President Barack Obama dealt the White House Press Corps another terrible slight this past weekend when he just up and left the White House without taking the press pool with him. Don't be fooled, America! According to the AP, this breached years of sacred tradition:
President Barack Obama quietly breached years of protocol on Saturday morning by leaving the White House without the press with him.
About two hours before reporters were supposed to be in position to leave with the president, Obama left the grounds of the White House. Members of the press were told he was attending one of his daughter's soccer games in northwest Washington, D.C.
Later, Obama was overheard joking about the reporters to other foreign leaders:
Prior to Obama's bilateral meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Obama told his colleague, "apparently I caused quite a problem," adding something about his secretary not telling the Secret Service, according to, ironically enough, the pool report.
"They were very upset about it," he said. "It was big news today."
What's terrible about all of this is that the press corps didn't get to see this game, which was a vital tune-up for the 2010 World Cup, or something. Maybe the parents of the other children were relieved that they got to spend some time watching their kids frolic without a gaggle of reporters hanging around? Or maybe there wasn't a game at all! Helene Cooper's cloak-and-dagger tick-tock reads as follows:
White House officials said that Mr. Obama left at 9:20 this morning to attend one of his daughter's soccer games in northwest Washington -- before the pool of reporters had assembled at their regularly scheduled call time. White House handlers hastily assembled a small group of reporters to try to catch up with the president. The reporters gave chase at 9:43 a.m. but were unsuccessful, and the president was back at the White House at 10:17, after an apparently short game.
So, maybe Obama was up to something Chicago-style? Who knows? But if Barack Obama thinks that Doris Kearns Goodwin is going to forget about this, he's sadly mistaken.