It's a Wrap for Barney's Holiday Gift
End of an era! Yesterday, the White House released the seventh and final Barney Cam holiday video, an annual mix of offbeat humor and major cuteness.
The Scottish terrier bids farewell to Washington with the first family (including new son-in-law Henry Hager) and cameos by Olympians Michael Phelps, Nastia Liukin, Garrett Webber-Gale, Shawn Johnson and the 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup team. In a trippy animated scene, Barney dreams of competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and sinking a winning putt -- until President Bush urges him to start decorating for Christmas.
"Barney, you had better wake up, fella," he says. "There's a lot of work to do around here. We're sprinting to the finish, not napping to the finish."
Barney Cam, which debuted in 2002, is the brainchild of Jeanie Mamo, White House head of media affairs. The White House had been closed to public tours since 9/11, so Barney Cam was created to share the holiday decorations online. The first video was shot from Barney's perspective (six inches from the floor) and introduced the now classic dog-plays-with-a-red-ornament trick. Big hit, with millions of hits on the White House Web site.
Highlights from subsequent years: Barney's sibling rivalry with puppy Miss Beazley, his dashed hopes for a big holiday show ("There's no easy way to say this, but we're out of money," Treasury Sec Hank Paulson told the pooch in 2006), kudos from Tony Blair and plenty of adorable pitter-pattering down the halls.
But showbiz takes its toll: Barney took a bite last month out of a pesky reporter who got in his face. Time to move on -- the dogs and cat Willie (a.k.a. India, Kitty or Willard) are headed down to Dallas with the Bushes in January.
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