Today in revealing presidential pool reports


US President Barack walks to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, after returning from a signing ceremony for the Veterans Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014, at Fort Belvoir in Virginia, August 7, 2014. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Any time President Obama does anything, there is a small pool of reporters and photographers who go with him to document it. This group is known as the pool. Typically, the pool job is reporting drudgery; waiting for hours in vans as the president gives a speech, attends a fundraiser or, on the weekends, plays golf. But, every once in a while, something revealing happens. Today is one of those days.

Here's the TV pool report, documenting President Obama leaving the White House on his way to a signing ceremony for legislation to reform the VA:

The president exited the Oval Office, walking with Denis McDonough. The two stopped at the door of the Beast and a very animated potus continued to spout something at Denis for a few minutes. Rodney got this all on tape and said potus was frowning. We could also see potus making a lot of hand gestures.  Finally, potus entered the motorcade at 11:29:18 AM, Denis walked back to the Oval.

Denis McDonough is, of course, the White House chief of staff.  The "Beast" is the heavily armored limousine that carries Obama. And "Rodney" is presumably Rodney Batten, an NBC cameraman.  As for what Obama was "very animated" and "frowning" about, it's anyone's best guess. Maybe we'll find out before Obama heads out on vacation at the end of this week.

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Aaron Blake · August 7, 2014

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