First lady Michelle Obama reportedly left White House staffers in tears after she took them out for an emotional farewell holiday pizza party this week.
Obama, who is set to leave the White House ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration on 20 January, threw a final Christmas party at We The Pizza restaurant in DC, later moving on to Bernaise, at an event that became emotional after she delivered a thank you speech to staff.
A source told The Hill how her words “left everybody in tears” as they celebrated the final holiday party and the past eight years in the White House at the restaurant, which is supposedly a favorite of hers.
“It was a very exclusive, private event for her and her staff,” owner and chef Spike Mendelsohn told ABC News in a phone interview. “It was a celebration of all the work her staff has done over the last eight years.”
A second person who attended the event said it was “emotional.”
Mendelsohn says many in the room, including himself, were brought to tears by remarks the Michelle gave to the staff — telling them “not to harp on the negativity and keep up the good work.”
“Her message struck a cord, it was emotional, especially with everything that’s happening now with the country and the world,” he said.
He described the mood in the room as simultaneously “joyful and celebratory,” but also “real.”
“There was an underlying sadness that it’s come to an end,” he noted.
She struck a wistful tone when discussing her family’s impending departure from the White House. “You know, there are little moments. Even today I was looking out at this view here. Looking out on the South Lawn and the Washington Monument and it had just rained and the grass was really green and everything popped a little bit more. It’s soooo beautiful. And for that moment I thought, I’m going to miss waking up to this, having access to this anytime I want. But on the flip side … it’s time.”