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Blair House Mystery Solved: It's John Howard

By Philip Rucker and Al Kamen
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.


Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard. (Paul Miller/Associated Press)

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.

Posted at 5:18 PM ET on Jan 6, 2009  | Category:  Washington Life
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Comments

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John Howard deserves EVERYTHING he gets. And he deserves more! Everybody should chip in and buy him a retirement present: a brand new doghouse, leash and chain so his wife can walk him in Grand Central Park in the mornings along side waggly tail bush. Dogs love bushes.

Posted by: jamesoz | January 10, 2009 5:50 PM

It's an embarrassment to us in Australia. While Tony Blair has the decency to decline Blair House so as not to bump Obama, our ex-PM doesn't. He even has the temerity to excuse himself that he didn't know.

The Obamas and DC citizens being inconvenienced by his stay has been in the news for weeks. Unless in retirement, he no longer follows the news. In a way, Australians should not be surprised. As a PM, Howard was infamous for being stubborn. It's still a disgrace.

Posted by: joanne8 | January 10, 2009 6:00 AM

As an Australian I find myself embarrassed as usual by "Little John" but then the blame may rest with "Maid Jeanette"

They portrayed themselves as being on the side of "the Battlers" But not when the incoming President is perhaps the biggest Battler to become President.

Posted by: hereweir | January 9, 2009 8:28 AM

Australia’s head of state, although divinely appointed and thus infallible, is still following the disastrous policies of George III. Having changed Australia’s head of government in 2007, experts now need to urgently review the divide-and-rule policies that are bankrupting both Australia and America.

Pyrrhic wars have no achievable objectives and can never be won.

Once the accommodation issues have been resolved, it may be wise to start looking at local policies that are essential for nation building. Water conservation and economic septic systems are probably more important in the longer term than fighting against the laws of economics and deploring the trivialities of petty ex-politicians.

Posted by: davenn593 | January 9, 2009 7:02 AM

John Howard is just trying to save America by keeping Obama away from the White House as long as possible. Afterall, he did say that al-Qaeda should "put a circle around March 2008, and pray, as many times as possible, for a victory not only for Obama, but also for the Democrats."

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21206867-2,00.html

Like Bush, Howard is a conservative nut-case who is more Bush than Bush himself. Perhaps the US can keep him over there -- we Australians certainly don't want him back here.

Posted by: Murf2850 | January 8, 2009 4:40 PM

....."5kidsnadog"

Howard or any other Australian PM is NOT OUR HEAD OF STATE...

THE QUEEN IS

Posted by: clapton50 | January 8, 2009 3:28 PM

Oh Really "DanielleSSS"....

"Americans should respect Australia more????????????"

We Australians are an insignificant blimp on the world map !!

John Howard and his hand bag, Janette, will once again be strutting around Washington in full bloom, totally absorbed in their own 'importance' ???!!

As an Aussie I cringed with embarrassment whenever this little 'baffoon' visited his good buddy George......and am once again .

Thank God this hopefully is the end of these two 'has beens'

Posted by: clapton50 | January 8, 2009 3:24 PM

For 5kidsnadog and the rest of you wingnuts, the credible report is that Blair House was booked for the Aussie neocon AFTER the Obama request was made. It's petty, but why should anything the Dubya cabal does surprise us now? Anyway, as others have pointed out here, past presidents have taken possession of Blair House earlier, so don't act all self righteous like this is some new precedent.

Posted by: NotAWingnut | January 8, 2009 2:55 PM

Just like the left to spin this to suit their hatred of anything to do with George Bush. Blair House is normally not booked after the 15th. Obama wanted him to what -- revoke an invitation to a former head of state? Also, if you're worried about the Obama children being dragged around, where was your concern during the election?

Maybe George should leave the White House in the same shape that the Clintons did -- furniture stolen, offices in disarray, computer equipment damaged, smelly surprises in the bathrooms. Yeah, we should really harken back to the more gentlemanly ways of the Clinton administration, shouldn't we?

