remember that The reason why we're here...is because a lot of ppl worked hard and supported us. And weve got a job to do," Michelle said.

Michelle joked "I hope that was the press" at one point as a loud boom was heard from the press riser riser. Looked like a falling Tv amer a battery.

"weve got a lot of young people," michlle said. "we're passing the baton to you all."

She ended her comments wih "the goal is as you make your way thru life who are you pulling up with you? And as long as you're pulling somebody up with you you're doing the right thing."

They started shaking hands with crowd at 12:52. Motorcade left school at 1:08. Destination WH.

Karoun Demirjian
Washington Correspondent
Las Vegas Sun
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