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With wife, daughters out of town, Obama gets in last-minute Christmas shopping

As the White House waits to see what Congress’ next move on the payroll tax holiday will be, the president took Bo, the dog, out for a shopping trip in Alexandria, Va., today. 

Rolling up in a shorter-than-usual motorcade, President Obama took a stroll through Petsmart in the Potomac Yards strip mall with Bo on a leash. He paid cash for his purchases, which included a rubber dog bone, as gawking shoppers snapped photos. 

He shook hands and wished shoppers, "Happy Holidays," before heading over to Best Buy to purchase presents “for the girls.”

President Obama ignored shouted questions about whether he’d deliver his daughters' gifts (which we here at First Read will not unveil) in person.

But the jaunt to the mall highlighted that, for now, he’s waiting in D.C., while his family is in Hawaii, the president's birth state.

As the president went for his credit card to pay for the games and gift cards, he said, "Let's see if my credit card still works. It will be really embarrassing if it doesn't go through.”

The credit card went through just fine.

His last stop was at Pizzeria Del Ray to pick up three pizzas. While working the rope line outside, one man told him he disagreed with him on the Keystone Pipeline, but liked what he’s doing otherwise. The president replied, “Thank you,” before shaking another hand and wishing somebody else “Merry Christmas.”