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Obama warns White House party crowd: 'You do not want to be between Michelle and a tamale'

some of the food for the Obama White House Cinco de Mayo party 5-5-11

El president Obama meant it as a joke for his latest White House party tonight, one to mark Cinco de Mayo.

The crowd laughed.

But Mr. Obama may pay for this public quip later tonight up in their private quarters. Since Primera Esposa Michelle Obama has been talking healthy eating and combating obesity for muchos meses, Even as her husband continues to be photographed downing junk food at most any opportunity..

No 'Cinco de Cuatro' gaffe this year. Obama learned his lesson two years ago; you can read this year's version in full by scrolling down. Americans politicians and many of their constituents mark May 5 as a celebration of Mexican-Americans and their heritage, especially the year before an election. In parts of Mexico the fest actually has more to do with a thumping they gave French soldiers 149 years ago (and not in soccer).

The president was clearly in a jolly mood despite a somber day of 9/11 wreath-laying at New York's ground zero. He promised the crowd a short speech and sort of delivered (11 minutes), unless you were hungry.

He thanked the usual long list of attendees, who can never get enough POTUS shoutouts. And he also thanked "my band," although the musicians on hand actually belong to the United States Marine Corps.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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President Obama's Cinco de Mayo remarks, as provided by the White House

THE PRESIDENT:  Gracias, gracias. (Applause.)


THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you. Gracias. Buenas noches. (Applause.) Bienvenidos. Welcome to the Cinco de Mayo at the White House.  (Applause.)   

Nothing ruins a good fiesta like a long speech from a politician. (Laughter.) So I'm going to keep it short.

MRS. OBAMA: Keep it short.(Laughter.) 

THE PRESIDENT:  Keep it short. I just want to acknowledge a few proud Latinos and friends of Latinos who are here with us tonight:  A great friend to me and to the United States, Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan is here, from Mexico, with his lovely wife Verónica.  (Applause.)  Interior....

...Secretary Ken Salazar is in the house.  (Applause.)  Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is here.  (Applause.)  Several members of Congress have made the trek tonight.  And everybody please join me in wishing a feliz cumpleaños to the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Charlie Gonzalez.  (Applause.)  Happy birthday, Charlie.  (Applause.) 

We are also joined by Hispanic Americans serving at every level of my administration, some who’ve contributed to a new website that we launched this week: (Applause.) So check out the website.

And welcome to all of you who are serving on the commission to explore the creation of a Primera Esposa Michelle Obama at white house cinco de mayo party 2011new National Museum of the American Latino.  (Applause.)  oday they presented me with their final report to Congress, and I’m grateful for their hard work and hopefully we will see that museum become a reality. So we're very grateful to them.

Finally, I want to thank my -- my band, the United States Marine Band. (Applause.) And we are looking forward to hearing Javier Cortés spin some of his records, and he has done great work so I know that he’s going to keep this party lively this evening.  

But this is really a day for commemorating our shared heritage.  Our shared heritage -- Mexicans and Americans.  It’s a day for remembering that America is a richer, stronger, more vibrant place thanks to the contributions of Mexican Americans to the life of this nation –- contributions in commerce, culture, in language and literature, in faith, and obviously in food. (Laughter.) 

I asked Michelle the other day, I said, what’s your favorite food -- because we were sitting around with the girls.  She said, oh, Mexican food. That's -- (applause.) You do not want to be between Michelle and a tamale. (Laughter.) That is true. That's true. But she’s moving, though, so she can afford to have as many tamales as she wants. (Laughter and applause.) 

It is also a day for honoring the service of the many Mexican Americans who serve proudly in our country’s uniform, and we are grateful to them.  (Applause.)

And it’s a day we commit ourselves to advancing the aspirations of all Latinos, and reaffirm the ideals that we share as Americans.  That means improving the education that we provide to our children; strengthening the social safety net that we build for our seniors and the poor and the sick; living up to our values as a nation of immigrants that built this country into the economic powerhouse that it is and the beacon of hope that it is around the world.  (Applause.)

I’ve talked to you in recent weeks about this immigration issue.  I strongly believe that we’ve got to fix this broken system so that it meets the needs of our 21st century economy and our security needs.  I want to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, to enforce our laws and also to address the status of millions of undocumented workers.  I want to sign the DREAM Act into law.  (Applause.) 

