Helen Thomas

Long-time White House press corps fixture Helen Thomas died the other day at the age of 92. She served UPI and other news organizations for decades, from 1961 to 2010. Best wishes to her family and friends.

Helen Thomas

01 Mar 1962, Washington, DC, USA — This is a photograph of Helen Thomas, UPI reporter in Washington, DC. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Rex Scouten

The New York Times reports that one-time White House chief user Rex Scouten has died. He was 88 and suffered complications after hip surgery. Our best wishes go out to his friends and family.

Scouten served 10 presidents, from Truman to Clinton not only as chief usher from 1969 to 1986 but also previously as a Secret Service agent and afterward as curator. Scouten never wrote a book or otherwise published any memoirs.

White House wedding bells?

I don’t normally pass along celebrity “news” or, for that matter, any news at all except as it relates to the WHM website, but….

In a weird White House convergence, E! Online is reporting that Elisabeth Moss—first daughter Zoey Bartlet on The West Wing (and Peggy Olsen on MadMen) will marry Fred Armisen, who regularly portrays Barack Obama on Saturday Night Live. Best wishes for a kidnapping-free wedding day.

Inauguration news and wishes

Keith Olbermann just announced that Barack Obama will keep the Bush 2 Oval Office decor. Most presidents keep the incumbent decor for a while (Bush 2 actually used the Reagan rug), but I bet he gets his own rug eventually… or at least drapes (please drapes).

If this is true, tho, it means a lot less work for Pete in updating the Oval Office model. 😉

Whatever the case— Best wishes to the Obamas in their new home, our favorite house, this mansion of democracy, this palace of the republic, this old white house.

Also, Vice-President Dick Cheney reportedly injured his back moving boxes and will attend the inauguration in a wheelchair. Best wishes for a quick recovery.

Happy oldest day to Jerry Ford

On Sunday, President Ford became the oldest living person to have been president of the United States: 93 years and 121 days. Ford’s impact on the White House was mainly the installation of an outdoor swimming pool and redecorating the Oval Office with decor that lasted thru Carter and into Reagan’s second term.

A Navy man and a football player in his youth, the president was fit and competitive thru his White House years; his motto was simply “WIN.” Surviving two assassination attempts while president and a devastating wolf attack that many thought would prove fatal, Ford moved to Springfield, USA, across the street from Homer Simpson in the former Bush residence.

Before and after his White House years, he was, by all accounts, an admirable and decent man. Best wishes, Mr. President.

New front page – Ford hospitalized

This week, I changed the front page picture from the 1962 Kennedy Blue Room to the 1948 FDR swimming pool under the Press Briefing Room, given that that room is in the news lately.

Also, former President Gerald Ford went into the hospital again today, the third time in a year. He turned 93 in July. As an honorary member of the White House Museum board of directors, he and his family have our best wishes.