By CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller.
"As my children point out, in Chicago – school is never cancelled," he said at the start of a meeting in the Roosevelt Room to discuss the economy with business leaders.
He said his youngest daughter Sasha, age 7, "pointed out that (back in Chicago), you'd go outside for recess in weather like this. You wouldn't even stay indoors."
School systems all over the D.C. area were shut down because of the weather and road conditions. The Obama girls go to Sidwell Friends, a private school with campuses in D.C. and suburban Maryland. If they went to public school in D.C., they'd be in class. The D.C. schools opened after a two hour delay.
But closing the schools seems soft to the president. "I don't know – we're going to have to try to apply some flinty Chicago toughness to this town," said Mr. Obama.
"When it comes to the weather," he said, "folks in Washington don't seem to be able to handle things."
The D.C. area has a well-earned reputation of being quick to close the schools because of bad weather. People here like to joke that if it's snowing in Ohio, they'll close the schools in Washington.
Join in the ridicule, Mr. President.