by Jeannie Deangelis
Clash Daily guest Contributor
In 2009, Vogue magazine ran an article by former editor-at-large André Leon Talley entitled “Michelle Obama: Leading Lady.” For 3,072 words, not including the title, André slipped on his own drool as he poetically brown-nosed “long, lean, athletic” Michelle. Talley even said that being the focus of Michelle Obama’s “reassuring gaze is akin to hearing a chord from John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme.’ Or maybe Ralph Vaughan Williams’s ‘The Lark Ascending’: All is well and right and real.”
At one point, Talley talked about Mrs. Obama’s plan to swing open the doors to the White House:
It’s been an awfully long time since strangers off the street could wander right into the presidential mansion, but Michelle Obama‘s intention is to open up the White House again in a spirit of diversity and inclusion. She speaks of her future there as almost a collective experience. It’s never ‘me’ and ‘mine’ and ‘some,’ but ‘we’ and ‘our’ and ‘all.’ She’s like the neighbor organizing a block party: Everyone is invited.
To this day, Michelle Obama herself stands behind that initial promise on the White House website:
This is really what the White House is all about. It’s the ‘People’s House.’ It’s a place that is steeped in history, but it’s also a place where everyone should feel welcome. And that’s why my husband and I have made it our mission to open up the house to as many people as we can.
Talk is cheap, because the thought of strangers wandering in off the street into the presidential mansion is almost as laughable as Michelle Obama volunteering to bunk at a Motel 6 to save money. Add to that the president canceling White House tours and blaming the sequester and, at least for schoolchildren from Sheboygan, Michelle’s “collective experience” has been indefinitely postponed.
The truth is that not only has the block party been canceled, but the doors have been dead-bolted – to all but a select few with very expensive “members only” passes. If your name isn’t Beyoncé, Eva Longoria, or George Clooney, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be getting a private tour of the Situation Room anytime in the near future.
According to Obama, discontinuing the tours and relieving the 37 Secret Service agents who monitor the visitors saves $74,000 per week, which accomplishes absolutely nothing. With a debt that’s growing at a rate of $10 million per minute, $74,000 is less than a half-hour aboard Air Force One.
Not only that but, once again, the president’s lie generator is working overtime. What he neglected to mention was that, although the tours were discontinued, there were no furloughs, and the Secret Service agents who would normally be watching volunteers lead the kiddies around the White House were reassigned to other posts, and paid salary and benefits.
The president’s explanation not only reveals his disingenuousness, it also reveals his focus, which, as usual, is on himself. If the Duffer-in-Chief had skipped his $900K Tiger Woods golf weekend getaway and shocked the living daylights out of America by voluntarily donating those funds to keep “The People’s House” open, White House tours could have continued until June.
Now, in the interim, as we wait for school group tours to be reinstated, the only “collective experience” taking place has to do with the collection of coinage. Barack Obama, via Organizing for Action (OFA), the political organization previously known as Obama for America (OFA), is granting exclusive access to the White House for big donors who drop a wad of cash into the president’s bottomless coffer.
According to a New York Times article entitled “The White House Joins the Cash Grab,” Organizing for Action has “reorganized as a 501(c)(4), a so-called social welfare group unbound by campaign restrictions. Corporations and billionaires can write checks of any size, aware that they are giving to a group with close ties to the White House, one that is busily promoting President Obama’s agenda.”
In fact, the president recently spoke at Organizing for Action’s two-day Founder’s Summit at the Washington, D.C. St. Regis Hotel, where supporters paid $50K a plate to listen to Obama say, “It’s not about 2014. I actually want to govern, at least for a couple of years.” Wait! $50K a plate? If White House tours were scaled back a tad, all those plates of mashed potatoes and rosemary chicken could have kept the doors open for quite some time.
So despite Michelle Obama’s ambitious promises, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is only open if whoever is standing on the welcome mat – regardless of race, creed or color – can hand over a pile of moolah to the person peering out through the peephole.
When accused of selling access to the president, presidential pool boy and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney emphatically declared that “any notion … that there is a price set for a meeting with the president is absurd and wrong.” Yet, benefactors who gave $500,000 to OFA will sit on a “national advisory board,” which the New York Times says is “nothing more than a fancy way of setting a price for access to Mr. Obama.” In less fancy terms, one could say this is Barack Obama’s way of pimping himself out for cash.
Purchasing access to the president is a long way from André Leon Talley’s romantic perception that the presidential mansion will never be “‘me’ and ‘mine’ and ‘some,’ but ‘we’ and ‘our’ and ‘all.’” André may not have noticed it just yet, but the only “me and mine” are the high-end contributions being used to promote Obama’s anti-gun, pro-illegal immigrant, green policy agenda. As for the “We…our…and all,” sorry, but despite what Mrs. Obama said in 2009, whoever can’t cough up the half-million-dollar entrance fee isn’t invited.
Jeannie DeAngelis, born in Brooklyn, New York and raised on Long Island, is a wife, mother and grandmother to three grandsons. She has written for politically-themed articles for conservative websites like American Thinker and Breitbart, emphasizing current events as well as the full range of liberal hypocrisy in politics and Hollywood, and pro-life issues. Jeannie publishes a blog atwww.jeannie-ology.com.