President Barack Obama, popular in blue states, had a decidedly red message Tuesday: "Let me start with a quick public service announcement for all the gentlemen out there. Today is Valentine's Day."
"Do not forget!" he warned, suggesting that he himself could have used a reminder at some point in his relationship with his wife of 19 years, Michelle. "I speak from experience here."
"It is important that you remember this,' he continued in a preface to remarks about the benefits of a payroll tax cut. "And go big _ that's my advice."
It was the kind of counsel that might be slightly off message for a president trying to portray himself as fiscally prudent.
But on Valentine's Day men are wise to put cost aside.
And, no, the president did not forget his own obligation. At 2:39 p.m., he delivered a personal greeting on Twitter: "Hey, (at)MichelleObama: Happy Valentine's Day. -bo"
No word on how big he went.
But he did have plans.
"I'm going to take my wife out to dinner," he told Atlanta television station WAGA on Tuesday. "And I would advise anyone watching to make sure they don't miss out on this."
The Obamas later went to Vermilion, a restaurant in Alexandria, Va., a Washington suburb.