This is not going to be easy.  It’s going to require bipartisan support.  I’m going to need your help.  We’ve got to keep doing the hard work of changing minds and changing hearts and changing votes, one at a time.  But all of you are going to be out there, and you're going to have to help make this happen.

Let me just -- let me just wrap up by saying this.  Last week I had the honor of traveling down to Florida and delivering the commencement address at Miami Dade College.  And Dr. Eduardo Padrón is here.  (Applause.)   There he is over there.  And I want to brag on him a little bit because he’s actually a graduate of the school. 

This is a school with more than 170,000 students who come from 181 different countries, speak 94 different languages.  The graduates were so excited, they were so proud.  They spent a good portion of the ceremony dancing and doing the wave.  (Laughter.) I mean, you know, there were Cubanos there.  There were Haitians. There were -- there were Puerto Ricanos.  (Applause.)  I mean everybody was there.  (Laughter and applause.)  Everybody was there -- and everybody could dance.  (Laughter.) 

And they were excited not just to finally get their exams out of the way, but because they finally knew what it was to achieve a dream.  Many of them were the first in their families ever to graduate from college, and they overcame obstacles and defeated their own doubts to finish.  And a lot of their parents, they're crying, and they could only dream of such a day as was happening there.

And by the way, Miami Dade is rated one of the top community colleges in the nation.  And as the ceremony -- the formal ceremony finally began, the dancing quieted down a little bit.  The students in the campus ROTC took turns marching the flags of the countries where -- of origin for each of the graduating students.  So you had 181 countries.  And the students would stand up and cheer after -- when the Haitian flag went by, or the Colombian flag went by.  You name it, right, everybody was getting up and cheering.

Some flags received a lot of cheers.  (Laughter.)  Mexico, Guatemala.  (Applause.)  And then there were -- then there was like the Ukrainian flag.  (Laughter.)  And the Canadian flag, Estonia -- there were just a couple -- (laughter.)  But, I mean, they were proud, but it was just not as many people.  (Laughter.)

But there was one flag that every single student and spectator cheered loudly and proudly for -- and that was when the American flag came through.  (Applause.)  The American flag.   (Applause.)  So it was a wonderful reminder -- we all come from different backgrounds, we have different beliefs, we have sometimes petty and sometimes not-so-petty political differences. But we all share a set of ideals.  We all have a common future.  We’re the heirs to mothers and fathers and grandparents, great grandparents, who struggled and sacrificed to forge and realize the American Dream. 

And that fills us with the collective responsibility to leave an even bigger and bolder, more generous, more compassionate nation for our children. That's what drives me each day. That's what inspires Michelle. I know that's what drives many of you. 

So I am thrilled to have you here today where we celebrate your incredible heritage, but we also celebrate the incredible heritage of this great country of ours. (Applause.) God bless you. Feliz Cinco de Mayo. Muchas gracias. Thank you.   ####

Photos: Roger L. Wollenberg / Pool via Getty Images.

Comments () | Archives (8)

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Party after party after party after golf gamea after multi-million dollar vacations.

Yech, he can eat all the junk food he wants. It's the $100 a pound Kobe beef hamburgers that he has for lunch most days and the celebrity chefs (I guess the White House's 5 (count 'em, FIVE) private chefs aren't good enough for this elitist duo.

I cannot stand these people. But then again, I've never been able to stomach self-indulgent elitists who sincerely believe they are better than you and me.

LOL! Puleease! She grew up in South Side of Chicago and I doubt her favorite food is Mexican (think Soul Food or Italian, perhaps?); and of Mexican foods, given that she's a healthy food nut, why would the Carb heavy Tamale be her favorite?? A Tamale is basically just steamed corn dough (massa) -- sometimes it has a filling, but it's not exactly healthy -- and truth to tell, not all that flavorful unless you smother it with sauces and stuffings.

A tamale..............

Or a 500 dollar pair of sneakers.........

Or a one thousand dollar handbag...........

Or a 400 K a yr no show affirmative "axtion" job in an inner city NON PROFIT hospital................

Just sayin.....................

