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Obama, inventors check out electric giraffe

By Stacy Anderson

WASHINGTON (AP) - If President Barack Obama is mingling with inventors, sooner or later there has to be a robot. On Wednesday, it was Russell, the 17-foot electric giraffe towering in the South Lawn of the White House, a symbol of the quirky and clever creations Obama wanted to showcase on a day devoted to innovation.

"New tools and technologies are making the building of things easier than ever," Obama told entrepreneurs and students who gathered at the White House at its first "Maker Faire." ''There is a democratization of manufacturing that is potentially available because of technology."

As part of a weekslong emphasis on the economy, Obama was promoting the use of new tools and techniques to start up new businesses, to boost manufacturing and to strengthen science and math education.

"We've got to make sure that more Americans have the skills and opportunities to land a job in a growing industry or to create entire new industries," he said. "That's why I'm declaring today a national day of making."

Obama spoke after wandering outside from exhibit to exhibit on a sweltering day at the White House.

Besides the giant giraffe, a huge red weather balloon hovered over the Rose Garden and a menacing dinosaur head rested in a hallway.

A Philadelphia nonprofit group demonstrated a fuel-efficient car. Another showed off a solar energy unit.

"What on earth have you done to my house?" Obama joked.

Obama always seems engrossed by technological innovations, though he joked about the name "Maker Faire" as a gathering for new and creative products.

"Why is there an 'E' at the end of 'faire'?" he said. "Is there jousting? Do we all have to get dressed up, or what?....This is America. We don't have 'E's' at the end of 'fair.'"

More than 100 "makers" from 25 states were at the White House as Obama focused on helping fledgling businesses create and market their products. Obama was in Pittsburgh on Tuesday pledging to make expanding manufacturing a priority for his remaining years in office.

The White House says 13 federal agencies are teaming up with companies like Etsy and Kickstarter to help Americans access startup capital and tools to develop new products.

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supersarge1963 June 18 2014 at 4:25 PM

How cute. Millions without jobs, the middle east falling apart, Russia in the Ukraine, a Marine unlawfully in a Mexican jail, and he's playing with a robot. Go figure.

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33 replies
bbnpl4545 June 18 2014 at 4:55 PM

Now if that thing would have ate obama. I would say we have something there. Then we send it out to eat his sheep.

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9 replies
u8nt4me June 18 2014 at 4:25 PM

Sure it looks like a donkey - ass - giraffe, he sure fits in. Still surprised he has time with exhibits considering all the walls tumbling down.

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5 replies
coopdabomb June 18 2014 at 4:47 PM

Giraffe meets monkey, how sweet.

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5 replies
bobparks77 June 18 2014 at 6:05 PM

Disgusting disgrace of a "president"........a complete failure.

Flag Reply +36 rate up
3 replies
b.shagnasty June 18 2014 at 5:38 PM

When you already have your 40 million dollar Hawaiian estate picked out, your approval ratings are in the toilet, your job performance reeks, you've padded your bank account for retirement,....Hell, lets all go play on the South Lawn.

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2 replies
hi newpatch1951 b.shagnasty June 18 2014 at 7:20 PM


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oysterclam b.shagnasty June 18 2014 at 8:55 PM

Yeah just like Bushy baby....

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cza2129 June 18 2014 at 5:09 PM

AOL…ANOTHER wing of the lefts "lame stream media". While the world is in upheaval they are worried about what is hanging over this morons head. How about for once doing your job and asking the TOUGH questions? Enough of your @$$ kissing of the self loathing America hating apologists.

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8 replies
KATHI AND JOHN June 18 2014 at 5:38 PM

oh look a long neck electric jackass

Flag Reply +24 rate up
Michael June 18 2014 at 6:18 PM

Mr. Magoo plays with a robot while america is dismantled . Nero fiddle's whíle rome burns. History repeats itself.

Flag Reply +15 rate up
moooooooooochelle June 18 2014 at 11:02 PM


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