Obama Celebrates Birthday with Cupcakes for Press

On the occasion of his own birthday, President Obama made a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room to lead the press corps in singing happy birthday to veteran reporter Helen Thomas.

Thomas turned 89 years old on Tuesday. The president turned 48.

Mr. Obama brought cupcakes into the briefing room as reporters were preparing to question press secretary Robert Gibbs. He told Thomas that he would leave it up to her to decide how to distribute the cupcakes.

Thomas, a liberal columnist with Hearst Newspapers, made a wish and blew out a candle.

Mr. Obama said Thomas had wished for "world peace [and] no prejudice."

"But she and I also shared a common birthday wish: She said she hopes for a real health care reform bill," he added.

The president then gave Thomas a kiss and left the briefing room.