Skip to main content

Political Circus: Elmo in the (White) House

By Ed Hornick, CNN
Sesame Street's Elmo paid a visit to the White House kitchen this week.
Sesame Street's Elmo paid a visit to the White House kitchen this week.
  • Elmo discusses nutrition with the White House chef
  • Former President George H.W. Bush is a Taylor Swift fan
  • Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry's car is stolen

Washington (CNN) -- Politics is serious business -- but not all the time. From the halls of Congress to the campaign trail to the international stage, there's always something that gets a laugh or a second glance.

Tickle me healthy

Sesame Street's Elmo visited the White House this week just as President Barack Obama signed the Hunger-Free Kids Act into law.

Elmo's visit took him to the White House kitchen where he helped Assistant White House Chef Sam Kass with food -- and a little politicking.

"Elmo can't wait to go to school," the loveable and tickleable Muppet said. "Elmo loves school but Elmo's a little worried. ... Because what if there isn't any good food at school?"

'Bo' gets a PETA treat

Animal rights group PETA bestowed first dog Bo Obama with an early Christmas present: a hand-delivered gift basket filled with "non-animal natural ingredients."

U.S. News and World Report writes that there were also vegan treats like Booda Bones and sweet potato dog chews.

And the silver goes to ...

The Tea Party movement. Time Magazine may have awarded Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg its "Person of the Year" but the influential political movement, the magazine reports, was named runner-up.

And maybe this is why: "Smashing success broke the Beatles apart. As 2010 closes, there is no bigger question in U.S. politics than whether the Tea Party will go the same way."

Tears on Bush's guitar

Country sensation Taylor Swift can add a former president to her long list of fans.

In an interview with Esquire magazine, former President George H.W. Bush said that Swift is "very nice. Twenty years old, unspoiled lady."

From the 'pool'

Obama, speaking at the Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior on Thursday, received quite the laugh when he recalled his visit to the Crown Nation during the 2008 presidential campaign, according to the White House pool report.

"Obama said he was given the name 'One who helps people throughout the land.' .... Upon hearing this, [Michelle Obama] said his name should have been 'One who is not picking up his shoes and his socks' "

From the Twitterverse

Steve Holland, the White House reporter for Reuters, tweeted on Thursday's snowfall in Washington:

@steveholland1: Time for some panic shopping. It's snowing and we may get a whole inch in DC.

Notable quotable

"I thought we had licked the jihadis with the new full body scanners. But those things will give a terrorist serious body image issues. Yeah, like 72 virgins are going to spend eternity with those love handles" -- Stephen Colbert

Headline of the day

Daily Beast on estate tax: "Is This the Week to Die?"

Headline of the day part deux

Los Angeles Times: "Rahm Emanuel: Is he a Chicagoan or not? And who #*+@\&% cares?"

Next time, take the keys out

Former D.C. mayor and current councilman Marion Barry -- famous for his crack cocaine bust -- found himself car-less this past weekend, according to

His 2002 Jaguar was stolen after he left his car running outside an education center in the city. The good news? District police say his car was found Tuesday.

Late-night laughs

Jimmy Fallon: "Democrats say Obama can't satisfy their legislative desires 'cause he's gone soft. Is he cheating on them with the Republicans?"

Conan O'Brien: "President Obama has appointed Jon Bon Jovi to a White House council that works to solve community problems. ... Obama made the decision because he thought it'd be fun to say at least once, 'Get Bon Jovi on it!'"

Jay Leno: "It was so cold in Chicago, Rahm Emanuel said 'I'm glad I don't live here!' That's how cold it was."