Does Snowmageddon = A Snow Day at the White House?

Feb 10, 2010 12:33pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: As the second massive storm continues to pummel Washington, D.C. with snow, the Senate and the House have called off votes, the Federal Government is shut down, and most Washington, DC area schools are closed. But when you’re the president, do you really get a snow day like most everyone else inside-the-beltway? Not entirely. Having a short commute from the White House residence to the West Wing, the president is working today, the White House says, but his schedule has been pared down.  He’ll have no public events, but will be meeting behind-closed-doors with African American leaders about the economy and jobs in the Oval Office in the late morning.  Mr. Obama’s regular morning briefings – the Presidential Daily Briefing and the Economic Daily Briefing – were done via teleconference. As the day progresses, White House aides say, the president will continue to be updated either by phone or paper. So when the boss is working, White House aides are also working either from home or (for the brave-few who ventured into the White House this morning) from the quiet West Wing. With the impending storm looming, White House staff were told Tuesday night to take their secure laptops home with them and would be expected to work from home today. Most did so with the exception of a few. Obama’s top counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan was spotted in the halls of the West Wing. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Deputy White House Communications Director Jen Psaki, and Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, Christina Romer – made it into work as well, among other senior staff.  But many others, like White House press secretary Robert Gibbs and Senior White House advisor David Axelrod are working from home. The daily press briefing by Gibbs was off the schedule. And the normally-busy White House lower press office’s door was still locked as of noon. Even those staffers that live close enough to walk to the White House were cautioned against trying to make it to work in the blizzard-like conditions this morning. A music night concert at the White House originally scheduled for tonight was moved up one day earlier before the storm shut down the city. Not on the president’s public schedule, but perhaps in the cards with both his daughters home on a snow day from school, could be a little sledding on the snow-covered South Lawn. -Sunlen Miller

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