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The Bush China, Off the Shelf at Last


The Clintons' White House china, purchased near the end of President Bill Clinton's term in office, was used at several Bush White House functions. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Laura Bush is scheduled this morning to unveil a brand new set of White House table settings -- the George W. Bush State China. Now? But they have only two weeks to use it! Actually, the timing isn't unusual. Hillary Clinton didn't roll out the Clinton china -- the stuff still in use -- until late 2000; Lady Bird Johnson brought out hers in 1968, just in time for the Nixons. Takes a while to design, it seems, and not every administration gets to have its own.


The Reagans' White House china (Bill Brown/White House Historical Association)

First ladies from Mary Lincoln to Nancy Reagan took flak for the perceived extravagance of new china, said historian Carl Sferrazza Anthony -- but the reality is that things break: "Every 10 years or so there's a need for it," he said, "and then it becomes a legacy thing." Private foundations paid for the Clinton and Reagan china; sources said no tax dollars will go to the Bush china, either.

By The Reliable Source  |  January 7, 2009; 1:02 AM ET
 
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Comments

I think it is a wonderful and heartwarming
gesture for the future White House families
that Laura Bush is going to unveil her
new White House china today. I thoroughly
expect future White House families to
enjoy using this new table service.

Posted by: rodneysmall | January 7, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of china brings that great nation to mind. At the risk of non sequitur, I will mention impulsively purchasing a nice fedora at an absurdly low price.

A few days later a rash develeloped on my forehead and the tops of my ears. Stopped wearing hat, but the rash is slow to leave, and I am not dubject to skin problems. A doctor will cost en times what the hat did -- very annoying to those on fixed income.

Then I began to wonder about the lead content in my Chinese china, the poison in their milk products, and the more general problem of how these open-door trade deals are negotiated, enforced. They won't need a war to overcome us; just incompetents in the congress and agencies. They will win in business, and perhaps by poisoning us as well.

Retired, aging, white, former Republican.

Posted by: SisyphusinSoho | January 7, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Why is White House china always so ugly and tacky with heavy gilding? The Reagans' china pattern was reasonable if a bit bureaucratic in design; the Clintons' was just tacky with all that gilding; and what Laura Bush unveiled today is quite ugly though a bit less tacky than the Clintons' choice. These women have a chance to spend incredible amounts of money on creating beautiful, dignified china. It is hard to believe this is the best they can do. Do they think that they have to justify the expense by slathering the china with obnoxious amounts of gold? Let's hope Michelle Obama knows better eight years from now.

Posted by: juliaandrews | January 7, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

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