WASHINGTON — President Obama and his two young daughters have a message for Washington, based on years of Chicago winters: Toughen up.
A dusting of snow -- followed by melting temperatures, rain, sleet and then overnight freezing -- packed much of the Washington area in ice Wednesday morning. Schools throughout the region shut down -- including Sidwell Friends, where Sasha and Malia Obama are enrolled.
"Can I make a comment that is unrelated to the economy, very quickly?" Obama asked at the White House on Wednesday. "My children's school was canceled today because of what, some ice?"
As reporters and business leaders laughed, Obama added: "As my children pointed out, in Chicago, school is never canceled. In fact, my 7-year-old [Sasha] pointed out that you'd go outside for recess in weather like this. . . . You wouldn't even stay indoors. So it's -- I don't know. We're going to have to try to apply some flinty Chicago toughness to this town."