If Sasha, Malia and the First Dog Bo want to know what they're getting for Christmas, all they have to do is read Twitter. On Wednesday, a grainy photo emerged on Instagram of the president checking out potential First Gifts at Best Buy. Apparently, he already stopped by PetSmart to pick up a bone for Bo, and then moved on to do some unintentional advertising for both Best Buy and Nintendo. The New York Daily News' Tom DeFrank, who is on White House pool duty, reports:
Presidential motorcade left a soggy South Lawn at 12:45 p.m. for shopping and lunch amidst the legislative chaos. Fourteen minutes later the motorcade arrived at Potomac Yards in Alexandria, where the President headed into the Pet Smart store. By the time the pool was allowed in a shirtsleeved POTUS was at a checkout counter with Bo, who appeared to be sizing up a small brown "standard poodle" named Cinnamon, according to the dog's owner.
"Okay, Bo, don't get too personal here," POTUS admonished, holding tightly to Bo's leash. He pulled out a $50 bill to pay for two items, one a large dog bone. Total was slightly more than $41.
After a quick stroll POTUS entered the nearby Best Buy at 1:10 p.m. "This (stop) for the girls now," he said as he went in.
After a round of handshaking he headed straight to the Wii section, where he bought a Just Dance game for his daughters. (It might have been a Just Dance 3 since there was a big yellow 3 below the words)
"The girls beat me every time on these dance games," he said, "but you'll never get a picture of me (playing) because I get graded F every time."
He also bought a pair of $50 iTunes gift cards and an unidentified game. Tab came to 194.48. "Let's see if my credit card still works," he said. It did.
Obviously, the everyman shopping habits candidly caught on Instagram also served a political purpose. The picture emerged during a White House-led hashtag effort that asks Americans, "What Does $40 Mean to You?" on Twitter. The figure comes from the amount that voters would lose from each paycheck should Congress not come to an agreement to extend the pay roll tax cuts. We already knew that Obamas were just another strip-mall-shopping American family, though. Michelle just loves going to Target dressed up like a paparazzi-dodging movie star.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.