President Barack Obama pauses in the Oval Office after making a series of telephone calls to Members of Congress, Dec. 1, 2010.

President Barack Obama pauses in the Oval Office after making a series of telephone calls to Members of Congress,  Dec. 1, 2010.

President Barack Obama jokes with Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Colin Powell following their meeting in the Oval Office, Dec. 1, 2010.

President Barack Obama jokes with Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Colin Powell following their meeting in the Oval Office,  Dec. 1, 2010.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk with former Secretary of State Colin Powell following their meeting in the Oval Office, Dec. 1, 2010.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk with former Secretary of State Colin Powell following their meeting in the Oval Office,  Dec. 1, 2010.

First Lady Michelle Obama and White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses laugh as a young visitor tastes her decorated cookie during a holiday craft demonstration with the children of military personnel in the State Dining Room of the White House, Dec. 1, 2010.

First Lady Michelle Obama and White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses laugh as a young visitor tastes her decorated cookie during a holiday craft demonstration with the children of military personnel in the State Dining Room of the White House, Dec. 1, 2010.

White House Chief Floral Designer Laura Dowling arranges a bouquet in the Vermeil Room of the White House, Dec. 1, 2010. Simple Gifts is the theme for this year’s holiday decorations.

White House Chief Floral Designer Laura Dowling arranges a bouquet in the Vermeil Room of the White House, Dec. 1, 2010. Simple Gifts is the theme for this year’s holiday decorations.