Regardless of which candidate ends up in the White House next year, chances are we won't soon be seeing another improvised rap freestyle in the Rose Garden.
In what seems like a presidential first, composer-writer-actor-rapper Lin-Manuel Miranda of the blockbuster musical "Hamilton" stood on the White House steps on Monday and let loose with some verses that conveyed his reality of the moment: freestyling for historical posterity.
Flanked by his hype man President Obama, who was providing topics to rhyme, and backed by a military drummer, Miranda delivered a playful verse that touched on the Federalist Papers, Obamacare, presidential dogs Sunny and Bo, NASA and the Supreme Court.
In truth, the moment was a remarkable bookend to an earlier White House performance by Miranda. Near the beginning of the Obama presidency, when "Hamilton" was little more than an idea, the artist performed the musical's opening number during the White House's first poetry slam.
First Lady Michelle Obama recalled her and her husband's reaction during Monday's opening remarks, which introduced performances and a workshop by cast members of "Hamilton."
"We were blown away," she said of Miranda's initial performance. "There were probably shots of us with our mouths open."
The first lady added that back then, Miranda had explained his Alexander Hamilton musical project, but it hadn't been financed. "We knew that this had the potential to be really, really good based on his performance, but what we didn't know and never could have imagined that it would be a work of genius — true genius."
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