The Final Indignity
It's not all that important, but I did note at the time that George Bush's refusal to open up Blair House for the President-elect so that he could allow his kids to start school at the beginning of the year was totally classless. What was unknown was what functions were being held in Blair House that were unable to be rescheduled to accommodate Obama and his family. Today we learned that the house guest was John Howard.
The White House offered the house to John Howard, the former Prime Minister of Australia who is set to receive a Medal of Freedom. Instead of arranging other accommodations for Howard’s one-night stay, the Bush administration told the Obama family to stay in a hotel for two weeks. (Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, who are also receiving the Medal of Freedom, opted to find other accommodations.)
Last night on MSNBC’s “Countdown,” Bloomberg journalist Margaret Carlson revealed that when the White House turned down Obama’s request in early December, it had not yet even invited Howard to stay at the Blair House:
I reported…on December 11 and 12 that there were no foreign dignitaries booked into Blair House during that period of time. … I have the feeling they asked him [Howard] to come and stay so that there might be some plausible reason for not letting the Obamas stay there.
She also pointed out that Blair House has “119 rooms with 35 bathrooms. Howard wouldn’t even have to share a sink with the Obamas.”
The fact that Blair, Howard and Uribe are getting the Medal of Freedom for being good little lapdogs and doing what their Dear Leader told them is bad enough. That a one-night sleepover bumps the incoming President from the residence, forcing him to rework his family's schedule, is just the last of the petty insults that the country has put up with for the last 8 years. Not the worst thing Bush has done by any stretch, but maybe the most revealing of his character.
But outgoing Clinton staffers took all the W's out of the keyboards at the White House, so I guess this is just "getting even." Oh wait, that didn't happen.