POCANTICO HILLS, N.Y. (AP) — President Barack Obama on Saturday temporarily set aside the pressures of trying to calm the world’s trouble spots and assumed the role of spectator for something more joyous: the wedding of the Obama family’s longtime chef and friend.
Chef Sam Kass and MSNBC host Alex Wagner were tying the knot at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a farm-to-table restaurant in Pocantico Hills, just north of New York City.
Obama and Kass have a close relationship, which Obama highlighted earlier this month by spending several hours at dinner at Kass’ apartment amid the turmoil in Iraq, Ukraine and Ferguson, Missouri.
It’s long been said that time is a president’s most precious commodity. That Obama would spend five hours at Kass’ home on one of the aide’s final evenings as a bachelor was a testament to their bond.
Obama’s rounds of golf are often his only other outings that last as long — and those games sometimes include Kass.
Obama, his wife, Michelle, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha, attended the ceremony and reception at the restaurant, which is a favorite of both Kass and Mrs. Obama. The first lady hosted the spouses of world leaders there in 2010.
Obama wore a dark suit, and Mrs. Obama and their daughters each wore sleeveless black dresses. The first family spent about six hours at the wedding. Obama had no known role, other than to give his best to the bride and groom.
The union of Kass, 34, and Wagner, 36, also served to highlight what some contend is too much togetherness between the media and the people they report on. Naturally, the guest list was expected to include staff from both the White House and the liberal-leaning cable news outlet, with people from both sides breaking bread at the same dinner table.