President-Elect Barack Obama and his wife are trying to do the responsible parent thing, and enroll their daughters in school when the term starts. As you may have heard, the Obamas decided to send Sasha and Malia to Sidwell Friends School (a decision heartily endorsed by this Friends-educated Jello Head). Well, Sidwell’s classes start up after the holiday break on January 5th, and the Obamas want to move to DC now so the girls can be in class on day one.
Traditionally, the President-Elect comes to Washington DC and moves into the official guest house of the White House, Blair House, on January 15. This gives him 5 days to settle into the city before he takes the oath of office. Of course, very few Presidents have had the added issue of small children enrolling in school. So, you would think the Bush Administration might be a little flexible and let the Obama family move in a bit early.
Yeah, right. From the Washington Post:
The Bush administration has denied President-elect Barack Obama‘s request to move early into an official guesthouse across from the White House, citing previously scheduled but unannounced commitments, a transition official said yesterday….
Sally McDonough, a spokeswoman for first lady Laura Bush, said in a statement that Blair House will be “available to President-elect Obama and his family starting January 15, as is historically the case.” Before that, McDonough said, “should he need to use it for a meeting or such he can certainly request it and the transition office will check its availability.”
She said that, in addition to presidential guests, Blair House “is frequently used by White House officials, the State Department and its Office of Protocol for various events.”
McDonough declined to say what events had been booked at the house. Administration officials said there are no foreign dignitaries scheduled to stay there during the first two weeks of January, but some farewell events have been booked for departing Bush administration officials.
Well, we wouldn’t want to get in the way of farewell parties for the “departing Bush administration officials.” I am quite sure the staff at the State Department have a really big bash planned for Sec. of State Condaleeza Rice — perhaps to include shoes flying though the air in general direction?