Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Why There Was No Room In America’s Inn

Blair House is America’s official guest room, the place where guests of our presidents are invited to stay when coming to Washington. It’s located literally across the street from the White House and is part of the same secure zone.

Perhaps, like me, you’ve wondered why the Obamas, after moving out of their home in Chicago, were not able to stay at Blair House in these weeks leading up to the January 20th inauguration. When the question was first raised, the Bush people said only that there was a prior commitment. But who would be so important as to be given precedence over the president-elect and his family?

Well, the dog in our manger turns out to be the former Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, who will be in Washington and in Blair House for one night because President Bush is presenting him with the Medal of Freedom for his no-questions-asked support of Bush’s War on Terror. (It is probably also worth mentioning that some months ago Mr. Howard said that al Qaeda would be praying for Obama’s election.)

As a result, the Obamas have been moved into the Hay Adams Hotel. It’s more than comfortable, of course, but the massive security restrictions set up there have caused inconvenience-to-the-max for all other hotel guests and nightmarish traffic congestion in the surrounding area. And let us not forget the huge additional expense all of this extra security is costing the American taxpayers.

Why are we not surprised that it’s all going to end pretty much the way it’s been from the beginning: with pettiness and misplaced priorities. Well, the time has come to say aloha … which in this case definitely means good-by!

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