Posted by: 5kidsnadog | January 8, 2009 11:48 AM

"So before you wingnuts get youself all twisted like vines, think, This man has two small children. Would you want your children moving around like nomads? From Chicago, to the Hays, to Blair house and then the WH...not to mention the school change. Bush is just an ignorant arse and we won't be rid of him and his kind soon enough."

Oh heaven forbid, life is so tough for the millionare Obama's!!!! Oh no, the school change, will the girls ever learn? Will they be succesful later on in life when all they have is a President as Dad? I fear for them and their comfort.

Posted by: permagrin | January 8, 2009 11:35 AM

First off -yes I am another Australian who couldn't resist making a coment.

After 12+ years of having little johnny as Prime Minister all I can say is that I hope he stays in the states and does not return to Australia (please please please)

ONe last thing - JakeD - you are a disgrace I find your comments to be a uneducated racist rant - be sure to contact your local office of the US Secret Service and advise them of your intentions and I am sure that they will pay a nice visit to you.

Cheers Mate

Posted by: christophertye | January 8, 2009 8:15 AM

Obama isn't supposed to move into the place until the 15th. This is a complete non-issue. If anything, it was inappropriate of Obama to ask in the first place since the Blair House is intended for guests of the president.

Posted by: wally4ever | January 8, 2009 7:56 AM

Being an Australian I believe John Howard did many great things for our country and should be very much respected.Its only for one night so just get over it! John Howard booked it first.If it was for more than a night then I would agree with most and say it is wrong but its only one night. Americans need to respect Australians more and not just see it as just a little country and wake up and realise that Australia has some of the most important resources in the world vital the the worlds economic system. I'm saying this based on the comments.

Posted by: DanielleSSS | January 8, 2009 7:35 AM

Having been a resident in Australia during Howards 'government of deceipt', I think I know a suitable hotel for him instead of Blair House -

Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Perhaps he'll get a water view. Bush could fly down and award him a "Medal Of Terror" in the form of a small gold oil well.

At least it is a humane suggestion - better than blowing up his plane like they did to Senator Wellstone. Or was that just another 'convenient coincidence'?


Posted by: ozburg7 | January 8, 2009 3:14 AM

I WISH ALL YOU FREAKING WINGNUTS WOULD GO AWAY WHEN GWBUSH DOES.

The Reagans moved into Blair House 1/1
The Clintons moved into Blair House 12/28

So before you wingnuts get youself all twisted like vines, think, This man has two small children. Would you want your children moving around like nomads? From Chicago, to the Hays, to Blair house and then the WH...not to mention the school change. Bush is just an ignorant arse and we won't be rid of him and his kind soon enough.

Posted by: storeyy | January 7, 2009 11:36 PM

As an Australian, I am not surprised that our 'trumped up little" ex PM is still keen to strut the stage over their with George.
The man is (both of them) !!! is generally despised over here in OZ.
To me he is an embarrassment.
Hope he and the old George go off and we NEVER HEAR FROM EITHER AGAIN.

congrats to all you yanks for choosing Obama.....

At last an intelligent leader of the free world.
Cheers

Posted by: clapton50 | January 7, 2009 10:58 PM

Obama chose to run for office. He knows the inaugural schedule. He knows he has 2 daughters. It didn't occur to him to make prior arrangements before the election? Really? If that is the case - great scott - what a great POTUS he will be!

Of course, the TRUTH is, it is the OBAMABOTS who are making this into yet one more Bush Bashing fiesta, because the Obamas and their spokespersons have all said the Bush's have been MORE than accomodating.

Posted by: janish64 | January 7, 2009 9:32 PM

No one *BUMPED* Obama. It was totally inappropriate to even request to move into those quarters prior to January 15th. The deliberate "leaking" of the rejection of the request was yet another example of the underhanded nastiness we will learn to expect from this administration, especially with its recycled Clintonites.

Furthermore - do you Bush Bashing ignoramuses actually envision Bush having an direct hand in the planning, the rejection, etc? Seriously? You don't think he has layers of people under him which deal with the house, the scheduling, etc? If he DID have a role, it would have been to reject the presence of TWO presidents prior to the inauguration - and we all know Obama doesn't want to give THAT impression (well at least not when it comes to Israel...cough cough...)

