Barack Obama closed the White House to public tours on March 8, 2013.
I wanted to know if such action had been taken in the past. Is cancelling the tours really such a big deal, or is the President’s decision to lock the doors of the People’s House creating undeserved controversy? What is the history of closing the White House?
The President blamed sequestration for the closing of The People’s House to the people. Never mind that his administration suggested sequestration, that a Republican House and a Democratic Senate voted to pass it, and the President signed it into law. And let us not forget that Senate Republicans offered a bill to allow the President total control over what to cut and where. Mr. Obama and Senate Democrats said, “No, thanks.”
All that aside, just how often has the White House been closed to the public? White House tours have been cancelled five times. So, it really isn’t so unusual, right?
White House Tours Cancelled Five Times
- World War II – Consider the events of Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, D-Day, the Holocaust, domestic Japanese interment camps, Hiroshima, and Adolf Hitler. Okay, it seems reasonable to close the White House.
- Major Renovations – the White House closed to the public in 1948 for a major redo. That seems sensible.
- Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy – the White House was closed to the public for seven days, reopening when Jackie Kennedy said it wasn’t right to keep the people from the People’s House.
- September 11, 2001 – planes piloted by terrorists took out the World Trade towers in New York City, hit the Pentagon, and we’ve heard that the plane lost in Shanksville was intended for the White House. No one complained that White House tours were suspended.
- Barack Obama – Although recently spending over $1 Million dollars to play golf with buddies in Florida, the President closes the White House to the people because he is mad that a law he designed and signed went into effect.
Does Mr. Obama’s decision belong in the same category as the other four? Or, is he behaving in a mean, spiteful, and petulant manner unbecoming the President of the United States?
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