Wednesday, November 26, 2008

White House goofs on Chanukah invitations

According to the New York Post, the above photo was featured on cards mailed out for the Chanukah celebration at the White House.
The president and the first lady invited leaders of America's Jewish community for a Hanukkah reception at the White House next month - but raised more than a few eyebrows by putting a picture of a Christmas tree on the invitation.

The message reads that the couple "requests the pleasure of your company at a Hanukkah reception," written beneath an image of a Clydesdale horse hauling a Christmas fir along the snow-dappled drive to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

And, no, it is not a Hanukkah bush. A close look at the wagon reveals the message "White House Christmas Tree 2008."

In the background, the White House windows are festooned with Christmas wreaths.

The incongruity of the message did not go unnoticed.

"It's absolutely bizarre to receive an invite to the White House for Hanukkah in a Christmas format," said one person who was invited. "They should have consulted with their chief of protocol before sending this out. This belongs right in the 'Weird But True' column."

Jewish community leader Isaac Abraham of Brooklyn had a simpler explanation.

"It's obvious what's going on here: The Christmas tree is being taken out of the White House and the menorah is being brought in the back," he quipped.

When reached for comment, Laura Bush's spokeswoman, Sally McDonough, said the White House usually prints separate cards, but in the waning days of the presidency, there had been an oversight.

"Mrs. Bush is apologetic," she said. "It is something that just slipped through the cracks."

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