Posted by: janish64 | January 7, 2009 9:23 PM

freespeak:

Barack HUSSEIN Obama, Jr. (assuming that Sr. is even his real father) will not be sworn in on January 20, 2009.

Posted by: JakeD | January 7, 2009 7:36 PM

Par for Bush, and apparently (according to all the Aussie commenters here) par for Howard.

But I was all for giving Laura a pass on the administration's bad behavior until this. No more. All she had to do was salvage a shred or two of graciousness for someone who wasn't already on Georgie's best-buds list, and she blew it. First Ladies have much more on thier plates than they can actually control, and that can be a raw deal -- but Laura Bush clearly had the power to take charge of this, and she sent the Obamas away from the front door.

Sorry, Laura -- you were thisclose to making it through 8 years with a little sympathy from me. Sympathy now gone. Not coming back. Have fun hiding your husband's bottles from the help in Dallas.

Posted by: jussayin | January 7, 2009 5:38 PM

The Blair House has more square footage than the White House. This was nothing less than a slap by the Bushies. And, yet another entry for the legacy of the jerk.

Posted by: susp | January 7, 2009 4:55 PM

SO THAT'S WHY I HAD TO SIT ON THE WHITEHURST ALL MORNING, BECAUSE K ST WAS ALL BACKED UP, BECAUSE THE STREETS AROUND THE HAY-ADAMS WERE CLOSED, JUST FOR THIS DOWN-UNDER HAS-BEEN! THAT'S IT, HUGH JACKMAN AND NICOLE KIDMAN CAN GO TO HELL, THAT'S ONE MOVIE I'M GLAD I NEVER SAW AND I'LL NEVER RENT.

Posted by: Dan4 | January 7, 2009 2:16 PM

Bush sold a night in Blair House in exchange for support of his Iraq policy. What's the big deal?

Howard never liked aboriginals anyway.

Posted by: thebobbob | January 7, 2009 2:13 PM

Can an American actually be THIS ignorant:
"Until obama takes the oath, he is nothing but an ex-senator."

President-ELECT means Barack Obama is now the ELECTED President of the United States. I believe that title has a lot more clout to American tax-payers than "ex-PM from Australia."

Posted by: freespeak | January 7, 2009 12:35 PM

Note to members of the adoring, sycophantic idiocracy of Obamatized goof balls: get over it, will you please? The whining simply never ceases with you spastic complainers, does it? Obama was elected and he will be president soon enough. Your whining about Bush and all the imagined evilness he laid - single-handedly - on your broken doorstep will not ever die, huh? Ralph Reid is a great speaker of "truthiness" to you goons? You'd think Bush had a magic sleigh he's been so many places and done so many things to you people. If you complain about one thing Obama ever does, here's one preemptive "be quiet, loser! you had your shot at doing nothing but habitual complaining, now go away!"

Posted by: JonnyO | January 7, 2009 11:07 AM

To those who still insist on complaining about this non-story: WOULD YOU LIKE SOME CHEESE WITH THAT WHINE?

Posted by: JonnyO | January 7, 2009 10:57 AM

I fail to see what all the ado is about. The article clearly states that MANY long planned events were set for the Blair House, of which the president has every right to use. While I will be at the head of the line to wish Bush good riddance, he is still the prez. Give it a rest.

Until obama takes the oath, he is nothing but an ex-senator. He has gotten WAY too much media time already, to the point of being ad nausea. And his Cabinet loaded with ex-Clintonites lead a lot of us to believe that his overuse of the word Change surpasses McCants use of Maverick. Does anyone remember how badly he degraded both of the Clinton's and their accomplishments during the campaign?

Posted by: twbennett1 | January 7, 2009 10:21 AM

Howard was kicked out of office by his fellow Australians. Now, Howard's only friend is our has-been disaster of a lame duck President. Birds of a feather, or I guess Bush's poodles, flock together. Chickenhawks, all of them.

