D.C. Social Scene Seen Likely To Pick Up!

New presidents change Washington's political landscape. That much, we all know.

And the focal point of Barack Obama's campaign was his promise to bring change to the nation, and to the way things are done in the capital.

But can we expect change in D.C.'s social style, as well? What might Barack Obama's Washington be like?

There's no one better to put those questions to than CBS News Senior White House correspondent Bill Plante.

On The Early Show Thursday, Plante pointed out that the Obamas have called a hundred-year-old Georgian mansion on Chicago's South Side home in recent years.

But when they move into the White House with their daughters Malia, 10 and Sasha, 7, it will be the first time since the Kennedys were there that more than one young child lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

"I think it's going to be very exciting to have young children in the White House," says Washington Post writer and hostess Sally Quinn, who adds that the town just hasn't been much fun lately. "There has virtually been no social scene in Washington, because the Bushes have not been interested."

The capital used to be a place where politicians put aside partisanship after work, Plante notes.

"At five o'clock in the afternoon," Quinn recalls, "everybody left their offices and went to other people's offices for a drink, and then they all went out to dinner together."

There hasn't been much of that lately, Plante observes, but Quinn sees change coming.

"I also think there is a whole new attitude about reaching out to the other side and befriending those who are on the other side of the aisle," Quinn says.

How will the new president relax?

Private donors put a jogging track in the White House for Bill Clinton. George Bush rides mountain bikes. And Barack Obama -- plays basketball. The White House has a hoop with a half-court but, Plante figures -- everyone will want to play!

"I can tell you that basketball nets are going up over driveways all over town as we speak!" Quinn remarked.

How about the occasional dinner out? The Obamas are known to like Mexican food -- and there is an excellent Mexican eatery near the White House.

And Steve Fowler, general manager of the Oyamel restaurant, says it can "work something out" in the way of a kids' menu for Malia and Sasha!
  • CBSNews

Comments