The Washington Post

Obama makes first visit to Smithsonian as president, sees Lincoln exhibit


Obama with Sasha and Malia last fall. (Susan Walsh/AP)

You know how you’re always saying you’re going to start taking advantage of all the great free museums we’ve got here in D.C. — and then you just never do? We know a guy who’d been living downtown for two and a half years without getting to the Smithsonian.

That would be President Obama, who on Sunday night paid his first visit to the National Museum of American History — or any of the Smithsonians — since entering the White House. Our colleague Ed O’Keefe reports that he took his daughters over to the Mall after regular visiting hours for a tour with Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough. According to two staffers, they visited the temporary Abraham Lincoln exhibit, which is set to close at the end of the month, taking special interest in the 16th president’s Lincoln’s gold watch and life mask; then toured the adjoining gallery on U.S. presidents. They didn’t go to see the first ladies’ gowns — but then, the girls have been there before with their mother, when she donated her own dress to the collection. White House officials did not return calls for comment.

Federal Eye: The Obama Family’s night at the (Smithsonian) museum

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