U.S. president sweats over sweaters during NY shopping stop

Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:22pm EDT
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By Steve Holland

NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Barack Obama took on a daunting task on Tuesday: shopping for clothes for his wife and daughters during a brief stop at a Gap store while raising money for Democrats in New York.

Obama was in New York to attend fundraisers aimed at building up campaign war chests for this year's midterm congressional elections, which he said are key to how much of his agenda he can get done in the rest of his time in office.

"I don't have time to waste... I want to squeeze every last bit of work that I can during the remainder of my term so that looking back I'll be able to say we left everything on the field," he said at the second of the events, which was staged to help Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate.

Obama's first stop was at a Gap store, where the president sorted carefully through sweaters in search of a purchase for one of his two daughters, Sasha and Malia, before holding up a pink one.

"I'm worried the V-neck is going to slip," the president said before opting for a regular-cut neck.

Moving to the adult women's section, Obama declared wife Michelle difficult to shop for: "Maybe I should buy some socks."

Obama had dropped by a Midtown Manhattan branch of the clothing chain to thank Gap Inc for its decision to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour this year and $10 an hour in 2015. He has been campaigning to persuade businesses and Congress to raise wages for workers at the bottom of the scale.

After picking a pair of sweaters and a blue workout jacket, Obama moved to the cash register, as reporters, photographers, aides, and Secret Service agents looked on.   Continued...

U.S. President Barack Obama looks for gifts for his family with salesperson Susan Panariello after stopping off at the GAP in New York, March 11, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing