The Chicago Bears missed the playoffs this year, but the Obamas still hosted a Super Bowl party on Sunday.
Friends and family converged at the White House for Chesapeake crab cakes, San Francisco Cioppino stew and bicoastal beers — Anchor Steam and Clipper City, according to a White House statement. As in years past, the Obamas diplomatically refused to pick a team.
“It’s going to be a great game, I’ve got some wings waiting for me upstairs,” President Obama said in a pre-game interview with CBS News’ Scott Pelley. Obama has made the interviews a tradition since the Steelers faced the Cardinals in 2009.
The Obamas levied the big game to push two issues dear to their hearts — though not as close, perhaps, as their beloved hometown team. The White House Twitter account pushed the #ServiceBowl bet between San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake in which each promised to volunteer for a day if his or her team lost. The First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, which promotes exercise and healthy eating, encouraged kids to “get active” on game day.
— Let’s Move! (@letsmove) February 3, 2013
In his interview with Pelley, Obama also discussed the recent concerns about football safety and concussions, saying “for those of us who like to see a big hit and enjoy the rock ‘em, sock ‘em elements of the game, we’re probably going to be occasionally frustrated… but I do think we want to make sure that after people play the game they’re going to be okay.”
But the President didn’t try to use the Super Bowl as a change for bipartisan bonding, a play he’s made before. In 2009, the Wall Street Journal points out, he hosted 15 senators and congressmen in a Super Bowl party meant “as part of a strategic effort to reach across the aisle.” In 2010 and 2011, the first couple also watched the game with other lawmakers.
But this year, as in 2012, the Obamas kept to themselves on game day. And the First Lady, at least, seemed to enjoy the game:
Great game! Congrats to the @ravens. See you at the White House! -mo
— FLOTUS (@FLOTUS) February 4, 2013