How Will GOP Whine About Obamas Eschewing Redecorating Funds?

Barack and Michelle Obama, like most Presidents, will do some redecorating of the White House. They’™ve hired the decorator already. Unlike other Presidents, they will not use public or nonprofit money dedicated to such work. Though most of us would find this to be proper, given the economy, the Republicans will find a way to whine.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Barack and Michelle Obama are given, as is every President, a budget with which to redecorate the White House. $100,000. There’™s also a nonprofit that helps with projects, the White House Historical Association, and Barack and Michelle Obama will not be calling on them for help either. But Barack and Michelle Obama, after hiring a bigtime designer, have eschewed public monies in redecorating a very public home. They are going to pay for it themselves. From New York magazine:

At a time when people are having trouble holding on to their houses, Barack and Michelle Obama have sensibly decided not to use taxpayers’™ money to renovate theirs. New presidents are allotted $100,000 to overhaul the White House residence and the Oval Office, and the Obamas hired Hollywood decorator Michael S. Smith (known, per his site, for mixing ‘œOld World classicism with very contemporary settings’). But the First Couple isn’™t spending that money. They ‘œare not using public funds or accepting donations of goods for redecorating their private quarters,’ says Camille Johnston, director of communications for the First Lady. Nor is the couple, who reported $4.2 million in household income in 2007 tax returns, using money from the White House Historical Association, a privately funded foundation that paid for a $74,000 set of china shortly before Laura Bush left town.

Yeah, this is admirable and it shows that the Obamas truly understand what people in the country are going through financially. And, yeah, this is what we have come to expect from the Obamas. They are not fat cats who rely on the public to do their bidding or to subsidize their lives.

The big question here is how the Republicans are going to whine about this turn of events. I’™m guessing there will be speculation on two fronts. First, the big GOP radio whiners will turn their expert designer eyes to the redecorating projects and trash them. Not a doubt they will use the word ‘œtrash,’ no matter the project. Then they will speculate that since Barack and Michelle paid for the improvements, they will try to take those improvements with them. Of course they’™ll make it up as they go along, paying no attention to facts. Par for the course.

Further, the ugliness on the Republican side will whine about the Obamas, rather than taking nonprofit money from the White House Historical Association, they are snubbing the group. Again, that will be completely made up and fictional, but most Republican whines have basis in fiction.

The most important point to make here is that redecorating the White House is not all that big a story. I’™m predicting that the Republican talking heads will make it so, or try real hard. To them a story that belongs in House Beautiful is fair game for their whining. That’™s their nature, after all, to whine whenever possible.

Monday, March 30th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

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