Monday, December 13, 2004
You've got a friend in the President
The George W. Bush White House has broken all previous records set by themselves in sending Christmas cards to all their friends and acquaintances and even volunteers on the campaign (paid for by the RNC at the tune of $600,000 in postage alone) according to this New York Times story (registration required).
The White House at Christmas is always a little like Grand Central Terminal. This year at 15 holiday receptions from Dec. 2 through Dec. 21, Mr. Bush and the first lady will shake hands and pose for pictures with 6,500 guests. Since each reception lasts at least two hours, that amounts to some 30 presidential hours in a receiving line.
What's new this year is that so many people from the campaign are passing by Mr. Bush like a diorama of the last 12 months. For the humming White House political machine, the holiday parties are an efficient way of spreading thanks. For Mr. Bush, it is the campaign that never ends.
...Of course, not all 1.4 million Bush campaign volunteers would fit in the White House this season. For them, there were Christmas cards - many, many Christmas cards. The Bushes broke another personal record this year by sending out two million cards, continuing a trend of Christmas card inflation. (The first couple sent out 1.3 million cards in 2003, 1 million in 2002 and 875,000 in 2001. In contrast, the Clintons sent out 400,000 Christmas cards in their last year in the White House.)