The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen BrowerA remarkable history with elements of both In the President’s Secret Service and The Butler, The Residence offers an intimate account of the service staff of the White House, from the Kennedys to the Obamas.
America’s First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family.
These dedicated professionals maintain the six-floor mansion’s 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, three elevators, and eight staircases, and prepare everything from hors d’oeuvres for intimate gatherings to meals served at elaborate state dinners. Over the course of the day, they gather in the lower level’s basement kitchen to share stories, trade secrets, forge lifelong friendships, and sometimes even fall in love.
Combining incredible first-person anecdotes from extensive interviews with scores of White House staff members—many speaking for the first time—with archival research, Kate Andersen Brower tells their story. She reveals the intimacy between the First Family and the people who serve them, as well as tension that has shaken the staff over the decades. From the housekeeper and engineer who fell in love while serving President Reagan to Jackie Kennedy’s private moment of grief with a beloved staffer after her husband’s assassination to the tumultuous days surrounding President Nixon’s resignation and President Clinton’s impeachment battle, The Residence is full of surprising and moving details that illuminate day-to-day life at the White House.
How the Permanent White House Staff Welcomes a New First Family
Deborah Ross. Johnson on the can. Actually, Lyndon B. Johnson on the can was rather the highlight. It is heavy-handed, predictable, bland and so contrived in its sentimentality I sniggered at what should have been the moments of emotional impact.
When President Barack Obama was first introduced to the residence staff at the White House —the approximately maids, butlers, chefs, florists and ushers who make it tick—he had a look of surprise on his face. Like most people, he never realized how many people it takes to handle the 55,sq. Executive Mansion. But the Trumps are used to having household staff, and Melania Trump will not be moving to Washington for at least the first several months, so in some ways their transition may be easier than it was for the Obamas, who came from a less gilded life. While some staffers are worried that the President-elect might replace them with his own cadre of butlers, maids and cooks, most are committed to staying put.
Finding Respite in the Executive Mansion. Butlers in the Family Dining Room, c. You see them every day. You eat together, you work together. For more than one hundred years, White House Social Secretaries have displayed a profound knowledge of protocol and society in For more than two centuries, the White House has been the home of American presidents. A powerful symbol of the
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richard and harriet married at first sight
The White House chief usher is the head of household staff and operations at the White House , the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States of America. Although the White House has had staff since it opened, the head of household operations for most of the s was the first lady of the United States. The informally recognized chief servant was often called the steward or stewardess, sometimes the doorkeeper, and beginning with President James Buchanan , the usher.
In preparation, Trump and his transition team have been working expeditiously to fill the roughly 4, positions that will be vacant when the Obama administration leaves. But there are a few lesser-known staff positions that Trump will not choose: White House permanent residence staffers. These are the butlers, chefs, valets, groundskeepers, and others who keep the White House running smoothly from day to day. They prepare state dinner banquet rooms, feed the first family, and are available for any request, small or large, that may arise. And unlike policy staff members, they aren't replaced when a new first family enters the White House. In fact, some stay for decades, assisting one president to the next. Eugene Allen, for example, was a butler from to and was the inspiration for the film "The Butler.
The film is based on the true story of Eugene Allen, an African-American butler who served eight different presidents over the course of a year career. From the hundreds of black enslaved workers who helped build the White House to the countless others who have toiled over the years in its back rooms and kitchens, Lusane lifts up the veil on decades of untold history. When Barack Obama was running for president, there were of course lots of stories about what it would mean if he won. But what was missing in almost all of the reports was the longer history of African-Americans who had actually not only worked in the White House, but actually had built the White House—people who were slaves as well as people who were free. So part of my motivation was to give a context for the significance of Obama coming into the White House. Fortunately, I live in Washington, D.