Obama, Biden kick off St Patrick’s Day early

SHARE Obama, Biden kick off St Patrick’s Day early

WASHINGTON — St. Patrick’s Day came to the White House a few days early this year.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny kicked off the holiday at events across Washington Friday, including a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House.

“I think it’s fair to say that there are very few countries around the world where the people-to-people ties are so strong,” said Obama, who donned a green tie and sprigs of four-leaf clovers on his lapel.

The two leaders then headed to Congress for a lunch. Sitting alongside Republican House Speaker John Boehner, Obama and Kenny were entertained by a two-man Irish band and a bagpiper.

Kenny started his day with a breakfast at the residence of Vice President Joe Biden, who has an Irish background. Biden and Kenny dined on eggs, potatoes and Irish soda bread.

Obama joked that Biden “lobbies me every week to go to Ireland.”

The president has his own distant family ties to Ireland. In 2011, he visited the village of Moneygall, the hometown of his great-great-great grandfather.

“Tell everybody in Moneygall I said, ‘hi’,” Obama said.

Amid the festivities, Obama and Kenny addressed the political crisis in Ukraine, where voters in the Crimean Peninsula will hold a referendum Sunday on whether to join Russia. Moscow moved military forces into Crimea after Ukraine’s pro-Russian leader fled amid popular protests.

“We continue to hope that there’s a diplomatic solution to be found,” Obama said. “But the United States and Europe stand united not only in its message about Ukrainian sovereignty but also that there will be consequences if, in fact, that sovereignty continues to be violated.”


The Latest
Athanasiou will carry a $4.25 million salary-cap hit, helping the Hawks creep closer to the cap floor and providing offensive support for expected No. 1 pick Connor Bedard.
All-Star chatter “special” to former first-round pick
The state health department has confirmed 26 cases of salmonella between April 25 and May 18 in Cook and the collar counties.
Cornerback Jaylon Johnson is at Halas Hall after missing earlier OTA sessions.
The man, 32, was walking about 11:45 p.m. in the 5100 block of South Dorchester Avenue when a vehicle drove by and someone from inside opened fire