This is absolutely a disgrace. Our country is broke and every Wednesaday the Obama's are having a party. He makes jokes about undocumented workers? Illegal immigration is ruining our country as is this President! Our tax payer money is spent to care of these illegal people in health care and education while they stand at western union sending the money they make here illegally back to their home country. They are not interested in assimulation!

This is also after a day of rememberance for 911 and they throw a party? There is really something wrong with this.


Since the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act those in power has lied to the US people? Just sufficient laws have been passed, to give the impression that President Obama, George Bush or back to Ronald Reagan, promised to secure fully the border. That they would enforce immigration laws, but candidly nothing serious as ever been accomplished? We need to revisit President Linden B. Johnson, Immigration Restriction Act of 1921 policy “Quotas System”, so only certain amounts of foreign nationals are given entry visas. Its requirements were Numerical limits on immigration from Europe and the use of a Quota system for establishing those limitations. Similar legislation had been advanced several times previously without success. Recommencement of immigration and the widespread unemployment that followed the end of World War One demanded change, lending strength to the anti-immigration movement. In 1965, the American people were guaranteed that immigration would never exceed its then low level of 250,000 annually. Currently, it is at an all-time high of over a million a year and still rising.

Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, a veiled Liberal progressive killed this law, attributing to the 20 million or more who have settled in this country today. You cannot trust any administration, the Liberal press, the liberal Extremists in Academia or any of the open border quasi organization, such as The Council of Foreign Relations. These organizations are for open borders, although we have upwards to 10 million US citizens and resident without a job. Leftists and equivalents all have their own agenda's and Obama and his Leftist administration wants citizenship for the invaders, who stole into our country. There has been so much fraud within work visa programs, the agricultural Guest Worker and fabricated paperwork for skilled immigrants who have come here. The 1986 immigration bill has been a failure, but not because it’s—BROKEN--but because the laws were never enforced.

The laws enacted, were intentionally made to be broken, underfunded still leaving access to cheap labor for Republicans and more votes for liberals and Democrats; legal or illegal. Ted Kennedy played on the sympathy of American Society, when he ardently promised in 1986, that there would never be another--AMNESTY. E-Verify was nearly killed by Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Secure Communities is not mandatory and the true 2006 Secure Fence Act, less than a 6 months later Texas Republican Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn pushed for "flexibility to choose other options instead of fencing, if needed." Politicians obdurately vowed to keep America safe. The law specifically called for "at least 2 layers of reinforced fencing, topped with concertina barbed razor wire with the installation of additional physical barriers, patrol roads, lighting, cameras and sensors" at five exact areas of border totaling approximately 700 miles.

The revolution that is the TEA PARTY promises no citizenship for illegal aliens, or any of the clandestine Amnesties of which there has been six since 2004. The Tea Party leadership will vote out Pro-Amnesty law, which includes Sanctuary City ordinances and push in opposition to such bills as the dream Act, Chain Migration and any Immigration reform bills. US Senator Rand Paul, a TEA PARTY activist in a letter to me opposes any citizenship for illegal aliens. He also said, “He didn’t think American taxpayers should be forced to pay for welfare, medical care or other expenses. If you are legally arrived in America you have an opportunity to join the TEA PARTY, as they are awaiting you to stop more of your taxes being taken to pay for illegal aliens. So much more interesting facts to be found at NumbersUSA, that connects you with the truth about the illegal alien invasion.

"And he also thanked 'my band,' although the musicians on hand actually belong to the United States Marine Corps."

"The President's Own" is what the USMC band are actually called (and the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps are known as "The Commandant's Own").

Our Commander and Chief was being funny, not "inappropriately taking credit for the success of others" - which seems to be a constant whining-point from rightie-too-tighties these days.

Semper Fi

"A Tamale is basically just steamed corn dough (massa) -- sometimes it has a filling, but it's not exactly healthy -- and truth to tell, not all that flavorful unless you smother it with sauces and stuffings."

You have never had a good/fresh tamale. Where do you live?

More people means more growth. The only real way to secure social security. The only real way to grow our economy.Let them in and make them pay taxes. People are out of work because their is no growth in this country and wages outside this country are cheaper along with lax labor laws. We can either chose to work for chinese labor prices or gow our economy with real growth. Increased productivity is not real growth.It means doing more with less.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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