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Seeking Representation at the Top

(Stephanie Kuykendal/The Washington Post)

Fifty days into the new administration, and the motorcade license-plate watchers are still waiting and wondering:

Will President Obama put the District's "Taxation Without Representation" plates on his limo?

Bill Clinton made a minor splash shortly after the tags were created when he put them on his ride during his final weeks in office -- a symbolic gesture in support of congressional voting rights for the city. When George W. Bush took office, he had them removed.

So when a Democrat headed into the White House again, supporters of the push took heart. The D.C. Council wrote Obama a letter in December: Would he please use the plates in the inaugural parade? Inauguration Day came and went -- nothing.

Mark Plotkin, the WTOP political analyst and voting rights advocate, has been keeping anxious watch, tracking what response reporters get when they ask the White House about the plates. The general answer, he said: "They're looking into it." Plotkin made a point of asking last week when he had a moment with press secretary Robert Gibbs. "He said, 'Oh, I'll have to take care of this,' " Plotkin said. But nothing yet. "They want us to go away," he sulked. "We're small potatoes for them."

Michael Brown, the council member who chairs a committee on D.C. statehood, said he'd "love" to see the plates on the president's and vice president's vehicles -- "it sends a great message" -- though he's more focused on seeing them support the voting-rights bill now stalled in Congress.

So, what is the plan for the plates? A White House spokesman said yesterday that -- shocker -- "no decision has been made at this point."

By The Reliable Source  |  March 12, 2009; 1:04 AM ET
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This would be amazing, I hope they do seriously consider it. Is there any information publicly available regarding how many people in DC sport these plates? Now that would be interesting, I seem to see them everywhere.

Posted by: haleychristy | March 12, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

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