Posted by: Continuum | January 7, 2009 9:02 AM

Are you kidding me. The president elect is bumped so John Howard can stay there for one night! Needless to say all the uber nationalists who think the US is above all think this is just fine in this particular case when in fact it's a major slight against our country. Couldn't Howard have stayed at the Hay Adams for ONE night. It really rips the facade off Bush and shows what an incredibly small man this guy is.

Posted by: johnbsmrk | January 7, 2009 8:45 AM

John Howard is a great friend of America and deserves to stay at Blair House.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | January 7, 2009 8:43 AM

To me, the real back-story was the one hundred nineteen rooms at Blair House. Our tonedeaf and vindictive President and his team would have us believe that the new President and family would have been clamped if forced to stay there. Now I wonder if the "separate but equal" policy was reestablished in a signing letter.

Posted by: Greenchange | January 7, 2009 8:00 AM

Please excuse our former Prime Minister, the noted war criminal John Howard, for his appalling manners while in your country. He displayed none whatsoever in the time he led our country, and was unceremoniously thrown out of power - as well as his own seat - when we were liberated of his regime at the end of 2007. People of Washington, just be grateful you only have to put up with him for a few nights. Australians had to endure this man for 11 years while he did nothing but bring shame to our country. And please, if you want to keep him, feel free to do so - no one back here wants him.

Posted by: itsjohn2000 | January 7, 2009 7:41 AM

Just a slight correction: Blair and Howard were never Heads of State as Prime Ministers of the UK and Australia. The Queen was and is Head of State; Blair and Howard were Heads of Government.

Posted by: mbaileyUK | January 7, 2009 7:15 AM

As an avid Obama supporter and an Australian citizen I must apologise to the American people for the obnoxious and self serving behaviour of the former Australian Prime Minister and lackey of Geo W Bush - John Howard.

The idea that Howard would even consider accepting the Medal of Freedom award for following Bush into Iraq defies belief.

Add to that, the fact, that Howard will also be free loading in Blair House at some original inconvenience to the President elect and his family. This is is unbelievable and unacceptable. At least Tony Blair showed good taste in declining Bush's offer in that regard.

Last November the Australian people rewarded Howard in a different fashion by bringing about his defeat both in his federal seat of Bennelong and through his Party's loss of government.

Go Obama Yes we can!

John Hay
Australia
www.tellingthoughts.com

Posted by: johnjhay | January 7, 2009 5:50 AM

WOW, Australia doesn't have an Embassy in Washington? Or is John Howard just so reviled by his own countrymen that they won't let him stay there.

Posted by: markswisshelm | January 7, 2009 1:34 AM

so housing an EX australian politician is more important than housing the next president of the US. shows you where the bush priorities lie.

Posted by: hgenyc9261 | January 7, 2009 12:49 AM

John Howard, is a former Australian prime minister because the Australian people voted him out of office for staying in Iraq. He is a loser.

Posted by: info4 | January 7, 2009 12:24 AM

Republicans confuse Obama for the Messiah because they think of all their own political leaders as mighty Teutonic Gods that they must follow blindly even unto death and destruction. They can't wrap their heads around the idea of a leader being a mere elected public servant. So they imagine that Democrats share this leader fetish that they have, but being "Liberals" their leader can't be a real, tough, Nordic sort of Thunder King. He's just a squishy, lovey-dovey King-of-Peace sort of chump. A Messiah, or something soft like that.

Funny, these "Christians" throw around "Messiah" as an insult. Isn't that like taking the Lord's name in vain?

Posted by: nodebris | January 7, 2009 12:12 AM

I always thought the Messiah stayed,, away in a manger.

So whats the problem ?

Posted by: dashriprock | January 6, 2009 11:59 PM

Perhaps this is payback. Howard has never hidden his distaste for Obama and his crazy policies like withdrawing from Iraq. Here is what Howard said of Obama in 2007:

"If I were running al-Qaida in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a victory, not only for Obama but also for the Democrats."

