. . . I remember it well!
I was walking down the hallowed halls of the White House to the Cabinet Room to place my credenzas against the end walls on either side of the door that led to the Oval Office. The place was a buzz of activity as people moved decisively from place to place in setting up for the then President-Elect Obama as President Bush graciously moved over for his replacement. The cabinets had been out of sight to me for an hour when the team at the White House took them elsewhere to prepare for delivery to me in the Cabinet Room. I assume X-Rays and sniffers were used yet again in a more controlled environment but who knows? We’d already been frisked a few times in security checks and sniffer dogs had been released inside the truck to sniff around the blanket-wrapped, shrink-wrapped cabinets. The cream leather seats in the one-ton dually-cab had paw prints all over when the search was done. More on that in the journal on the White House pieces to come.
Contrasting the visit I made with current events surrounding the new presidency is markedly different as you can imagine. We’d been waiting for two hours to slide seamlessly into the White House on command and as we were parked two blocks away I had not seen a car park behind us to block us in. Our schedules were changed three times over a six-hour period. I think that this might be part of the system to get unknown elements into the White House but that’s just guesswork. A man from the car behind us walked past me as I stepped from the truck and seeing how little room we had to extract ourselves from the gap, I asked the man if he would mind moving back while we got out. He stood back, looked at the three-inch gap at the front and then the three-inch gap at the back, and said, “You cain’t git outa there?!!” Paah! He said, and walked off!
It is hard for me to describe the peace I felt in the Cabinet Room as I waited with the First Lady’s assistant, Sarah Armstrong. Pictures of Presidents past hung side by side with the hugely massive conference table centred in the room surrounded by armed chairs. There was a sense of awe and importance being there but what I felt most came when I saw the credenzas up-ended on two small wheeled furniture shifters glide into the room. They should have been kept flat but what could I say? I still felt peace as we unwrapped the blankets and set the two cabinets in place. It was awesome and surreal to see how they fit to the curved wall and the carpet so perfectly. Such synchrony, such peace!