Book-buying Obama shows support for local business

US President Barack Obama (left) shops at Politics and Prose bookstore, an independent bookseller, in Washington, DC, Nov 29, 2014. Accompanied by his teenage daughters Sasha and Malia, Obama bought 17 books. -- PHOTO: AFP 
US President Barack Obama (left) shops at Politics and Prose bookstore, an independent bookseller, in Washington, DC, Nov 29, 2014. Accompanied by his teenage daughters Sasha and Malia, Obama bought 17 books. -- PHOTO: AFP 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Barack Obama showed some presidential support for small businesses on Saturday, when he stopped at a local Washington bookstore for a spot of holiday shopping.

His visit to the Politics and Prose independent bookstore came on “Small Business Saturday” – a growing movement that encourages shoppers to support local merchants.

America’s Thanksgiving holiday is followed by Black Friday, which sees throngs of often-frenzied consumers swamp large stores in search of steep discounts.

Accompanied by his teenaged daughters Sasha and Malia, Obama bought 17 books for readers of varying ages, including Age Of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth And Faith In The New China, by Evan Osnos, and Brown Girl Dreaming, a book of verse telling the story of author Jacqueline Woodson’s childhood.

When Obama jokingly asked for a discount, a store clerk said he could have a “neighbour’s discount.” The bookstore is a few miles north of the White House.

At one point, a person in the crowd shouted something about the Guantanamo Bay military prison, to which Obama said: “We’re working on it. Any other issues?”

Obama has promised to close the prison, but more than 100 inmates remain.