June 25, 2009

Obama hosts luau for Congress

President Barack Obama greeted members of the U.S. Congress and their families Thursday with a merry Aloha as he hosted a luau at the White House.

I just want to say to all the members of Congress, you've been working hard, he said. I wish I could give you all trips to Hawaii, but I figured since -- given our budget crunch we can't do that, that we'd at least bring Hawaii to you.

The president held his daughter Sasha's hand as the family -- all wearing leis -- walked out of the Oval Office to the South Lawn, as did Vice President Joe Biden. Biden introduced Obama by saying he likes the state he represented in the Senate, Illinois, but loves Hawaii, the president's native state.

Obama introduced his family, including the star, Bo the dog.

Some members of Congress honored the occasion with Hawaiian shirts, including Obama's former Senate colleague, Dick Durbin of Illinois, and Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.

The menu, with some items prepared by an Obama friend, Alan Wang, a chef in Hawaii, included Kahlua pig. Drinks were served at a thatched-roof bar and included the Hawaiian beer Longboard Lager.