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Excerpts from the Remarks of President Barack Obama at the Alfalfa Dinner

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
_________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release

January 31, 2009

Excerpts from the Remarks of President Barack Obama

Alfalfa Dinner
Saturday, January 31st, 2009
Washington, DC

I am seriously glad to be here tonight at the annual Alfalfa dinner. I know that many you are aware that this dinner began almost one hundred years ago as a way to celebrate the birthday of General Robert E. Lee. If he were here with us tonight, the General would be 202 years old. And very confused.

Now, this hasn't been reported yet, but it was actually Rahm's idea to do the swearing-in ceremony again. Of course, for Rahm, every day is a swearing-in ceremony.

But don't believe what you read. Rahm Emanuel is a real sweetheart.

No, it's true. Every week the guy takes a little time away to give back to the community. Just last week he was at a local school, teaching profanity to poor children.

But these are the kind of negotiations you have to deal with as President. In just the first few weeks, I've had to engage in some of the toughest diplomacy of my life. And that was just to keep my Blackberry. I finally agreed to limit the number of people who could email me. It's a very exclusive list. How exclusive?

Everyone look at the person sitting on your left. Now look at the person sitting on your right. None of you have my email address.