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Reply #158: In the big scheme, they're not terribly opulent, actually. [View All]

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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-09 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #155
158. In the big scheme, they're not terribly opulent, actually.
The living quarters at the White House isn't any great shakes. It's not like Presidential families will actually be hanging out in the Blue Room or the kids will be playing Twister in the Map Room--those are more public areas--or they used to be, before they limited tours after Nahn Wun Wun Changed Ever-thang.

Even the "Residence China" (the stuff with the flower) will likely only be used when someone gets that lucky, intimate invitation to dine in the residence. The kids won't be microwaving their Hot Pockets on that stuff. And it will stay with the residence and continue to be used until, over time, pieces get broken and they have to downsize the set for smaller soirees and order new china for those tiny dinners for twenty or whatever.

The ones who do opulence well are the French. The Queen in the UK has it down, too. But really, at the end of the day, it's simply a matter of protocol. It's opulence with a purpose, not for amusement. You cannot have a shabby venue, otherwise people have no confidence in your nation. You can't have shabby accoutrements, either. It invites negative comments. Everything has to be top drawer and squared away, at all times. You've gotta pull out the stops for "the company" and make them feel important.

I just can't see President Obama saying to the PM of the UK, "Look, I've got Mac-n-Cheese in a cup, or a chicken broccoli lean pocket--which one do you want?" Unless of course, they're camping, or something! Now, Bush used to do that crap every so often, serving people hot dogs and so forth, but we looked down our noses when he did it....he could get away with a full-bore barbeque, but when he served a frigging hot dog on a plate, he was regarded as a cheap-ass jerk. You may recall, when he endorsed McCain, he slipped the guy the old HOT DOG:

http://www.reuters.com/article/oddlyEnoughNews/idUSN051...

There's just so much symbolism wrapped up in any public event that they do, it's gotta be full-bore. But privately, they don't live like that at all. Yes, they have cooks, but the President works a full day and so does "the wife" --even though she doesn't get paid for her labor, so the cook really isn't a luxury--it's a small compensation for making the wife work for no pay. And they pay for their own food, and the meals are as simple or as complicated as the individual family wants to make them.

I regard Presidents as our SERVANTS, though...not our rulers. They're elected to serve We, The People, and we're nice employers. We give them decent "servant's quarters" to live in. It is the best public housing in the US (as Clinton oft remarked).
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