Category Archives: The White House

To the Time Machine!

Tuesday 04.08.08 Posted by: Mebz

Note from Millie: Mebz, the title of your post inspired me to add this picture to the blog:

Now back to you, Mebz…

Hello, John King fans. In all honesty, I am feeling completely unimaginative and uncreative today. (Not to mention that WordPress changed it user interface so I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.) So, this post is a little bit on the short side today. I thought for my first Tuesday post we’d take a stroll down memory lane with another addition of:

Remember When John Covered: The White House

But Mebz, you say, John covered the White House for several years. This is true, but I thought perhaps some of you have yet to see JK’s 1993 appearance on Charlie Rose. We are talking Pre-CNN, people! I give you, the Associated Press’ John King:

Click HERE for the entire hour.

I will see you guys again on Thursday!

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Filed under From The Archives, The White House

Memory Lane: 2000 Election Edition

Friday, 03.14.08 Posted by: Mebz

This week in the John King-dom (Ha! Darn, I’m good! Sorry…) we had two nights of Larry King fill-ins, the Mississippi primary and a shout out on The Daily Show- for JK, not for us, OMG I’d wet myself if that happened. So, now that it’s Friday, I thought I’d take us on a little trip to that far away land called the year 2000.

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John wrote a Reporters Notebook while covering Al Gore’s campaign eight years ago. Enjoy a little reading:

WASHINGTON — The Al Gore campaign is taking a bit of a gamble in banking on the continuation of manual recounts in Florida, even after Secretary of State Katherine Harris certifies the results.  The gamble is that there will be new votes for the vice president, and that Harris will accept the amended returns. She has said publicly that she feels she is not required to do so. The Gore people were very disappointed that a state judge refused to order the secretary of state to extend the deadline under which counties had to report certified results from the general election. Harris now has the authority to certify the election results, and statewide counts show Texas Gov. George W. Bush winning. So along with the hope, there’s also a sense of worry on the Gore side that there will be another public declaration from a Florida state official that Bush won the presidential race in the state. If the tally from overseas absentee ballots is finished over the weekend, there could be just such an announcement, with the Gore campaign still raising its hands, saying, “Wait! Wait! We want another recount” or, “We want the recount to be finished.” And if the American people keep hearing “Governor Bush has won,” Gore’s people believe the American public may just decide that it’s time to bring an end to the disagreement.  There has been talk in both campaigns, among the political people more than the legal people, asking, “Is there some way to have a joint proposal — a compromise that we will do ‘X’ and both campaigns will accept the results.” The problem is the two camps aren’t really talking to each other in any serious way, and there is a great deal of bitterness between the two. If the manual recounts show Gore pulling ahead, and if the Florida secretary of state agrees either to accept those results (or was ordered by a court to accept those results), then the Bush campaign would certainly raise its hand and say, “This process has been unfair to us. We did not request any recounts. Now we want to.” At that point, some people see the only way out as a statewide recount. But they’re not there yet, and the Bush side is banking on never getting there.

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If you want to read this in it’s “natural habitat” go here.

Mebz’s Weekly No-Good RELEVANT YouTube Video

That’s right- this one IS relevant!

Weekend Discussion Question: Where were you in life eight years ago during the last Presidential election? I was a sophomore in college. Discuss!

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Filed under From The Archives, The White House

Mice In The White House? Or Something More… Sinister?

Wednesday, 10.31.07

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Happy Halloween everyone! I hope that all of you out there who will be trick-or-treating tonight will stay safe and have fun.

For today’s post, I thought I would do some research about some of the more famous hauntings in and around Washington DC. This idea came to mind when I was watching a program a few weeks ago on the Biography Channel about this very subject.

For starters, the most obvious building to begin discussing when it comes to hauntings is the White House.

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John worked at the White House for 8 1/2 years. I wonder, did he ever encounter anything scary or unexplainable during that time? Well, perhaps all he could tell you is that that there were occasionally mice in the basement booth he worked out of, and that he heard the usual creaky noises old buildings sometimes emit, but other than that, I’m sure he wouldn’t be able to tell you much else, except that he was so busy back in those days, he could have been sitting there working around a ghost visit and would have missed it!

Did you know that the official White House web site has an entire section devoted to famous hauntings at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Check out the above link, it makes for some fascinating reading. There’s even a quiz you can take to test your knowledge of famous haunted happenings in and around Washington DC.

Here’s an interesting article from the History channel website that discusses some of the more famous ghostly sightings in The White House, primarily accounts from staff and visitors who are said to have seen the ghost of Lincoln himself.

