President Obama salutes Marines honor guards as he boards the Marine One… (Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated…)
WASHINGTON– To mark his birthday Saturday, President Obama stepped off the campaign trail and onto the golf course.
Obama celebrated turning 51 with a round of golf under a hot sun at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. He was joined by a group of friends and aides.
The president wore tan pants, a white shirt and sunglasses, while his companions, described by a White House aide as personal friends, wore golf shirts and shorts on a sunny, sultry, mid-90s day.
Later in the day, the president was to fly to Camp David for a quiet weekend in the pine forests of the Catoctin Mountains. He was to have dinner with First Lady Michelle Obama, who is back in the U.S. after a trip to London for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.
His daughters, Malia and Sasha, are away at summer camp.
Michelle Obama sent an e-mail to supporters Saturday asking them to add their names to an online birthday card for the president – and to donate to his reelection campaign.
“The election is only going to get tougher,” she wrote. “So I know it would mean a lot to Barack to know he has your support on his birthday.”
Obama will rev up the campaign on Monday with fundraisers in Connecticut.
Supporters will also gather at the Obama family home on the South Side of Chicago next weekend for a birthday-themed fundraiser. In emails, supporters were encouraged to donate in order to win one of two open seats at Obama’s birthday party in Chicago on Aug. 12.
Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney, was scheduled to make a campaign stop at Stepto’s BBQ Shack in Evansville, Ind., on Saturday afternoon. He was to attend a fundraising dinner Saturday night at the home of businessman Steven Chancellor, the head of a business called the American Patriot Group.