The New York Times Caucus blog reports (‘Sorry, We’re Booked, White House Tells Obamas‘) the Bush White House has refused a request by President-elect Obama for his family to move into Blair House — across the street from the White House — so his daughters can begin school at the start of January.
The Obamas were told that Blair House, where incoming presidents usually stay in the five days before Inauguration Day, is booked in early January, a spokesperson to the Obama transition said. “We explored the idea so that the girls could start school on schedule,’ the spokesperson said. “But, there were previously scheduled events and guests that couldn’t be displaced.”
It remained unclear who on Bushes guest list outranked the incoming President.
“It’s not a public schedule,” said Sally McDonough, spokeswoman for First Lady Laura Bush, in refusing to disclose who was staying at Blair House. “It’s not a question of outranking the Obamas. Blair House will be available to them on January 15.”
Ms. McDonough said “there’s nothing more to say other than that it’s not available and won’t be available until January 15.” She added that “you’re trying to make a story out of something that’s not a story.”
A State Department official said he didn’t know of any foreign dignitaries staying at Blair House in early January.
A White House official said that Mr. Bush does not have family or friends from Texas staying at Blair House during the period which the Obamas requested. But Blair House, the official said, has been booked for “receptions and gatherings” by members of the outgoing Bush administration.
So who does rank higher than the incoming President’s family? The Bushies won’t say, except that they need the space for a bunch of parties? I didn’t realize there was much to celebrate, except Change.