Thu, Aug 05, 2010 - Page 7 News List

Obama celebrating his 49th birthday in Chicago

AP AND AFP , WASHINGTON

Home alone, US President Barack Obama turned 49 yesterday.

First lady Michelle Obama has taken their youngest daughter, Sasha, to Spain. Their other daughter, Malia, is away at summer camp.

Obama hasn’t shied away from talking about his birthday, noting that his hair is getting grayer and his metabolism is slowing down as another year passes.

“There’s no doubt that it takes an enormous physical and mental strain on making the decisions that you make, on sending young men and women off to war, or tackling the greatest economic calamity our country has faced since the Great Depression,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters.

However, Obama was “still in pretty good shape and is enjoying the job even with its many challenges,” Gibbs said.

Obama was scheduled to head home to Chicago for a birthday celebration dinner last night with friends and spend the night in his own house in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood.

Meanwhile, the president’s birthday — though a year shy of the Big 50 milestone — is being used in this election year as a prime fundraising opportunity for Democratic candidates and party organizations, through mailings, e-mails, parties and other birthday-themed outreach.

Obama was scheduled to tour an auto plant in Chicago and attend Democratic fundraisers today before returning to Washington.

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