Royalty and statesmen

The US leader has introduced a "business casual" decree for weekends, works in his shirt sleeves and has filled the fridge with organic iced tea. Meanwhile, being able to see his children every day has made him "very happy", says an adviser
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Mr Obama brings breath of fresh air to life in the White House

30 JANUARY 2009
While he settles down to the task of bringing his own vision to US politics, Barack Obama has also been making changes in the White House as he adjusts to family life in the presidential residence.

The strict formal dress code was the first thing go. A "business casual" decree now covers weekend wear, and he also works jacketless - something discouraged by the Bush administration.

There's also a new addition to the White House fridge - Mr Obama's favourite drink of organic iced tea in Black Forest berry and green dragon flavours. He starts the day with a cool drink and a 6.45am workout, before breakfasting with daughters Malia, ten, and seven-year-old Sasha.

After months on the campaign trail and a long commute from Chicago to Washington kept him away from his family, the US leader is relishing being back in their midst full time. "Even as he is sober about these challenges, I have never seen him happier," says his senior adviser.

"The chance to be under the same roof with his kids… to be able to see them whenever he wants, to wake up them, have breakfast and dinner with them – that has made him a very happy man."


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