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D.C.'s Broken Social Scene

Jan. 30 2008, Published 8:04 a.m. ET

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When first Lady Laura Bush joked that her born-again husband’s earlybedtime was turning her into a “desperate housewife” recently, she drew more than a few knowing snickersfrom D.C.’s better hostesses. “The president and first lady havealways set the social tone in D.C.,” notes one longtime Washington gadfly.“But the Bushes are never here! They treat the White House like theirtemporary quarters and then jet to Texas or Camp David on the weekends. Younever see them eating in restaurants like you would the Clintons orReagans or even his parents. They’re a complete and utter drag.” Nor dothe Bushes host lavish parties at the White House like their socially-investedpredecessors.

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“Even during the winter, I’ve heard Laura only spends one week amonth at the White House and the rest of the time she’s at the ranch inTexas. I know from friends at the embassies that foreign dignitaries never bringtheir wives anymore because the White House no longer hosts statedinners,” our source tattles. Security concerns aside, one reason for thePresident’s reluctance to enter the social whirl may be a fearof running into old friends. According to our source, when George and Laura livedin Georgetown with their twin daughters in the early 80’s while his father was serving as Vice President to Ronald Reagan, “Bush had a horriblereputation and knew the D.C. strip club scene a little too well.” Nowonder Laura prefers Crawford and the comfort of Laura Ingalls Wilder.



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