The First Draft: Packing day
It’s not a day to move house in Washington. The U.S. capital woke up to a face-stinging hypothermic cold that had early morning commuters walking just a little bit faster to get to the heated comfort of their offices.
But it’s packing day for the Bush administration. As White House staffers move out, ahead of President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday, President George W. Bush’s spokeswoman Dana Perino will give her last news conference.
Over at the State Department, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will attend a farewell ceremony closed to the press. It follows Bush’s televised farewell address to Americans on Thursday night in which he defended his record after eight tumultuous years in office.
Obama meanwhile says he is still tinkering with his inaugural address, but that there is a “good solid draft” that he is happy with. In an interview with USA Today, he rated the addresses given by Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
“I will point out that JFK’s speech is the second best … Lincoln first. You know, FDR’s actually isn’t that great. It’s got a great line. `The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.` The rest is kind of clunky.”
Television morning shows eschewed political coverage in favored of what they dubbed “Miracle on the Hudson”, hailing the heroism and skill of a U.S. Airways pilot after he safely ditched his plane with 155 people aboard into the frigid waters of New York’s Hudson River.
(Photographer: Reuters/Jason Reed) President George W. Bush walks off after his final address to the nation at the White House