Irish Times: Barack Obama delivered his cúpla focal (Irish for ‘a couple of words’) with such aplomb last Monday because he had practised them on a receptionist at Dublin’s Merrion Hotel before taking to the College Green stage.

As the president was leaving the five-star hotel where he had been due to spend the night, he stopped and chatted with staff, including Bernie O’Meara from Birr. Once he heard she was from Co Offaly, his ancestral home, he started calling her “cuz” and spent several minutes trying out his Irish on her to ensure he got his pronunciation just right.

…Mr Obama exited the hotel through a marquee erected at the entrance to ensure there was no line of sight. As the visit came to a hurried end, staff wanted a picture with the president, but their professionalism would not allow them to ask. They were not to be disappointed, however. “Mr Obama asked if he could have his picture taken with us before he left,” said the hotel’s general manager Peter McCann.

What else could they say but “Yes you can”.

Full article here

14 Responses to “cuz!”

  1. 1 sherijr
    May 24, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    oh man I LOVE these stories.. they are so fun and heartwarming and they do not surprise me at all- I absolutely know this is who Barack Obama is. I’m just glad Ireland really saw him.

  2. 2 meta
    May 24, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Sometimes it’s impossible to imagine the life they live. And then we get stories like this and we see how real they are, no matter how complex the whole infrastructure has become. They are beautiful people, pure and simple. The kind you wish lived next door or were in your immediate family, leaving behind hugs and good wishes until the next time. Thank you for another incredible glimpse, Chips.

  3. 3 Ceb
    May 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    This is so like him; warm and gracious. So proud of our First Couple. No ugly Americnas here. It is also gratifying to see now the queen interacts with them. I have never seen her smile and appear so natural with any other heads of state.

  4. 4 Suzanne
    May 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    What a sweet story. The President seems very aware of others. I love reading about people just being open to who the President and Michelle are as people and seeing them for the gracious, loving people they are. And I also want to say how much I appreciated how genuine and welcoming the Irish are. I saw an interview with an Irish official after the Dublin speech and he talked about renewing a network with Irish Americans. I think there is so much good that will come from this visit.

  5. 5 kelly
    May 24, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    “he started calling her “cuz”” 😀 This trip was filled with so much awesome. I am positive his time in Ireland was personally important to the president. He started his quest for family with Dreams from my father and now he has found more family in Moneygall, Ireland. It was truly a gratifying and emotional time for him. I hope he goes back for Christmas.

    • 6 Doris
      May 24, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      So true Kelly, I love what everyone has said and thank Chips for this. This has been a tearful and happy week for me. Very emotional–hard to describe. I’m hoping a book comes out of this from the President and the First Lady too. Hopefully, one to the girls and one or more for all of us. As with his last book for the girls, the proceeds went to charity. It would be nice if the proceeds went to Moneygall and Irish students. I’m sure he will think of something. This has been a touching experience for them. The connections with family in Ireland will be documented.

  6. 7 dotster
    May 24, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Great story. President Obama is so thoughtful, so kind, and I think he was so genuinely touched by the overflow of love and affection he felt in Ireland. I was wondering about the people who had prepared for his stay there last night and felt sad about the disappointment they must have felt about the change of plans. President Obama must have been aware of that too and made it a little bit easier for them.

    • 8 GGail
      May 24, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      I bet he and Michelle personally called them to give thanks and regrets. That’s just how they roll.

  7. 9 M
    May 24, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Chips, this story made my day! Hard to imagine how anything could top the images and videos from earlier with the Queen but this did! Oh, I could not be any prouder of our President.

  8. 10 Asher in Boston
    May 24, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    ” CUZ”, that is sweet. So proud of Potus, sweet, caring and a genuine person. Fun, too.

  9. 11 louc1
    May 24, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Our First Famiiy is First class!

  10. 12 HZ
    May 24, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Oh thanks so much Chipsticks for ALL of the beauty that you bring here for us to enjoy. You have made me so happy this as well. You are so much a part of my life now. I just think that this story is who our President really is all about. The kind, caring, and delights of life. We love you, Mr. President, and we are so elated that the people in Ireland love you as well.

  11. 13 Titti
    May 25, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Stories like this makes me luv em even more and bring tears to my eyes for some reason. This is how human beings should behave but unfortunately we have seen or heard about people in power and with money been obnoxious and feeling that they are better than the average man.
    I can’t wait for the books too, especially after they leave the WH.

  12. 14 AnitaW
    May 25, 2011 at 10:39 am

    One of my favorite stories from Ireland and believe me there were many. Just an all around kind person.

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