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Obama to have belated birthday bash

By Ed Henry, CNN Senior White House Correspondent
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Happy birthday President Obama!
  • Obama is celebrating his 49th birthday on Wednesday
  • The rest of the first family is away, so there will be a party Sunday at the White House
  • Obama is heading home to Chicago on Wednesday

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama may be celebrating his 49th birthday Wednesday without his wife and daughters, but CNN has learned there will be a hush-hush party at the White House on Sunday with close family and friends to make it up to him.

Two top White House aides confirmed the belated birthday bash on the condition of anonymity because the details are a state secret around the corridors of the West Wing.

"There will be some stuff Sunday," a top adviser to the president said vaguely without giving away any of the details.

The president is celebrating his birthday without his immediate family because first lady Michelle Obama just arrived in Spain for a planned mini-vacation with the couple's youngest daughter, Sasha, while eldest daughter, Malia, is away at summer camp.

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But contrary to some news reports, the president will not be celebrating his birthday alone on Wednesday. After delivering a speech in Washington to the AFL-CIO about the economic recovery and having lunch at the White House with a group of Democratic senators, the president is heading to Chicago in the late afternoon. Aides say he is expected to have a quiet dinner with some close friends back home.

On Thursday, the president will tour a Ford plant in Chicago to highlight the auto industry's rebound, followed by some Democratic fundraising, including a bash honoring his birthday one day late.

The plans are still being put together for Sunday's birthday party, which appears likely to be a hot invite for the lucky few White House aides who get on the list.