I was able to go to the White House today and watch the Press Conference with Tony Snow. He is a handsome man.
We went in through the West Gate, on the corner of 17th and Pennsylvania and were able to walk around the driveway to the Press room. Entering the room, the podium is on your right, the seats right in front of you, and the cameras to the left. My impression of the room from TV (televised press conferences, movies, West Wing) was that it was very big. It is not. In fact, it's quite cozy.
We headed to the back of the room, where the tv cameras are, and went downstairs. Here are the offices where the newspaper writers write and the radio reporters report. These offices are very very small. The C-SPAN office is the size of a bath tub. The AP office is the size of your average office cubicle, but four reporters have to use it. Fox Radio has an office big enough for a chair and a desk just big enough for a computer. The radio gear itself is shelved/stacked high along the walls. Each newspaper there has a desk just big enough for their computers. Amazing.
We took seats in the back. The seats in the last row, all of them broken in some way, are for guests. In come all the regulars – Helen Thomas was the highlight, of course, but so was the other AP guy Thomas Mann, I think his name was. Lot of folks you see on TV. Pretty cool.
I wanted to go eat at the White House Mess (hall), but didn't want to get introuble, or C-SPAN in trouble and dash any hopes of a return trip, no matter how unlikely. What a trip, though, to be in the White House.
I had many, many moments where I was thinking, "I'm in the frickin White House, man!" Or, "I'm on the driveway of the frickin White House, man!" Or, "That's one of the door-opening Marines. Of the frickin White House, man!"