Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Out with the Bushes, In with the Obamas

The day has come.

This is the last move for the Obamas, at least for four years, the move to the White House.

The Bushs had already started to move their personal things out this summer, due to Laura Bush, and have moved most of their things out by this morning. So, the next step for the Bushs is to welcome the incoming next president and his wife for coffee in the Blue Room with the incoming vice president and his wife and the outgoing vice president and his wife. Also in the room are the members of the JCCIC.

After the Swearing-In Ceremony of President Barack Obama is the farewell to President Bush and Laura Bush then the luncheon at Statuary Hall, lastly the parade. During this time the movers are working to move the Obamas in and the Bushs out.

The move is performed by the White House residence staff. Everything has been painted, wallpaper chosen and hung, all furniture in the appropriate spaces, all personal items unpacked and placed, with not a single box in site, as if the Obamas have always lived there. When Barack Obama enters the White House as President Obama, the Chief Usher will say, "Welcome Mr. President to your new home."

President Bush and his wife, Laura, will wake up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on Tuesday morning, just as they have the last eight years. But by the time the new president, Barack Obama, returns from the inaugural parade with his family in late afternoon, there will be nary a box of theirs left to unpack. Clothes will be neatly folded in drawers, pictures will rest on dresser tops and walls, stuffed animals will lie on beds, as if the Obamas had always lived there.

The highly orchestrated quick-change operation, conducted by the 93-member White House residence staff, has no parallel in the outside world. The entire affair is over and done within a matter of hours, without a single moving man setting foot inside the Executive Mansion.

“It’s controlled chaos,” said Ann Stock, who was social secretary in the Clinton White House. “They have about four to five hours to completely unpack, put everything away in the closets, put the family pictures up and to really make the house the Obamas’ home by the time they come in from the parade. It’s really quite an extraordinary switchover.” continue

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