From NBC's Athena Jones
WASHINGTON -- The First Dog made his debut on the South Lawn of the White House Tuesday afternoon before at least 60 members of the press.
"Here he is," President Obama said as he and his family walked out of the house.
"I've finally got a friend; it took some time," the president joked at one point when a reporter made a reference to President Harry Truman's famous advice that "if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."
Video: The presidential puppy Bo makes his debut on the White House lawn. MSNBC's Tamron Hall reports.
Bo Obama, a Portuguese water dog, frolicked with his new owners before a herd of cameras and scribes, before the president, first lady and the Obama daughters took him for a walk down the hill toward the fountain and the first lady's new garden.
"He's a star; he's got star quality," Obama said. "He's a rock star."
The long-awaited and much-talked-about arrival of Bo, perhaps the most famous dog in America, fulfilled a promise Obama made to his daughters during the election.
"That's a good-looking dog," the president added. "The only concern we have is apparently Portuguese water dogs like tomatoes. Michelle's garden is in danger."
A few minutes later, 7-year-old Sasha piped up, telling the assembled reporters, "He doesn't know how to swim."
Obama explained that the breed apparently had to be taught to swim -- even though they are famous for their aquatic abilities.
The president said the family would take turns walking the pup, that "of course" he would be allowed in the Oval Office and that the family wanted to make sure they were responsible dog owners.