» This Story:Read +|Watch +| Comments

The Breaking News Blog

All the latest news from the District, Maryland and Virginia

Mapping Obama's Washington

Discussion Policy
Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.
By Steve Hendrix
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 17, 2009; 12:31 PM

Jan. 16: The Obamas and friends have an early birthday dinner for Michelle at Equinox on Connecticut Avenue NW.

This Story
View All Items in This Story
View Only Top Items in This Story

Since moving into the White House in January, President Obama has been to a Wizards game at Verizon Center, a parent-teacher conference in Bethesda and a youth soccer game in Palisades. He's gone for burgers at Five Guys and frozen custard in Old Town. He's had a half-smoke at Ben's.

He has been stuck, motorcade and all, in a traffic jam at the Springfield Mixing Bowl.

Does that make him one of us?

Whenever a new occupant unpacks at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., a question arises that is of little note to the rest of the country but of intense interest to his new neighbors: Is this one going to be a president . . . or a resident? (As Ronald Reagan observed, just one letter makes the difference.)

Washingtonians really want their home to be more to the incumbent than just a matte painting for bill-signing ceremonies. They want him to see more than fleeting, tinted glimpses through limousine windows. If he's going to live here, they want him to live here.

Feb. 6: The Obama family sees Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater perform at the Kennedy Center.

Whether Obama's local outings so far make him a Washingtonian depends on whom you ask.

Local restaurateurs are encouraged that the first couple has a taste for dining out. But A-list hostesses are coming to terms with the fact that the Obamas don't seem big on private dinner parties (they have attended just one outside the White House, at the Georgetown home of adviser Valerie Jarrett).

Local parents can relate to the president's kid-centric logistical challenges, including one Saturday of back-to-back soccer games in different neighborhoods. Local activists and politicians wish he would include more of them in his photo ops. And preachers would like the president, who has attended only one Washington area church since taking office, to spend more time in local -- ahem, their -- pews.

The Rev. Ronald E. Braxton of Metropolitan AME Church in the District said he understands why Obama has shied away from church shopping, given the intense, unseemly attention surrounding the president's choice of a house of worship.

CONTINUED     1        >

» This Story:Read +|Watch +| Comments

More in the D.C. Section

Fixing D.C. Schools

Fixing D.C. Schools

The Washington Post investigates the state of the schools and the lessons of failed and successful reforms.



Use Neighborhoods to learn about Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia communities.

Top High Schools

Top High Schools

Jay Mathews identifies the nation's most challenging high schools and explains why they're best.

Facebook Twitter RSS
© 2009 The Washington Post Company