Aug 11, 2006

Touring the White House

White House (Washington, DC) It was with mixed emotions that I participated in a private tour of the White House today. The part of me that still believes in freedom, democracy, and all those sorts of idealistic concepts felt a surge of pride as I wandered around the building.

The cynic in me looks back over the last few decades at the repeated abuses of power by our Commanders-in-Chief felt a twinge of sorrow, sorrow for something like a loss of innocence.

I most enjoyed the Green Room and the Red Room, as I have always been a fan of bold colors. Unfortunately, cameras are no longer permitted in the hands of White House visitors, even someone like me, who has a friend with a friend who works in the place.

Perhaps what most intrigued me was how small the White House really is. Sure, it has four floors and lots of rooms, but I have seen bigger mansions. I was also surprised that areas like the South Lawn are much smaller in life than on television.

The building, too, seems dwarfed by other federal facilities around it. Somehow the building that houses the President should, in my mind, stand above the others.

I walked out of the White House knowing that I was privileged to have been given a private tour, but feeling that the building could never have lived up to my unrealistic expectations.


Hooda Thunkit said...


I know it's the White House but:

Should our president live in a mansion? Most Americans never will.

After all, what does a president really do to earn a mansion? Although, I am aware that most of our recent presidents had great wealth..., by "working stiff" standards.

Better would be a more modest residence with a "public mansion" for hosting the affairs of state.

If for no other reason, it might humble our presidents, if only just a little.

BrianMaxson said...

A deceptive view in my life's travels:

The podium for the "bell" at the NYSE is only 5 feet off the floor, not the 20 feet it seems to be on TV.

I also was able to caress the beige "hot-line" phone that is directly connected to the President, before the two guards manhandled me back to the "tickle" room.