Home Alone, Obama Has a Bachelor Party

By Arun Kumar

Washington, Aug 9 (IANS): Home alone, President Barack Obama has been enjoying what some have jokingly referred to as a bachelor's weekend with friends - golfing, playing basketball and grilling out on the White House South Lawn.

The festivities are all part of a belated birthday celebration of sorts for the president, who turned 49 Wednesday.

With the first lady Michelle and youngest daughter Sasha, 9, on vacation in Spain and 12-year-old Malia attending camp, friends from Hawaii, Chicago, Illinois, and college joined Obama on Saturday at Andrews Air Force Base for a round of golf.

The sports outings continued Sunday with a basketball game at Fort McNair where Obama, along with such NBA stars as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Grant Hill and Earvin "Magic" Johnson, played in front of an audience of wounded servicemen and participants in the White House mentoring programme.

Obama was scheduled to return to the White House Sunday evening with friends and some of the basketball players for a seafood barbecue on the South Lawn.

Workers were seen setting up grills on the lawn Sunday morning in preparation for the party. Tables set up with white and yellow linens and adorned with centrepieces of lemons and limes dotted the lawn.

The menu is expected to include shrimp from the Gulf Coast, where the seafood industry has been hard hit by the BP oil disaster, according to White House aide Katie Hogan, local media reported.



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