Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Into the Sunset - the End of the Bush Administration

Self portrait with POTUS.

My first day of work in the White House Communications Office, my supervisor told me, "It has come to our attention that you have a blog," to which I responded, "I'll take it down today."
Iowa Caucuses: 2008

Whitleypedia was a casualty of my service in the Bush Administration, which ended today. So relaunching Whitleypedia to commemorate the end of his term in office seems a fitting tribute – both to the President and a pretty darn great blog (which almost started on a Presidential note, when I kicked it off during the Iowa Caucuses last year).

As a political entity, the Bush presidency has spanned my entire adult life. By the time I returned from my mission in Germany, Governor Bush had practically already won the Republican Primary. During college, as the token conservative at the University of Utah newspaper, I was expected to take up arms daily against a sea of self-righteous liberals on behalf of the Republican President – I even wrote an op-ed once called "All We Are Saying, Is Give War A Chance." At my first real job, as education editor at The Park Record, I learned more about No Child Left Behind than anyone without kids ever should. And of course the Administration's actions affected our work in Congress when I was in the office of Utah's inimitable Senator Orrin Hatch.

Obviously, when I started working in the White House Communications Office in April, the amount of Bush in my life went into the stratosphere. Like all politicos, I had wanted to work in the White House as long as I could remember; when I moved to D.C in 2005, my goal was to eventually work for First Lady Ann Romney (alas). I didn't expect to work in the White House earlier, and appreciate the chance to work here before the Age of Obama (reverent awe, cue the angelic choirs). It was an incredible experience - one I wouldn't exchange for (insert your own superlative ).

The White House at night.

Socially, entering a Presidential Administration with less than a year left is like transferring high schools halfway through graduation. Some people at the White House have been with the Bushes ever since he was governor of Texas ... literally 10 years of their lives working, eating, and sleeping George W. Bush (though not as much of that last one as they doubtless needed). Unfathomable!

I had the chance to meet the President four times – all for photo ops, one of them at the White House Christmas Party and one of them with visiting family members. He radiates a warmth, sincerity, and kindness that make it impossible to believe accusations against him of "arrogance." Regrettably, I was never able to clear brush with him at Crawford, but I think of him whenever there is brush that needs to be cleared.

President Bush clears brush.

With the explosion of the blogosphere and online news outlets, more has been written about George W. Bush than any other President. It's not my goal to provide any sweeping revelations or thorough policy analysis of the Bush Administration, but rather, share insights, observations, and tales that might be interesting, worth a link or two on someone else's blog, about what life was like in the trenches of the end of the Bush White House. So the next few days will feature installments about my experiences on the rebooted Whitelypedia titled, "Into the Sunset: The Cowboy President Leaves Washington – A Whitleypedia exclusive." The series will also feature snapshots of life inside the Beltway as we approach the Inauguration of President Obama.

(Note that Whitleypedia was formerly known as "Rapier Whit," (until I tired of explaining what a "rapier" was). This relaunch seemed as good a time as any to change the name.)


Kate said...

The end of an era, huh? Congrats on making it through your White House days . . .

Anonymous said...

Great to see your blog up! Looking forward to visiting often.

Brian said...

Good to see you on I'll be watching with interest.

Melanie said...

Clever title. Can't wait for the political journey!

Cameron said...

Great to see you back at it.
There's only 5 days now till life in Obamatopia begins and everything will smell of daisies and honeysuckle. (sigh) I can hardly wait.


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