WH Pool Report: Vacation? What Vacation?

In this White House pool report, Peter Baker tries to get WH spokesbot Scott McClellan to comment on the President's vacations or lack thereof:


Asked if POTUS needs a vacation after this vacation, Scott said, "This is not what you would call a vacation. This is the president's home. He always enjoys coming here. But when you're president, you're president 24/7."
Ah, yes, especially when consulting with that little-known cabinet official, "Secretary of Clearing Brush."

Full report after the jump.

From: White House Press Releases

Reply-To: White House Press Releases

Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 11:39:29 -0400

To: WH Press Releases

Subject: POOL REPORT #1, 8/31/05

POOL REPORT #1, 8/31/05

Quick pool report before AF-1 takes off. Scott came back to gaggle while we were on tarmac, there will be a transcript.

He said POTUS conducted video conference this morning on the hurricane relief efforts. Joining him in Texas were Rove and Crouch; on the line from Maine was Card, who's also returning to Washington today; VPOTUS joined in from Wyoming; at the White House were Chertoff, his deputy Michael Jackson, Fran Townsend, Claude Allen, Dan Bartlett and others; and from the region was Mike Brown. Brown gave operational briefing on where things are, particularly on the Superdome. POTUS focused on first, saving lives and sustaining life, and second, developing a long-term plan, particularly to deal with the displaced residents, Scott said.

Scott said Chertoff has declared this an "incident of national significance," triggering a recently developed national emergency plan for the first time. This allows DHS to better coordinate agencies, he said. Chertoff is in charge from Washington and Brown from the region.

Scott said he expects a supplemental appropriation to be requested at some point to pay for disaster relief and recovery. POTUS will talk after the 4 p.m. at WH and seems likely to take questions. Scott said he had no idea where reports came that there will be an address to the nation.

Scott said he expects a presidential visit to the region later in the week, probably either Friday or Saturday, but they're still figuring out the timing. Asked if AF-1 would fly over the affected region en route to Washington today, he said stay tuned.

Scott said the president urged national unity. "This is a time when all Americans really need to come together and do all that we can to support those ... in the Gulf State region that have been impacted by this natural disaster," Scott said. "This could well be the worst natural disaster in our nation's history."

Asked if POTUS needs a vacation after this vacation, Scott said, "This is not what you would call a vacation. This is the president's home. He always enjoys coming here. But when you're president, you're president 24/7."

Peter Baker

The Washington Post

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