Monday, January 14, 2013

President Obama, Vice President Biden Have Last White House Power Lunch Of Their First Term

A tradition since 2009...
Update:  The lunch was cancelled.  Instead, the President held the final news conference of his first term
President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have had a private luncheon together at the White House almost every week--barring holidays and foreign travel--since 2009, and today they will have their final pow-wow of the first term.  The tradition was also interrupted during the busy months of campaigning, when both were serially on the road--and lunching instead with their fellow Americans in swing states.  Today's luncheon will be at 12:30 PM in the Oval Office Private Dining Room.  (Above, heading for the dining room in May of 2011)

The next time the President and Vice President are scheduled to dine together is on the second day of their second term in office.  On Monday, Jan. 21, following the swearing-in ceremony, they will feast on lobster tail, bison tenderloin, and apple pie at the Inaugural Luncheon in Statuary Hall at the US Capitol, hosted by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Biden, who is taking the lead on the President's initiative with gun control, has a busy morning ahead of today's lunch:  At 11:00 AM, he will "meet with Members of the House of Representatives as part of the Administration’s effort to develop policy proposals in response to the tragedy in Newtown," the White House said.  The Vice President will be joined by Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. The meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building is closed press.

After a series of meetings with stakeholders, Biden has promised to deliver a report to the President by Tuesday. 

After lunch, at 2:30 PM, the President and Vice President will meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  At 3:00 PM, the President will participate in a closed-press Ambassador Credentialing Ceremony in the Oval Office.  The President will "receive the credentials from nine foreign Ambassadors recently posted in Washington," according to his schedule.  The Ambassadors are from Paraguay, Tuvalu, Maldives, Mexico, Poland, Japan, Zambia, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan.

One of the President and Vice President's more publicized lunches-a-deux during the first term took place at Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington, Va, in May of 2009. The President and his second-in-command had a "surprise" outing at the popular burger joint, ordering cheeseburgers and sharing a side  of tater tots.  (Above, waiting for their lunch)  
*Photos by Pete Souza/White House