This is his last and best chance to interfere with the Obamas.

Posted by: WinstonSmith1984 | January 6, 2009 11:48 PM

Imagine spending an evening listening to that pompous twit Howard pontificating endlessly about Iraq?
Neither could Tony Blair.

Posted by: Tailgate | January 6, 2009 11:48 PM

Most Australian's always figured that Howard was Bush's pet - now we know for sure. This smacks of pure cronyism.

We have a perfectly servicable embassy in Washington for 'little Johnny' to stay in if he was too tight to pay for a hotel room. Ironic considering how much he's making on the speaking circuit these days.

He was an embarrassment when he was our PM and he continues to be one now.

Posted by: apfann | January 6, 2009 11:46 PM

Yurdelite, go easy on TonyX because you're a bit mixed up too. John Howard served as Prime Minister in Australia and as such is a former Head of Government. The Head of State of Australia (as she is with most, if not all, the Commonwealth Nations) is Queen Elizabeth II.

Posted by: ajperez | January 6, 2009 11:29 PM

"Remember Jimmy Carter...a total incompetent..."
--------

Hmm, I think it was J.Carter who warned us that
oil and energy costs would be one of the biggest
challenges we would face as a nation.

Reagan took Carter's solar panels off the
White House and cut tax credits for
energy efficiency.
VP Cheney said 'we don't do conservation.'

I wonder who is incompetent?


+1

And Howard is a MUCH HATED former head of state btw

Posted by: Bobulon | January 6, 2009 11:26 PM

Oh, this must have come as a complete surprise to Bush that there would be a President-elect in December 2008, and that he might want to have a place to stay while he did actual work. Why else would he have booked the President-elect's traditional residence for a party of his international, has-been lapdogs?

Then again, Bush spent the bulk of his 8 years on vacation or watching baseball, so he probably thinks the Presidency is a piece of cake. You just have to watch out for them pretzels....

Posted by: AxelDC | January 6, 2009 11:22 PM

damn crackers!

Posted by: overseas | January 6, 2009 11:15 PM

Why do so many of your buy the fiction that new president's "traditionally move to Blair House on January 15th?" Do you not remember that Clinton moved there in December-- and George himself moved in in early January?

Any "guests" should have been moved to a hotel. And, any reception could have been moved to any of hundreds of locations in D.C. How about the actual White House?

This is just petty and makes the George W. Bush family look even worse-- as if that were possible!

Any Mother knows that moving kids to a new city is not easy-- but to require the Obama family to move twice is "not nice."

But, no surprise from a guy who thinks "sacrificing" for a war means giving up golf!

Posted by: srwinc | January 6, 2009 11:01 PM

That was all BS... Bush has no one invited and Bush invited John Howard after Obama has asked...

Beside this Obama should have carried more weight and this shows again the hatred in the hearts of the republicans for democrats..

Thats right Obama play your silly game of trying to be bi-partisan to the party that will do every thing in its power to destroy U and The democrats..

Bush needs more shoes thrown at him.

Posted by: Sport2069 | January 6, 2009 10:55 PM

TonyX you are WRONG. Also, Howard is a FORMER head of state and should be staying in a hotel.

Posted by: Yurdelite | January 6, 2009 10:34 PM

It Seems Events UnFolded that Have Created Need For Greater Hope in Government over Last 8 Years. Hon Blair ESQ couldn't of transitioned HARD War Better for OUR Government of English Speaking Peoples. One BIG Prpblem IS Less. Now with Leadership Of Hon Brown, More Liberal Fellow & Hon Obama ESQ, Again Looked To For Forthright Leadership by Peoples, Next Stage is effectively Taking Hold. I'm Glad for U.K., Its Role in OUR Leadership, including Volunteer Workcamps that Hon President Clinton Visited, Complete CoOperation is KEY Winning Note. By ALL.

Signed:PHYSICIAN THOMAS STEWART von DRASHEK M.D.

