Updated: November 2, 2011 7:11PM
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle are hosting pals tonight at a Rose Garden birthday bash to mark Obama’s 50th — and the first couple are paying for it themselves.
Coming off the debt- ceiling crisis, the White House has not been eager to throw any spotlight on partying — even for a milestone birthday. The Rose Garden party was left off Obama’s official schedule for Thursday — not that everything is always on it, but this omission seems telling.
At the end of an interview Wednesday with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, I asked her if she was going to the Rose Garden party — and if she was bringing Obama a gift.
She’s going and she quipped that her gift was the debt-ceiling legislation, which Obama signed into law Tuesday.
Obama will spend the weekend with close friends and family at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland.
Last year, Obama marked his 49th birthday in Chicago with pals at the Graham Elliot restaurant; Oprah Winfrey was among the guests.