Nightclubbing in the White House

While the President lectures Americans today on living within our means, and taking responsibility for our own failures, he also says he “gets it”.  He and his wife have tirelessly tried to convince us that they can totally relate to our “kitchen table” woes, that they’re just like us.  He assures us that he is on the job, that our problems are his top priority.  But only from 8 a.m., well most times 8:30 a.m., to 5 p.m.  After that, it’s party time.  We’re on our own, and while we are to do as he says, God fordid we should do as he does.  He would call us out for “wasteful spending” and not caring about our fellow americans who are suffering, so much so that we should pay them out of their irresponsible behavior.

Somehow, in the midst of all the crisis and commotion, it just doesn’t seem right that the White House is entertaining the likes of Stevie Wonder, or that First Lady Michelle is having a fashion moment in her “elegant” gown on a work night.  But you be the judge.  My entertainment came from TV last night, where did yours come from?

The East Room of the White House, normally a place for staid presidential news conferences and other Washington happenings, was switched into a nightclub Wednesday night as Stevie Wonder stepped inside and rocked the house. 

Wonder was the winner of The Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize, which was bestowed on him by President Obama. 

In a celebration to be broadcast on PBS Thursday night, Wonder serenaded the first couple, kicking things off with a version of “Sir Duke” and later Wonder classics like “Isn’t She Lovely” and “Superstition.” 

But the night was also a tribute to Wonder. Tony Bennett, Paul Simon, Will.i.am and Martina McBride all paraded though, each with their own rendition of Wonder’s hits. 

President Obama and Michelle Obama, in an elegant emerald gown, along with Vice President Biden and his wife Jill, took in the show from the front row. 

And the Obamas had a message to the guest-of-honor: We owe it all to Stevie. 

The first lady recalled listening to Wonder’s music as a little girl with her grandfather, something that she took with her into her relationship with her now-husband. “Years later, when I discovered what Stevie meant when he sang about love, Barack and I chose the song, ‘You and I’ as our wedding song.” 

When President Obama stepped up to the microphone, he echoed the influence Wonder’s music had on the couple. In only a half-joking manner he noted, “I think it’s fair to say that had I not been a Stevie Wonder fan, Michelle might not have dated me. We might not have married. And the fact that we agreed on Stevie was a part of the essence of our courtship.” 

Wonder later returned the accolades, describing the historical significance of Obama’s rise to office and the potential it provided for a more united world. 

“I’m looking forward to you doing that, so that in my lifetime, I can write some more songs about love, about unity,” he said. 

But he took it a step further: “And through those songs of passion, you know, maybe I’ll be a part of creating some more of those babies.”