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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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America finally starts taking out the trash

It's over: Bush staffers make exits
By DANIEL LIBIT | 1/16/09 4:38 AM EST Text Size:

Bush will be the president Tuesday, but most of his employees will be gone by the close of business Friday.

Politics, Political News, Campaign 2008 -

The president will be the president until 12 noon Tuesday, but most of his employees will be gone by the close of business Friday.

They’ll turn in their BlackBerrys, laptops, building passes and gym keys.

And by the time the weekend is out — before the new administration can reverse course on waterboarding or SCHIP or anything else — teams of painters and carpet cleaners will have wiped away any hint that they ever set foot in the White House.

“Every day, I see the inaugural stands going up and bleacher seats going in,” said Anita McBride, chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush, whose office overlooks the north grounds. “So as you’re busy packing up boxes and packing to leave, you’re seeing the physical structures there to celebrate incoming administration.”

And yet, McBride noted, it is only in the last few days that she and her staff have been afforded the chance to process the end. While the final weeks of a presidential administration are often a time for wistfulness and nostalgia, these have instead been indefatigably spent — the economic crisis and fighting in the Middle East having made it so.

“It’s ending almost like it began, in the sense that Election Day in 2000 almost never ended,” said former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, observing from afar.

Bush bids farewell

“In many respects it’s pretty identical to the early days,” seconded Dan Bartlett, the former counselor to the president, “but there’s no exhilaration, just exhaustion.”

The tears have just now begun flowing among the East Wing staff.

On Tuesday, Laura Bush convened a final farewell with tea and cookies. Some staffers announced that they had found work; some are waiting to hear back from graduate schools; one staffer is headed to a three-week vacation in Hawaii.

Laura Bush’s press secretary, Sally McDonough, took her camera to work on Wednesday and snapped as many photos as she could. McBride said she was trying “to burn mental pictures” in her mind.

She recalls that back in 1988, when she was a staffer in Ronald Reagan’s White House, there was much less to do in the final days. Noting that the first lady visited two local schools Wednesday, McBride said: “It’s just very late in the game to be doing these types of events, but it’s really just following the president’s mantra, ‘Sprinting to the Finish.’”

But as part of that, she laments, “there hasn’t been as time to be as nostalgic as before.”

White House Communications Director Kevin Sullivan said that, over the last 10 days, he’s tried to jam as many tours for friends and family in as he possibly could.

“People are excited about their futures and looking ahead, but it is very bittersweet,” he said. “I’m not” — he pauses for a moment. “I don’t really want to leave.”

On Friday, the president will gather his senior staff for a farewell lunch.

On Sunday, current chief of staff Josh Bolten and the former one, Andy Card, will host a party in Maryland.

Only about 20 to 25 political staffers are expected to show up for work at the White House on Monday. Less than a dozen will be on the premises on Inauguration Day.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 10:59 AM
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Just about anything could be better, the international embarrassment is finally coming to a close as this group exits. Lets hope this puts to rest the ridiculously blatant manipulation of the executive branch and the American people. The cynicism needs to go away with the power grab, gov't expansion, and outrageous debt. Maybe the American people can now see how dangerous fear can be used against them. Maybe.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 11:01 AM
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What, no more political office in the WH? Whatever will we do?

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 11:05 AM
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^anything is better
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