Posted by: thomasxstewart | January 6, 2009 10:29 PM

Interestingly the New York Times was critical of Bill Clinton staying at the Hays-Adams because it caused more expense that if he stayed at Blair House.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE6DC1F39F93BA25752C1A964958260

But then W has thrown billions at Wall Street so he probably doesn't care about wasting a few more taxpayer dollars in defense of his ego.

Posted by: arnold5 | January 6, 2009 10:24 PM

Blair House is the White House's visitor's bungalow. The habitually rich always have one or more visitor's bungalows ready to receive drop-in guests (only the best people). It would be unseemly for a term-exhausted Republican President to receive a Democratic guest in a publicly-owned guest house at the convenience of the next sitting President of the United States. The very idea. It just isn't done. Maybe Bush and Obama can glare at each other on the ride from the White House to the Capitol. Mr. Howard could easily have shared quarters with the Obama family. The place is enormous. Better yet, Mr. Howard could have stayed at the Hay-Adams. It may not be the fault of Bush himself but of those who have slavishly devoted themselves to him. They took The Bush Oath to give not a centimeter to the opposition.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | January 6, 2009 10:13 PM

Maybe the Blair House, uninspiring as it has chosen to be, would consider closing itself down. On the other hand, maybe it should stay on as a symbol of highborn oligarchy.

Posted by: wwt101 | January 6, 2009 10:07 PM

Just how dumb are these Bush people? Sally McDunough says that the Blaire House is unavailable to President Elect Obama and his family because of a "... a long-planned celebratory event...?" How far in advance do you have to plan an event to get ahead of the 2008 Presidential election? This insult is nothing short of Texas tacky! Good grief........

Posted by: L-D-M | January 6, 2009 9:51 PM

Blair House - Give Bush and the Republicans time to get rid of or install audio and video bugs.

JOHN LONGENECKER
PictureAmerica

Posted by: PictureAmerica | January 6, 2009 9:35 PM

So John Howard was an enabler of the worst President in my lifetime to engage in the dumbest war in our history, gets dumped by Australians and still has the temerity to accept a medal from The Decrier. Perhaps he needs all 17,000 sq. feet for his ego to fit in and all 50+ bathrooms to receive his excrement, of which he is so full. Just proves what a classless act George W. Bush remains!

Posted by: DontLetTheDoor | January 6, 2009 9:28 PM

Howard is a FORMER head of state. He's the one who should have found a hotel to stay in.

Posted by: jprice2 | January 6, 2009 9:13 PM

No matter what you think of these Medals of Freedom or the politics behind them, the fact is Blair House is used for guests of the President, usually heads of state.

Now, it was still a bit tacky to schedule this ceremony so close to the inauguration (especially considering Reagan's move in date of January 1 and the Clintons' use of it in December). But housing John Howard vs. a bunch of receptions is better.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | January 6, 2009 9:01 PM

For those of you feeling that the Obamas were being too 'uppity' for asking you must not be aware that:

The Clintons moved into Blair House in Dec before their 1st term.

The Reagans moved in 20 days prior to the inauguration.

W Bush. gave a Tie-N-Boots party while he was there.

Posted by: SkiPete | January 6, 2009 9:00 PM

First, Blair House is actually a complex of townhouses, so yes, it is 70,000 square feet.

http://www.blairhouse.org/h_house.html

Second - jeez, if it was a head of state, why didn't they just say so?

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | January 6, 2009 8:57 PM

Blair House is now a complex of four connected townhouses, including the original Blair House. During the 1980s, Blair House underwent significant restorations, with a new wing added on the north. The combined square footage of the four adjacent townhouses exceeds 70,000 feet, making it larger than the White House.

-Wikipedia

Now who needs an editor?

Posted by: Kuihao | January 6, 2009 8:56 PM

Huh? There's no friggin way that Blair House in 70,000 feet with 119-rooms! Not even close!

Who the hell edited this piece?

Posted by: awesom0 | January 6, 2009 8:40 PM

Carter.

Posted by: JakeD | January 6, 2009 8:39 PM

&*&*&*&*

"Remember Jimmy Carter...a total incompetent..."
--------

Hmm, I think it was J.Carter who warned us that
oil and energy costs would be one of the biggest
challenges we would face as a nation.

