Shortly before the close of her Jansing & Co. program today, MSNBC morning anchor Chris Jansing informed viewers of 90-year-old comedienne Betty White's visit and photo-op with President Obama in the Oval Office on Monday.
Jansing made it sound as though White's visit was a simple apolitical courtesy call before the nonagenarian actress gave a speech at the Smithsonian, and it may well have been just that, but Jansing failed to note that White endorsed Obama last month and that campaign donation records show she gave the president's reelection campaign $900 in April. White -- who called Sarah Palin "one crazy bitch" in 2008 -- also donated $700 to the Democratic National Committee in 2007.
"The president, of course, has a lot of important meetings, but yesterday, he took a couple of minutes out of his day to chat with, yes, Betty White. This photo just released by the White House and he asked the 90-year old to see her birth certificate, showing a sense of humor. She was in town to give a speech at the Smithsonian," Jansing told viewers over a screen shot showing the White House photo by Pete Souza.
For their part, however, Washington Post gossip columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts report that White, who's a "longtime Democrat," "was in town for a White House tour and brief visit with President Obama" according to the actress's agent.
Of course, for his part, President Obama had a relatively light schedule yesterday. According to the White House's official schedule, Obama's agenda for Monday was solely comprised of his usual daily briefing (at 9:30 a.m. EDT), a smattering of short interviews with local TV anchors (10:50 a.m.), lunch with Joe Biden (12:30 p.m.), and brief chats with Treasury Secretary Geithner (4 p.m.) and Defense Secretary Panetta (4:30).
If Obama's meeting with the latter lasted a mere 30 minutes (as his Geithner chat was allotted), then President Obama put in a mere 7.5-hour work day, or 6.5 hours if you assume a leisurely hour-long lunch with the veep. Of course, the president had a large hole in his schedule between lunch and the Geithner meeting, so that was plenty of time to shoot the breeze with Betty.
Today's Obama schedule is much less lighter as to his official duties, however. A look at the White House schedule shows his day is booked solid with campaign travel, with only the 11 a.m. daily briefing constituting actual work on the docket.