After leaving the Vatican, the First Family heads to Air Force One to go to Ghana.
The West Wing side of the Obama Administration shows savvy at the White House website with a blog, policy briefs, and a YouTube channel. Nothing like it exists readily for the Obama East Wing. Yes, there are a couple of photo albums for the first lady, Michelle Obama, but no blog, no fulsome history of each of the State Rooms, the extensive White House American Art collections, no White House Residence senior staff profiles, no details of events hosted by the first lady that resonate - the music series, the output of the $200 investment of the Kitchen Garden or the choices of China, silverware or floral arrangements used at events. Those things must wait for chronicling by a haphazard news media that misses points for posterity. These details are important and will be part of the record of Michelle Obama's tenure as first lady, especially as the first African American. (Photo courtesy the White House of Michelle Obama meeting the retired Chief Florist Nancy Clarke's new granddaughter at a staff party in the mansion.)
Content on the White House website is important and even the West Wing is struggling to capture everything and get pieces filled in. The East Wing should join alongside the West in providing rich, detailed content about state or official events at the People's House. A great piece has been the live streaming of events on the White House website by both the president and the first lady. Time marches rapidly and before we know it, a year will float by before attention turns to making information available on the website.
The Lincoln Sitting Room off the Lincoln Bedroom on the second floor of the Residence. Cataloging once again the art works for the public is critical.
Michelle Obama oft repeats that she wants to bring the White House to people who have never seen it and offering up a robust web presence would do that for millions in this nation and millions if not billions more outside of it. Nothing has captured the imagination of global interest like her garden and the implications for nutritional value of home grown local food. Prince Charles waxed ecstatic about the Kitchen Garden and members of Congress along with other guests plus the family eat the fruits of the labor of the kids at Bancroft Elementary, Mrs. Obama, the White House chefs and the landscape crew. It would be great to talk about the garden in terms of healthy eating right at the site - rather than through the occasional news article prompted by a photo op.
Every White House Pet is special. There was a Barney Cam - yeah, he bit a reporter for which first lady Laura Bush wrote a handwritten apology, Socks was a superstar cat and Bo is threatening to need his own reporter assigned to him because he garners so much attention. It was a wonderfully weird presidential picture as the Obamas went on vacation to see a baby car seat (for Maya's infant daughter) and Bo leave a helicopter in the same image. The East Wing smartly came up with a Bo piece that went into bags for the troops. It was pretty cute to watch Malia intently read the doggy bio information before she placed it in the backpack she was supposed to be filling at a service event.
Malia is reading every detail.