U.S. President Barack Obama will celebrate his 50th birthday on Thursday in Washington with a private party at the White House.
President Obama will spend the morning at work, before hosting a party with family and friends at the White House Rose Garden later in the day. Mr. Obama will then spend the weekend with his family at the Camp David presidential retreat.
At a birthday gala and campaign fundraiser in his adopted hometown of Chicago on Wednesday night, President Obama defended his economic record, but admitted there is still “a lot of work to do on the economy.”
The president also referred to the recent debt ceiling compromise bill as a “self-inflicted wound,” saying that Washington does not have time to play “partisan games.”
President Obama signed the deal to cut government spending and raise the nation’s borrowing limit on Tuesday, just hours before the government says it would have run out of money to pay all its bills.
Attendees of Wednesday’s fundraising event paid up to $35,800 for a ticket — money that will go towards the president’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Earlier Wednesday, Mr. Obama received a birthday telephone call from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the two leaders discussed Russia’s 18-year quest to join the World Trade Organization.
Carney said the two leaders agreed that “significant progress” had been made, but that Mr. Obama urged Russia to negotiate with WTO members to resolve the remaining issues.
Russia has released a postage stamp, matching envelope, and postmark in honor of Mr. Obama’s birthday.