Peter Cottontail visits White House

April 13, 2009 at 2:51 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 13 (UPI) -- About 30,000 pairs of feet tramped the White House yard Monday during the annual Easter Egg Roll under overcast skies in Washington.

"This is one of the greatest White House traditions," President Barack Obama said. "It''s a reminder that this is the people's house."

After being directed by first lady Michelle Obama that the day's goal was "to have fun," the Obamas and their daughters Malia and Sasha participated in egg rolls and other activities on the White House lawns.

Obama gave a few kids an advantage, such as the toddler he helped on the Easter egg roll and the tyke he helped on the basketball court for for a dunk.

The president and first lady read to a group off several dozen children. Obama conjured up images of wild things and wild rumpuses when he read Maurice Sendak's "Where the While Things Are." Michelle Obama followed with "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Joffe Numeroff.

Sounds of silence greeted listeners when Obama tried to welcome the approximately 30,000 visitors after pop singer Fergie sang the national anthem.

Two microphones died. Obama tapped one then the other then tried to adjust some rabbit ears, hoping for better reception. The Easter Bunny didn't seem to mind his ears being tugged.

Finally, Malia Obama got a mic to work. After saying his hellos, Obama recognized his daughter, calling her "our technical adviser."

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