WASHINGTON, Nov 30 – President Obama visited a local bookstore in Washington Saturday and offered a quick assessment of a new book out about his time in the White House. “The Stranger: Barack Obama in the White House” is a book from NBC host and former White House correspondent Chuck Todd. It was sitting behind the register at Politics & Prose — a bookstore in a Washington neighborhood north of the White House.
His visit coincided with the White House effort to promote shopping locally on “Small Business Saturday.” The President visited the store on the same day last year. Shoppers at the store crowded around as Obama and his two daughters, Malia and Sasha, bought a basketful of books. But it was Todd’s book that caught the President’s eye, especially the cover — a pensive profile shot of Obama.
“Lets see what Chuck has to say,” said Obama as he leaned closer to the book, guessing from the title and cover that the book was about the President being “sad.” “Looks like a sad book,” Malia said, joking with her father. It was a friendly crowd but one shopper did yell out, “I hope you can close Guantanamo.” The President had a quick response that brought laughter from the crowd, “We’re working on it … any other issues?”
The Obamas bought a variety of books, and the President told the cashier that some of them were Christmas presents. The White House provided a list of the President’s purchases to the press, but Chuck Todd’s book was not on it. Some highlights from the list include books geared towards kids including “I Spy,” “Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business,” by Barbara Park, “Brown Girl Dreaming,” by Jacqueline Woodson and the Redwall series by Brian Jacques.
There also were books for adult readers including Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Atul Gawande, and “Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China” by Evan Osnos.