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Notes from Memphis Night at the White House

8:59 PM, Apr 9, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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The pool report from Memphis night at the White House:

[P]ool also spotted Dr. Jill Biden, sporting a dress with a leopard print on a white background. Vice President Biden didn't appear to be sitting with her, as far as pool could tell. Our view of the audience was partially blocked. 

Some funny comments from Ken Ehrlich, the executive producer of the show -- 

As he was warming up the audience before the show started, he said so many of the night's songs would feature hits by Otis Redding that he has dubbed the event "Otis for POTUS." 

He then led the audience in practicing their synchronized clapping to a recorded version of "Respect." Afterward, Ehrlich said he was "particularly proud of all the white people. I think we really proved something ... and we're going to keep proving it all night." 

When POTUS and FLOTUS were about to come into the room, the lighting around the stage turned to a vibrant purple. President Obama walked into the room to the Booker T. Washington and the MG's 60s mod classic "Green Onions." When he got to the mike, he said: "I'm in my second term now so rather than 'Hail to the Chief,' we're going with that (referring to the Green Onions song)...from here on out. A little change in tradition." 

Obama then announced the engagement of two White House staffers, Kenny Thompson, the director of Vice President Joe Biden's messaging, and Jess Wright, White House director of scheduling. He said the two of them had worked for him since Iowa in 2007.  "I'm going to exercise a little presidential prerogative to say a few words about two very special people who are here tonight...this is going to embarrass them," he said.  "Over the weekend, Kenny popped the question and Jess said yes," he said. 

"They are wonderful, they are loyal and they have shown such great friendship to me...I'm so glad athey have gone ahead and taken the plunge" 

"By the way guys, Justin Timberlake just got married to this lovely young lady right here -- Jessica Biel," he said, pointing her out in the front row in the audience. 

"So Justin can probably offer you a few pointers, and Justin, they are looking for a wedding singer," he said to laughter. "I'm just 'sayin'.”

The rest of Mr. Obama's comments are on the transcript that has already come out. Please check the quotes against the transcript. Sam Moore and Joshua Ledet sang a rousing rendition of "Soul Man." 

Moore, who was wearing sunglasses, was sporting a black jacket with brilliant rhinestones on the collar and the shirt cuffs. Ledet wore a red bow tie, white shirt with black pants that had a line of sequins or beds down the side of each leg. Late in the the song the two got into a dueling voice competition that had the audience clapping and laughing. 

A disappointed pool was ushered out after that one song. We will have to wait to see the rest on the PBS broadcast of the show April 16. 

We have a lid. 

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