The former president joined Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to celebrate passage of Affordable Care Act
While much of the political world’s attention was on President Barack Obama’s first return to the White House since his departure from office in January 2017, Fox News’ attention was elsewhere: a mom in New York City who was allegedly fired after confronting the mayor about mask mandates.
Though major networks like CNN aired East Room addresses from Obama and President Joe Biden as Mr Biden signed a new executive order designed to strenghten the Affordable Care Act, Fox News did not cover the event live.
Mr Obama, who had not been back to the White House since his administration vacated the premises for Donald Trump, lunched with Mr Biden in the Oval Office on Tuesday just as the pair did weekly over the eight years of the Obama administration.
“We weren’t sure who was supposed to sit where,” Mr Biden said of the lunch, smiling.
The former president also addressed his party’s November midterm prospects, telling reporters on his way out of a joint press conference that the embattled Democrats have “a story to tell, [we] just got to tell it.”
“Progress feels way too slow sometimes,” Mr Obama said. “Victories are often incomplete.”
For the most part, though, Mr Obama’s return to the White House was a jovial affair. He opened his speech with a series of jokes about his former lieutenant Mr Biden, who years ago he urged to step aside so that Hillary Clinton could win the Democratic nomination to succeed him as president in 2016.
Mr Obama, who lives in Washington, has spoken infrequently to Mr Biden during the first year-plus of the latter’s presidency, and it remains unclear how active the former president will be during the upcoming campaign season as he pursues a variety of media and personal projects.
On Tuesday though, the most powerful Democrats in the country seemed to relish harkening back to a pre-Trump, pre-Covid-19 era.
“It feels like the good old days,” Mr Biden said.