Reagan took Carter's solar panels off the
White House and cut tax credits for
energy efficiency.
VP Cheney said 'we don't do conservation.'

I wonder who is incompetent?

&*&*&*&*

Posted by: printthis | January 6, 2009 8:23 PM

Inviting the Prime Minister is a "nail" in the Legacy coffin?

Posted by: JakeD | January 6, 2009 8:12 PM

YOU won't have Bush to kick around anymore........

Posted by: Yes37thandORulesForever | January 6, 2009 7:36 PM

All the Bush haters need to spend their venom. He won't be there to kick around in another 2 weeks. President Uribe has been a hero in cleaning up Columbia. Whatever the liberal haters think of Tony Blair and Prime Minister Howard, they have been staunch allies of the United States.

I wish the President elect the best even if I didn't vote for him, but I am tired of the adulation from the media. They just contribute to the overrated hype.

In some ways Bush was a lousy President in other ways he wasn't. Remember Jimmy Carter...a total incompetent although Carter still doesn't seem to realize it. Amyways, this will soon be over. I wonder what they will be saying about Obama in a couple of years.

Posted by: jerryva460 | January 6, 2009 7:22 PM

John Howard has been intensely embarrassing to Australia when it comes to the whole Iraq business. His accepting a medal from Bush just proves that he was always more interested in sucking up to Bush than serving the interests of Australians.

At the end of Bush's term, those with CMHs read like a whos who of people who should be cringing in shame. The message: The more wrong you are, the more medals Bush dangles around your neck. Disgusting.

Posted by: greg_cunneen | January 6, 2009 7:15 PM

Whether you happen to agree with former Australian MP Howard bumping the Obama family from Blair House or not, pre-January 15, you should know what you are speaking about "SAINT." The overriding reason to send the children of any President or Vice President to a private school is just that, it is PRIVATE, and not public, and thus it can be managed, and unwanted visitors can easily be asked to leave, on threat of criminal trespass, because the school is located on PRIVATE PROPERTY. Public schools are located to PUBLIC property, and visitors are not so easily asked or removed from the property, and criminal trespass is not easily applied, since the property is publicly, or government, owned. Private schools are a matter of safety and security, and much preferred by the Secret Service, for the protection of the Obama children. It is because of people such as you, "SAINT," who open their mouth's, without knowing the facts, who judge others without any right to do so. For public relations reasons, the children of Presidents are always better off going to public schools, but for safety reasons, which trump public relations every time, private schools are the only way to go. Amy Carter has been the only exception since before Truman. Speak not of what you know not! We will all be so much the better for it!

Posted by: CharacterDriven | January 6, 2009 7:02 PM

Just one more nail in the Bush Legacy coffin.

Posted by: lmorgan2 | January 6, 2009 6:43 PM

Considering the history of other Bush selectees for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, perhaps Blair, Howard, and Uribe should have RSVP'ed as 'unable to attend', or perhaps that they were washing their hair.

I do think that it was a little callous to not at least ask Obama of his plans - it shouldn't have been too much of stretch to think that he might want to start his kids at school. That a former Prime Minister of an ally would take precendence over the incoming leader of the free world highlights the President's continued poor decision making.

Posted by: michael26 | January 6, 2009 6:00 PM

I bet Obama would have accepted sharing 60 rooms and 35,000 square feet had he been offered.

Posted by: jimk8mr | January 6, 2009 5:51 PM

Good grief, Washington Post, let it go. Traditionally, the President-elect doesn't move into Blair House until January 15 anyway. I'm sure they will "make do" with the Hay-Adams.

Posted by: TonyX | January 6, 2009 5:33 PM

LOL! :-D

Well, at least Bushie has his priorities right!

Folks, I think Obasama can cover the cost of a temporary residency-Due to the need for him to get his Children into PRIVATE School!

Uribe, and Howard are VIPs and are very deserving! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | January 6, 2009 5:28 PM

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