CHICAGO (Reuters) - President Barack Obama got a brief respite from the euro zone debt crisis and an intensifying general election campaign on Saturday while attending the wedding of a top aide’s daughter with his family in his hometown.
The wedding of White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett’s daughter, Laura, on a balmy night brought Obama administration allies and friends to Jarrett’s home in a neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.
Laura Jarrett was to marry fellow Harvard Law School graduate Tony Balkissoon, according to local news reports.
Notable guests included Attorney General Eric Holder; Ariel Investments chief executive and big-dollar Obama fundraiser John Rogers, Jr.; and business executive and civil rights activist Vernon Jordan, an adviser to former President Bill Clinton.
Obama and his family strolled to the wedding from their own home a few houses away. The president wore a light brown suit, first lady Michelle Obama was dressed in a cream-colored skirt, and their two daughters, Sasha and Malia, wore green and yellow dresses, respectively.
The neighborhood was under tight surveillance for the event with law enforcement officials setting up a perimeter, screening guests as they walked toward the house and conducting security sweeps of automobiles.
“Tonight the first family is attending the wedding of Laura Jarrett,” a White House official said in a statement, but details were not provided because it was a private event.
Jarrett, a onetime Chicago lawyer and deputy chief of staff for former Mayor Richard M. Daley, is a longtime personal friend of the Obamas.
The first family flew to Chicago on Friday, and Obama and his wife spent roughly five hours at the home of Chicago businessman Martin Nesbitt, a friend of the president and treasurer of his 2008 campaign. They left well after midnight.
Obama is due to travel on Sunday to Los Cabos, Mexico, where representatives of the Group of 20 leading industrial nations will discuss the deepening European crisis and prepare for possible market fallout after elections in Greece, which may determine that country’s chances of staying in the single-currency zone.
Additional reporting by Matt Spetalnick; editing by Steve Gorman and Mohammad Zargham