Inauguration Luncheon in Statuary Hall

January 15, 2009
Statuary Hall viewed from south (Wide-angle)

Statuary Hall viewed from south (Wide-angle)

So I’ve received my assignment for Inauguration.  I’m working at the Luncheon that follows the swearing-in, in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.  My role, along with about 20 other White House Social Aides, is to escort guest to their seats and distribute gifts to them.  You can see the menu here.  A map of the statues in Statuary Hall is available too.

Three lucky Social Aides will present flags to the POTUS and VPOTUS on behalf to Senator Feinstein.  They will also present a framed photo of the swearing-in (it gets printed and framed in about 30 mins) at the luncheon.  Approximately 150-200 guests will attend…the guest list is not releasable to the public.

Here’s a blog post from the LA Times that provides a snarky take on the Inauguration timeline:

“…Suffice to say, on this Jan. 20 while the big shots are munching seafood stew and duck and washing it down with apple cinnamon sponge cake, you won’t be able to buy pheasant on D.C.’s sidewalks.

While lovely music plays and stone statues statuesquely peer over diners’ shoulders, Congressional leaders will suck up to the president for possibly the last time by giving him some gifts. Don’t tell him, but they include an already-framed photo of his swearing-in, the Capitol flag that was flying at that moment and a one-of-a kind engraved crystal bowl to fill with popcorn in the White House theater…”

Hope you watch on C-SPAN.


White House Social Aides

December 16, 2008

C-SPAN is showing White House Week (14-20 Dec). Tonight there is an interview with Alan Merten, a former White House Military Social Aide during the Johnson Administration (’65-’66).

It’s quite interesting.

Definition from White House Web site (Dec 2008):

“White House Military Social Aides serve as an extension of the President and Mrs. Bush in their roles as official host and hostess of the United States. They help to ensure guests have an enjoyable experience at the White House by assisting with introductions to the President and Mrs. Bush during receiving lines, the guests’ seating, and the overall flow of events. The program averages 40 Social Aides from all five military services.”

Tom McGinnis (father), Romayne McGinnis (mother), Bush, and a military aide holding the medal.

President Obama and Michelle Obama enter the East Room as White House Social Aides form a cordon.

Here are a few articles about White House Social Aides. HereHere and Here.  Photos here and here.

And one former aide wrote a book about his experiences.