Obama takes his leave a bit early, then returns

AP News
Posted: Nov 23, 2009 8:05 PM

President Barack Obama is getting used to leaving events before they end _ even when he doesn't have to.

Obama on Monday mistakenly left a White House ceremony honoring two activists' work in Zimbabwe. After finishing his remarks in the East Room, he walked with first lady Michelle Obama into the grand hallway across the main floor of the Executive Mansion.

He returned a moment later, a bit sheepishly.

He said with a laugh, "I'm allowed to stay." Then he added, "I never know what I'm allowed to do."

Obama left when he had finished presenting the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. His war council met a short time later to discuss options for Afghanistan and Pakistan.