One social standard first couples are judged by is the number of state dinners they hold at the White House. While the Obamas welcomed the nation's governors for a formal dinner, they held just one state dinner last year, in honor of Indian Prime Minister Singh. That event is now infamous because of the gate-crashers, Tareq and Michaela Salahi and Carlos Allen, who were able to attend the exclusive event without an invitation.
Bush hosted just six state dinners for foreign leaders, far less than his predecessors. There were over 30 state dinners during the eight years of the Clinton administration. Former President George H. W. Bush hosted over 20 state dinners, while President Ronald Reagan hosted more than 50.
But if you aren't lucky enough to score an invitation to a state dinner -- and don't have the chutzpah to just show up for one -- you can still see Washington as the Obamas have this year. Destination DC has developed an Obamas' Washington itinerary for tourists, or perhaps curious Washingtonians, that lays out where the first family has been this year and how their footsteps can be retraced. It is sort of like a bus tour of celebrity homes in Hollywood, but a bit more wonky.
Michelle Obama has been more visible and out and about in Washington in the last year. She has talked about sneaking out with her staff for lunch, has dined at restaurants with friends and kept up the pledge to have close ties with the local community.
"She has the garden, local school children to the White House all the time," Mathis said about the first lady's vegetable garden that was established with the help of local students.
Just this week the first lady surprised tourists who were visiting the White House by greeting them and chatting about her dog, Bo, and her new home.
Even if the first couple is not popping out for burgers any more or hanging out at the hottest new restaurant, Mathis said that the Obamas are still the most famous people in town.
"I don't think the novelty of the Obamas has totally worn off a year in," Mathis said. "It's still pretty exciting when people get on Twitter, and they're telling me they saw Michelle at this place having lunch."