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Political Notebook

First couple head to N.Y. for dinner and Broadway

Associated Press / May 31, 2009
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NEW YORK - President Obama made good on a campaign promise to his most important supporter last night - his wife, Michelle.

The president and first lady jetted for a date in New York late yesterday afternoon, aides and media in tow.

"I am taking my wife to New York City because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished," the president said in a statement an aide read to reporters.

Following dinner at Blue Hill, a West Village restaurant touted by New York magazine as a "seminal Greenmarket haven" that features food grown by chef and owner Dan Barber on his upstate farm, the couple were headed to the Belasco Theater to see "Joe Turner's Come and Gone."

The White House declined to say how much the trip was costing taxpayers, and even before the small jet left Washington, the there-and-back trip drew criticism from the Republican National Committee.

The RNC issued a news release that chastised Obama for saying he understands American's troubles, but then hopping up to New York for "a night on the town."

Noting that General Motors is expected to file for Chapter 11 protection tomorrow, the news release said: "Putting on a show: Obamas wing into the city for an evening out while another iconic American company prepares for bankruptcy."

Since moving to Washington, the Obamas have managed to fit in at least a few nights out in the nation's capital.

While on a trip to New York last week, Michelle Obama was reminded about the couple's first date. "You know, after 20-some-odd years of knowing a guy, you forget that your first date was at a museum," she said. "But it was, and it was obviously wonderful. It worked."