Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
 
George Bush, Bill Clinton, the Lincoln Bedroom, and the Old Boys Club.

Got this link to It's a Crock from Calpundit, discussing GWB's invites to the Lincoln Bedroom. I think they both leave out the most interesting bit of the story (from AP, via Yahoo!), which is the White House Defense. First the summary of the Clinton-era practice:

"Some guests spent a night in the Lincoln Bedroom, historic quarters that gained new fame in the Clinton administration amid allegations that Democrats rewarded major donors like Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand with accommodations there."

GWB in 2000:

"In a debate with Vice President Al Gore (news - web sites) in October 2000, Bush said: "I believe they've moved that sign, `The buck stops here,' from the Oval Office desk to `The buck stops here' on the Lincoln Bedroom. And that's not good for the country." "

What GWB's White House is doing now:
"Bush's overnight guest roster is virtually free of celebrities — pro golfer Ben Crenshaw is the biggest name — but not of campaign supporters.


At least nine of Bush's biggest fund-raisers appear on the latest list of White House overnight guests, covering June 2002 through December 2003, and-or on the Camp David list, which covers last year.
...
"Some of these guests are old classmates, some of them have been friends of theirs for many, many years," White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said. "They enjoy the opportunity to spend time with them." "


In other words, George Bush is allowed to keep the friends who grew up with him in the lap of luxury, treat them to a night in the White House, and take money from them without consideration of their patently relevant business interests---but a self-made man like Bill Clinton is not allowed make friends with other self-made people like Steven Spielberg, even though Steven Spielberg has cultural as well as monetary appeal. Ask yourself--if you managed to get to the point where you were an elected President, are there any directors that you might like to have over for a dinner and a movie in the White House first run screening room?

GWB: Man of the people.

Update from CNN, courtesy of Nick: CNN runs the same story, but their graf makes the difference clearer:

"But administration officials told CNN there is a difference: the Bushes' guests were all close friends or family members, and not just major donors and members of the Hollywood elite."

I wonder who used the phrase "Hollywood elite"---the White House or the writer. Yeah, those Texas oilmen are so much more salt-of-the-earth than artists and musicians.


 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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