Oh, and on top of that, he just freestyle rapped in the Rose Garden with President Obama.
It was a “full circle moment” for the Obamas and Miranda. In the spring of 2009, fresh off Tony and Grammy Award wins for his hit musical “In the Heights,” the multi-talented and then shorter-haired Lin-Manuel Miranda donned a suit and arrived at the White House Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word.
As first lady Michelle Obama recounted, “Lin walks up, and Barack and I go, ‘what are you going to do tonight?’ And he’s like, ‘I’m going to do a piece about Alexander Hamilton.’
“Now, Barack and I, we’re open-minded. But we both kind of looked at each other like, ‘oh, okay, this should be interesting,'” she said. “And of course, we were blown away.”
That was in the first year of Obama’s first term. Now, “Hamilton” is a giant hit on Broadway and Obama is in the final stretch of his last year in office. As Miranda rhymed to words like “Supreme Court,” “carbon footprint,” and “Obamacare,” — spontaneously supplied on cards held up by the toe-tapping leader for the free world — the performance seemed like a mashup of Obama’s accomplishments while in office and a to-do list for his final months as president.
The two men were warm and energetic in a setting that normally hosts presidential announcements and policy speeches. Lin finished the performance with a mic drop, a joyful laugh and a hug from Obama as the president said “You think that’s going viral? That’s going viral.”
Obama was right; the video has been viewed more than 5 million times in less than ten hours on the White House Facebook page.