President, first lady greet visitors as White House tours reopen

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama surprised guests arriving at the White House Tuesday, the first day tours resumed after they were halted during sequestration.

The first family and their two dogs, Bo and Sunny, stood in the Blue Room to welcome visitors to their home.

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The Obamas shook hands and bantered with each of the guests, which included a mix of children on school trips, tourist families, international visitors and local residents.

Among the highlights: Obama complimenting a young boy on his pocket square as "kind of rakish"; joking with an expectant mother that if she went into labor, "we've got doctors here"; and apologizing to tourists from Wisconsin for the Chicago Bears' upset win over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night.

One girl told Obama she had already taken a picture with him — while visiting the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

"Did I look better or worse at the wax museum?" Obama quipped. "I have more gray hair than they have on me at the wax museum."

The Secret Service said last month that it would reopen the tours for three days a week — down from the five days a week in the past. The agency had closed the White House tours due to the budgets cuts automatically triggered when lawmakers were unable to strike a deal.

Last month, a spokesman from the Republican National Committee accused the White House of playing "political games" with the tours.

"We’re glad to see the Obama Administration is rethinking using school children who want to tour the White House as political pawns," said the RNC's Kirsten Kukowski.

A spokesman for the first lady's office noted that nearly 3 million visitors have been to the White House since Obama took office.