Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard.
The veil is lifted. We now know who is booked at Blair House, kicking President-elect Barack Obama and his family to the waiting list and across Lafayette Park to the Hay-Adams Hotel.
The only overnight visitor at the presidential guest manse is none other than John Howard, a former Australian prime minister and leading member of President Bush's coalition of the willing in Iraq.
Howard and his entourage will be bunking at Blair House on Jan. 12, the night before he, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe are to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bush, said Sally McDonough, a spokeswoman for first lady Laura Bush. The three current and former heads of state are longtime political allies of Bush, and Blair and Howard were key partners in the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
Blair and Uribe also were invited to stay at Blair House, but declined Bush's invitation, a second White House official said today. Blair, who traditionally stays at the British Embassy, and Uribe apparently found other accommodations, said the second White House official, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity.
There are other scheduled events at Blair House, but no other planned overnight visits between now and Jan. 15, when the Obama family is scheduled to move in, McDonough said.
Tomorrow, Laura Bush will attend a private reception at Blair House honoring the administration's Global Cultural Initiative members, 80 of whom are in the diplomatic corps, McDonough said. The reception will be hosted by Protocol Chief Nancy Brinker.
"This has been a long-planned celebratory event at the Blair House," McDonough said.
She added that there are several other planned parties at Blair House.
The Obamas requested an early move-in at the 70,000-square-foot, 119-room mansion across the street from the White House so their children could settle in to start school this week at Sidwell Friends School. But the incoming first family was told the residence had been booked, so they took a suite at the Hay-Adams.
At the time, the White House would not say which events were bumping the Obamas.
By Philip Rucker and Al Kamen
Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert ripped this story up it was hilarious
Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum