Layoffs and furloughs are in store, delays at airports are on the way, and tours of the White House are cancelled, but the White House has found the money for a full day of St Patrick’s celebrations today honoring a minor U.S. ally but a major U.S. voting bloc.
The festival of everything Irish culminates in a lavish East Room party tonight that will no doubt be watched over carefully by some of the same Secret Service agents unable to conduct White House tours, lest the inevitable imbibing get out hand.
Tonight’s party will be hosted by President Obama and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who will, as is the custom, present Obama with a bowl teeming with Irish shamrocks.
While few other details about this evening’s event have been released, last year’s East Room bash featured “hundreds of guests” and “was complete with flowing drinks,” according to the website Obama Foodorama.
Adding to the circus atmosphere tonight reportedly be the presence of Henry Healy, Obama’s Irish cousin, eight times removed.
The White House reception follows a luncheon on Capitol Hill for Obama and Kenny at which Irish delicacies will be served and Anthony Kearns of The Irish Tenors will perform.
The money for these events will perhaps come from the same kitty that paid to dye the White House South Lawn fountain green all day on St Patrick’s Day Sunday.
Perhaps the Irish are planning to return the favor. There’s word in Ireland that prior the the June 17-18 G8 Summit in Northern Ireland, Obama will make a stop at Shannon Airport in Ireland and head out to shoot a round of golf on one of Irelands splendid courses with Kenny.