Image: Snow in D.C.
J. Scott Applewhite  /  AP
Sleet and snow fell on Washington overnight, leading to school closures and some chiding from President Barack Obama.
updated 1/28/2009 2:25:01 PM ET 2009-01-28T19:25:01

You call this bad weather? President Barack Obama, steeled by many snowy Chicago winters, expressed disbelief Wednesday when his daughters woke up to find that their classes had been canceled for the day.

Schools in Washington and the surrounding suburbs either opened late or scrapped all their classes because of icy conditions.

"Can I make a comment that is unrelated to the economy very quickly?" the new president told reporters at a gathering with business leaders. "And it has to do with Washington. My children's school was canceled today. Because of, what? Some ice?"

The president said he wasn't the only one who was incredulous.

"As my children pointed out, in Chicago, school is never canceled," Obama said to laughter. "In fact, my 7-year-old pointed out that you'd go outside for recess. You wouldn't even stay indoors. So, I don't know. We're going to have to try to apply some flinty Chicago toughness."

Asked if he meant the people of the national's capital are wimps, Obama said: "I'm saying, when it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don't seem to be able to handle things."

Obama's daughters attend the private Sidwell Friends School.

Malia, 10, is a fifth-grader at the middle school campus in the District of Columbia, while younger sister Sasha is in second grade at the elementary school in Bethesda, Md., just outside Washington.

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Video: Snow day


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