Destinations

Obama spends his first day back to work surprising visitors on a White House tour

Jan 23, 2013 7:07 am

Skift Take

Obama was an advocate for strengthening and growing the tourism industry during his first term, and his candid tour appearance shows an awareness of the industry that stakeholders hope carries through over the next four years.

— Samantha Shankman

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Kevin Lamarque  / Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk and wave after emerging from the presidential limousine during the inaugural parade from the Capitol to the White House. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters


President Barack Obama and his wife are personally welcoming surprised tourists to the White House.

First dog Bo joined the welcoming committee Tuesday as Obama decided to spend part of the first full workday of his second term chatting up people taking the White House tour.

Mrs. Obama put out word about their surprise receiving line in the Blue Room by tweeting: “Shhhh! Barack, Bo and I are about to surprise folks on (at) WhiteHouse tours! I love doing this.”

Visitors congratulated Obama on the inauguration, chatted about the weather and admired Bo. Most got hearty handshakes; a few got hugs.

Discussing Monday’s fairly mild weather for the inaugural, Obama told one guest, “We dodged a bullet.”

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