Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, October 9, 2013
The current governmental shutdown has taken its toll on the President and his second-in-command, too.
According to The Associated Press, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have had to furlough nearly 75 percent of the staffers who work at the White House, leaving them with a minimalist staff barely able to keep up with their daily demands.
So barebones is the remaining staff at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that the daily newspaper clippings on a wall near the entrance to the West Wing haven’t been updated in more than a week. “Congress slips toward shutdown,” one of the remaining headlines reads, according to the AP.
With that said, here are five things the leaders of the United States have had to forego with as a result of the government shutdown.
1. People not “yammering on the phone”
The halls of the White House – and Naval Observatory, for that matter – have become relatively quiet with far fewer workers walking through them on a daily basis.
“The most evident impact is the lack of voices,” Josh Earnest, Obama’s principle deputy press secretary, told the AP. “There aren’t a bunch of people yammering on the phone.”
2. Trips outside of the Beltway
Both President Obama and Vice President Biden have had to cancel pre-scheduled trips and events this week thanks to the shutdown. Obama backed out of a trip to the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Bali, Indonesia, while Biden is no longer able to attend a fundraiser for New Jersey senate candidate Cory Booker on Friday.
Last week, the VP bailed on a speech before the Human Rights Campaign and a fundraiser for several House Democratic candidates.
3. The new Secret Service
Don’t worry, both Obama and Biden are still accompanied by legitimate members of the Secret Service. But the lack of executive branch aides – many of whom would usually go with the leaders on excursions – has shrunk the size of Obama and Biden’s travel party to the point where the two men have to drag members of their senior staff along with them as their advance teams.
The president quipped about this change on an excursion to hoagie joint Taylor Gourmet in downtown D.C. Friday, nicknaming his staff “wranglers” when they struggled to properly corral the journalists following the vice president and him to the sandwich shop.
Poor Obama! The president hasn’t been able to hit the links since the government shutdown started on October 1. One would think getting his golf privileges back would be enough motivation for the president to negotiate with Congress…
5. A fancy anniversary dinner for President and Mrs. Obama
The Obama’s celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary on Thursday, and rather than celebrate the occasion with a disastrous presidential debate performance or dinner date at a swanky D.C. eatery, the couple chose to spend the night in. It is unknown at this point, however, if the couple will celebrate properly post-shutdown.