Obama Back in White House for First Time in 5 Years

Yes, he and Biden cracked some jokes
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2022 4:08 PM CDT
Obama Back in White House for First Time in 5 Years
Former President Barack Obama shakes hands with President Joe Biden after Biden spoke about the Affordable Care Act, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 5, 2022.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

It's an old haunt he hadn't graced in a while: Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday visited the White House in what CNN reports was his first time in the building in more than five years. Obama had last been there for coffee with then-President-elect Trump on the morning of Trump's inauguration (it was marked, you'll recall, by this awkward moment). But it was "good to be back" Obama said in appearing with President Biden to mark the 12th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. The Hill reports Obama got a standing ovation—and got in some ribbing too.

Obama kicked off his remarks by jokingly calling Biden by his former vice president title and then said, "I confess I heard some changes have been made by the current President since I was last here. Apparently Secret Service agents have to wear aviator sunglasses now. The Navy Mess has been replaced by a Baskin-Robbins. And there's a cat running around." During the event, Biden signed an executive order that he said would close a "family glitch" the will allow a projected 200,000 additional people to gain affordable coverage.

But the AP reports that before signing the order, Biden jokingly advised Obama, "Let me remind you, it’s a hot mic." It was a nod to the moment in 2010, when then-Vice President Biden whispered to Obama it was a "big f---ing deal" the Affordable Care Act passed, a comment that was picked up on a hot mic. CNN points out that Obama's Washington residence is about 10 minutes from the White House, and reads into the timing: "That it took more than a year for Biden to welcome his former boss to the White House reflects his desire to stake out a presidency of his own." (Read more Barack Obama stories.)

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