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Obama: Flinty Chicago Oak or Delicate Tropical Flower?

10:57 AM, Jan 29, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
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Perhaps it's the weather that's confusing President Obama. After all, anyone could be thrown for a loop when Al Gore is testifying on the Hill as to the impending doom of the planet Earth due to global warming while the Hill is blanketed in snow and ice.

Maybe that's why Obama was ridiculing Washington, D.C. residents for their panicky response to several inches of snow on Tuesday:

"Can I make a comment unrelated to the economy?" -- and launched into weather remarks (please check transcript):

"My children's school was canceled today, because of what? Some ice," he said, and all at the table started laughing.

"As my children pointed out, in Chicago school is never canceled," he said, joking about how kids go out for recess on snow days. More laughter.

POTUS said he would have to instill "some flinty Chicago toughness" into Washingtonians.

"When it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don't seem to be able to handle things," POTUS said.

Only to have David Axelrod explain the change in Oval Office dress code (no jackets required) by invoking Obama's Hawaiian roots, just days later:

The capital flew into a bit of a tizzy when, on his first full day in the White House, President Obama was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit jacket. There was, however, a logical explanation: Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat.

"He's from Hawaii, O.K.?" said Mr. Obama's senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. "He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there."

We D.C. folks could stand to learn a few lessons from this flinty Chicagoan who is ready to brave the 50-foot, indoor commute to his office in a 75-degree White House.

Update: Heyyyyy, wait just a second. Who was it that lectured us about how we can't keep our thermostats at 72 degrees?

Oh, that's right. Obama, On Your Shoulder.