The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


White House

Lights Out as White House Loses Power

Updated 5:31 p.m.
By Michael D. Shear
The lights went out in the West Wing today, plunging the president and the rest of his team into darkness while technicians raced to restore the lights and computers to life.

"The dog found the power cord," joked Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, playing off of the big news of the weekend, the unveiling of new First Dog, Bo.

An area reserved for the press corps known as "lower press" did not lose power. But the "upper press" area -- where Gibbs has his office -- and the rest of the West Wing was dark.

"We cut the wrong cord," Gibbs joked again, checking e-mail on his BlackBerry as he sat in front of a dark computer screen.

Staffers with flashlights scurried through the hallways, many of which are windowless. But the business of the White House proceeded. It was unclear whether the White House residence areas were also affected.

Power was restored half an hour after the outage began.

Posted at 12:51 PM ET on Apr 13, 2009  | Category:  White House
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Can someone please help JakeD out --with some lanterns from the third world? And en route, try exposing him to the 'light' He too apparently is in darkness!

Posted by: Victoria5 | April 15, 2009 7:57 AM

JAKED is scared, clinging to his party in desperate racists fear. He is putting his Red Party above the USA.

Yaknow, back when I was in high school, 30 years ago, I really and truly believed the inbreds and yayhoos who still harbored fear of blacks, who clung to their racism, would be long dead and gone.

I didn't realize they would teach their kids to hate, and continue the cycle right to today.

Posted by: lquarton | April 15, 2009 12:25 AM


If Obama was born in Hawaii, then he would indeed be a "natural born" citizen.

Posted by: JakeD | April 14, 2009 8:41 PM

Must've been a short circuit in the AT&T warrantless wiretapping, courtesy of the GOP.

To Jake D:

President Obama IS a natural born citizen, O neurosurgeon. He was born in Hawaii, our 50th state. Better get your facts straight before you open your gaping, ignorant, maw...

Posted by: elleyeyegreen | April 14, 2009 3:41 PM

Wow. No back-up power supply for the center of executive authority in the capital city of the wealthiest, mightiest, most technologically advanced nation in history. Somebody might want to address that small deficiency.

Posted by: WaitingForGodot | April 14, 2009 2:26 PM

I can think of a half dozen companies ready to sell the WH a fuel cell back-up generator. No excuse for this to happen.

Posted by: kalfred | April 14, 2009 1:49 PM

Third-world infrastructure to match a Third-World country. No surprise here. Hey, Mr. President, Thomas Jefferson used lanterns and candles. Now that the GOP has us back to the 18th Century, you may find those devices useful.

Posted by: MouthSore | April 14, 2009 12:01 PM

What, no "smart grid"? I mean, c'mon, even nursing homes have generators that kick on automatically when there is a powere outage like during a storm. Seriously, this would seem to be a serious breach of security. Kind of like not stopping the second shoe from being thrown.

Posted by: BeatlesRevolution | April 14, 2009 10:23 AM

Something is wrong with one of the panels.
Nothing that a Watergate electrician couldn't fix. Cheney probably knows what's wrong.

Posted by: seemstome | April 13, 2009 11:44 PM

I didn't think Limbaugh would go this far in his feud with the president...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | April 13, 2009 9:33 PM

"Power was restored half an hour after the outage began."

The Messiah is alive!

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 6:47 PM
In spite of your efforts to crucify him.

Posted by: mikem1 | April 13, 2009 7:51 PM

"Power was restored half an hour after the outage began."

The Messiah is alive!

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 6:47 PM

TheBabeNemo and svreader:

Don't get your panties in a bunch!

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 6:43 PM

reminds me of the JFK assassination.
wash dc phone lines were down for something like 1 hour and 20 minutes.

prior to and after the shooting.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 13, 2009 6:13 PM

It was Al Gore trying to make a point...?

Posted by: Obama_Liar_in_Chief | April 13, 2009 5:49 PM

This sends an extremely bad message to both our friends and our enemies.

I sincerely hope Rham or whoever is in charge of white house facilities deals with this as seriously as they should.

Like the story about the entire NSA being down for a period of time a few years ago, I can only hope and pray is part of some disinformation campaign.

If not, I'm really upset with the inconpetence of some of the people spending my tax dollars.

Posted by: svreader | April 13, 2009 5:41 PM


Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 13, 2009 5:18 PM

Jake, as you go through life, the idea is to grow and learn and accept new ideas - every couple of months I drop in, and you are spouting the same silliness. Does your mind ever bore you, applying the same flawed reasoning to every political situation.

As to lights out - yeah, good point - there should be a fail safe generator at the white house, w/o question.

I'm sure that those of you who are die-hard right wingers will find it easy to pin point the exact decision that President Clinton made that resulted in this occuring. Please don't hesitate to advise the rest of us peons just exactly how one group of Americans makes things so bad for the rest of you superior human beings. I'm waiting with baited breath.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | April 13, 2009 5:15 PM

Ohhhh, I am going to pay for this!

But, I can't resist!

It was heading for SNL probably anyway...

"Mr. President! MR.PRESIDENT! Mr. O'Bomba! Mrs. O'Bomba!"

"We are standing right HERE!" ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 13, 2009 4:59 PM

no wait....Bo, the new dog, did it

you can buy some white house eggs for $7.
the set of 4 is 25.00
wooden--and autographed by Prez and the First Lady.

I want a Rahmster egg

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 13, 2009 4:46 PM

((hearty laughs)))
so what did they find when the lights came back on?

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 13, 2009 4:41 PM

Technically, Barack HUSSEIN Obama, Jr. (assuming that Sr. was his real father) is not even President if he is not a "natural born" citizen.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 4:01 PM

We're lucky Barack is President!
Bush/Cheney would have invaded another country.

Posted by: pablo1 | April 13, 2009 3:57 PM

Even when the Lights are on;

Nobody seems to be Home!

Posted by: SAINT---The | April 13, 2009 3:28 PM

The Somali's are holding the fuse, for ransom.

Obama asked, "What Is We,,, Gonna Do"

Posted by: dashriprock | April 13, 2009 3:08 PM

Well, I'm still laughing. Are the lights STILL out?!

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 2:58 PM

Heads should roll over this.

There nothing the least bit funny about it.

Posted by: svreader | April 13, 2009 2:56 PM

oh yeah baby...
kinda sorta like the 1-800 number mess up.

i love it.
i tell ya, i would have made a beeline for the Rahmbo's office...
(((((( muuuhhhahhhhaaaa)))

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | April 13, 2009 1:47 PM


Check out the Cuba embargo thread.

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:44 PM

Hey JakeD!
What is the outrage du-jour for the right-wing gas-bags?
Easter bunny?
The egg roll?
There has got to be something to complain about. Can't be an off day for the GOP blowhards can it?

Posted by: hayden1 | April 13, 2009 1:41 PM


No redundancy, backup, in executive branch power grid?

This incident raises serious national security implications and should not be treated lightly.

Will our intrepid White House press corps
please ask some relevant questions here?

Or will this be another "shaggy dog" story?


SPECIAL TO: DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano (staff, please forward)

Ms. Napolitano:

There is strong evidence that the regional "fusion centers" administered by your department are using surveillance of telecommunications as a pretext to harass and censor American citizens.

Are you aware of this? Please see the following article.

Your internal affairs unit should be investigating this issue. Thank you.

OR (in link is corrupted):

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 13, 2009 1:11 PM

LOL! Obama is in the dark (literally now too ; )

Posted by: JakeD | April 13, 2009 1:03 PM

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