Another fascinating Washington DC ghost story is that of a Capitol Hill cat who is not your “Garfield-garden-variety” type of feline, but a demonic animal!

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About.com explains “The Legend of the Demon Cat” as follows:

Most Washingtonians have heard one version or another of the frightening legend of the Demon Cat, also known as D.C. The best known version tells of a supernatural black cat that lives in the basement of the U.S. Capitol Building, possibly in the room known as the Crypt. Other versions of the story place the cat in the basement of the White House or simply among the shadows of the National Mall.

According to the legend, years go by without a sighting of the Demon Cat, but when it does appear a national disaster is likely to occur within a short period of time. A creepy detail, of some versions of the story, warns that while the Demon Cat may first appear as a helpless looking kitten, it grows in size and menace the closer one moves toward it.”

Ford’s Theater is also supposedly haunted.

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This article features a woman named Natalie Zanin, a Washington DC historian who knows a lot about the haunts around town.

In the article, she says “I was doing research for a Civil War tour at Ford’s Theater, and when I went behind an alley to explore, I spotted a man in a Civil War costume. When I went back into the theater I asked around about him and nobody knew who he was. They weren’t even performing that night, nor were they performing anything having to do with the Civil War any other night.”

I am a bit of a Civil War buff myself so stories like that are simply fascinating to me. I visited Ford’s Theater several years ago and the place does give off a strange vibe, but that of course could be contributed to knowing you are standing inside a building of profound historical significance. It is nonetheless intriguing to read about stories such as the one above.

Enjoy your trick-or-treating everyone!

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Filed under Holidays, Just For Fun, The White House

Red Sox Sweep

Monday, 10.29.07

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably know by now that the Boston Red Sox swept the World Series last night with a 4-3 win over the Colorado Rockies. No doubt John is among the hundreds of thousands of Red Sox fans celebrating today!

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It had been 86 years before they won a world series championship back in 2004. Three years later, they have certainly proven their staying power – and also proven that they are no “one hit wonder”. Even Yankee fans have got to give these guys some credit! (Ok, I can see the virtual tomatoes flying my direction all the way from New York, but my point is you have to give ANY team credit for making it to the world series and winning it in a sweep!)

A few years ago, The White House held a ceremony honoring the ’04 Red Sox championship team. This guy happened to be there and he blogged about the experience in March of 2005. He apparently had a good vantage point to be able to see the President and the Red Sox players.

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His “chief” complaint? Someone was blocking his view practically the whole time.

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Hey, if I couldn’t see The President at the White House at a rally because of someone blocking my view, and that person turned out to be none other than John King, I sure as heck wouldn’t complain!

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Filed under Sports, The White House

The White House Press Room

Sunday, 9.02.07

Even though John is no longer exclusively working at The White House, I think it fitting to post a blog about the famous White House Press Room and the fact that John used to spend countless hours there. Which is his chair to be exact? I for one don’t know for certain, but Smajhar over at the foto sharing site Webshots apparently went on a White House tour in late 2002 and took a photo that claims to be John’s chair.

I wonder if that tidbit of information was pointed out during the tour or if there was some other marking indiciating who the chair belonged to. (Does that gold plate have his name on it?) Nevertheless, it is still interesting to imagine that this is the chair John used to sit in for many years while working on The White House beat:

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Recently the press room went under an 11-month remodeling project. Apparently there were problems with asbestos, poor air-conditioning and general disrepair. Here are a few pictures from ABC news which show the newly-remodeled space:

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It certainly looks clean, spacious and comfy. But the above is in contrast to what it used to look like:

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Hardly glamorous, huh? And narrow to boot! With all the camera and crew lounging around like that it is a stark contrast to what you see on TV! (The above picture was taken by someone I know when she was on a special trip to Washington DC.)

The reason The Press Room always looks bigger on TV and in official pictures is that people are sitting or standing in the side aisles, giving it the appearance that it is wider than it really is. In actuality, before the remodeling, the rows were only about 5-6 chairs wide. The newly-remodeled room looks like they’ve added an extra chair or two to each row.

Some members at the Yahoo group were fortunate to find a few pictures of John sitting in the press room:

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I wonder who gets the fortunate opportunity to sit in John’s chair now?

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Filed under The White House

The Chair

Friday, 08.31.07

As promised yesterday, I am going back to blogging about John. Here’s a hint for the next post:

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Yes, I’m such a tease, aren’t I!?!

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Filed under The White House