Saturday, December 13, 2008

Homeless at Christmas

There are many homeless people in the city of Washington. It is cold, and it is nearing Christmas.

Add one more family to the list of the homeless: the Obamas.

On today's news we learn that the Obamas have requested permission to move into Blair House (the official guest house of the President, used mainly to house visiting heads of state and other dignitaries and their families) but have been refused by the Bush administration's minions.
As a senator, Obama commuted to Washington from Chicago and rented a small apartment. He still has the apartment, but it is too small for a family of four. Hence the request to move into Blair House until his inauguration on January 20.

One assumes that Obama has enough friends in the Washington area with fancy houses where he could stay, so the Obamas will not likely sleep on a sidewalk grate in a cardboard box as other Washington homeless presumably do. But it isn't quite that simple: an incoming president has almost as much Secret Service protection as the sitting president, and Blair House (across from the White House) is already within the normal security zone. So it would be more difficult to provide security for a private residence. The Secret Service is under the direction of the president, of course, and a Bush spokesman was quick to say that adequate security will be provided for the Obama family, regardless of where they choose to live. Wink wink nudge nudge. Kidding.

The reason for the early residence request, according to Obama, is so that the girls can begin at their new school on January 5th when the new school session begins after the holidays. The White House says protocol dictates that Blair House be made available to the President-Elect on January 15, 5 days before the inauguration, and that it will be available to Obama on that date.

Lest we make Bush seem too harsh, it should be pointed out that foreign dignitaries visit Washington continuously, and Blair House is simply "booked up." It isn't likely that Bush personally handles logistics like sleeping accommodations anyway. Obama's transition officials were quick to say they are not angry at being turned away and that "The White House has been extremely accommodating to the Obama family needs - and the entire process has been smooth and friendly."

Much ado over nothing then.

This story does remind this blogger about how the incoming presidents' treatment has improved over the years.

Back in March of 1801, the new president, Thomas Jefferson, spent a bit too much time giving speeches and such, and when he walked back to his boarding house after his inaugural festivities, he found that the evening meal had already been served. And so the new president simply went up to bed without his supper.

::Wistful sigh for the old days.::


  1. Seems a lttle strange to me that he can't move temporarily, but then everything about politics is strange. Bunch of stupid hifalutin assholes.

  2. Tsk! At least in proper democracy's the loser changes house overnight! No waiting two months while he awaits his sponsors decision on who his cabinet will be.

  3. Ettarose, he CAN move temporarily. Just not to Blair house, which is already occupied by guests. :) You have been working too hard. Michelle's a zilllionaire - she'll find them a hovel somewhere, I'm sure. Take care.

    Sheila, yes, very strange to have that painted on it this week. A testament to the blogger's cleverness. Wittiness. British Humoriness.

    Adullamite, your loser changes houses overnight? Strange. Our loser had no need to change houses at all. He still is living in sunny Arizona with 7 houses at last count. Hardly democratic, that.



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