By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers
The White House staff, some 93 cooks, ushers, and other aides, are expecting to have five hours to move President Bush out of the executive mansion and move in the Obama family, says former longtime chief usher Gary Walters. "The house is literally transformed into a home" for the new president's family, he says. At a conference hosted by the White House Historical Association, Walters says that once the Bush goods are put on a moving van and shipped out, the Obama goods will be unpacked and put in closets and drawers. The staff will also put up pictures of the new first family and stock the foods they have chosen to eat.
Former Clinton social secretary Ann Stock says that this family transition has gone extremely smoothly because Michelle Obama has moved quickly to hire personal staff that have worked with first lady Laura Bush's team to make the needed changes. What's more, the Bushes arrived with few items, so moving them out hasn't been difficult. On the specifics of the move, Walters says that only White House staff touch presidential items, meaning that moving men do not remove Bush goods from the White House or move in the Obama furniture.
He says that the staff will also pack up the Oval Office and president's personal office and unpack what Obama wants on his desk. Walters said that of the 93 staffers, about 60 actually help in the move. The rest are readying things such as snacks or lunch for the new first family and preparing for their night of inaugural balls.
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