The Bushes celebrate the festival of lights, and taunt the pool with food they can’t have.
“The Oval Office had a festive atmosphere, with a Christmas tree decorated with large golden ornaments beside the Rose Garden door and an arrangement of large pine cones above the fireplace. Officials milling behind POTUS’s desk included Hadley, Negroponte and Perino. Bush said he was looking forward to lunch with the president but warned it may not be as good as the food he enjoyed during his last trip to Italy.” — Andrew Ward, The Financial Times
“The president marked the Jewish festival of lights at Hanukkah reception. About a hundred guests filled the Grand Foyer for a 20-minute candle lighting ceremony. Six festive Christmas trees were in the corners, but the focus of the tableau was a menorah that once belonged to the great-grandfather of slain Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl. Pearl’s parents sat in the front row with the First Lady as Mr. Bush recounted the miracle of Hanukkah, and the stories of Daniel Pearl and the family candelabrum. The transcript has already moved. The president drew a parallel between Maccabees’ fight against religious oppression, and Pearl’s ‘lifelong pursuit of truth and tolerance.’ Two Jewish cabinet members were on hand, Michael Chertoff and Michael Mukasey. Like most of the men in the crowd, they wore yarmulkes. The who’s who included Elliott Abrams, Ken Mehlman, Josh Bolten, Rep. Eric Cantor, and White House chief of protocol Nancy Brinker. A man sitting in front of Mehlman wore a yarmulke decorated with a “W” and the words ‘The President.’” — Todd Gillman, Dallas Morning News
“What’s a party without a nosh? The feast reportedly included potato latkes, apple latkes, baby lamb chops and smoked salmon. Alas, the pool was ushered out and didn’t get to partake.” — Gillman
Apparently a light rain did not stop the president from riding. The bikes that they pulled off the back of the cars back at the white house were quite muddy.” — Jason Embry, Cox Newspapers
The POTUS sat, lips zipped and smiling, afterward, as the pool was being ushered out and an intrepid pooler called out the question: What are the American people to make of the CIA’s destruction of videotapes? And the pool, which had been asked not to ask questions, was shown the door. The president’s body language, however, appeared positively upbeat.” — Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune