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lundi 13 avril 2009

Un chien à La Maison Blanche?

Pendant que certains enfants cherchent des œufs dans le jardin comme le veut la tradition pascale, Malia et Sasha Obama pourraient y trouver…un chien - celui que leur père leur a promis pendant la campagne électorale pour la présidentielle américaine.

L’affaire fait grand bruit aux États-Unis : l’arrivée de l'animal fait effectivement l'objet de plusieurs enquêtes dans la presse américaine.

First couple dip into their own pockets to remodel White House

THERE is no sign yet of the presidential puppy, but the Obamas are making the White House their own – much of it at their own expense.

The White House is being revamped inside and out to turn it into a family home.

There is speculation that the much-anticipated dog for Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, could finally arrive on Easter Day. “Oh man, that’s top secret,” Barack Obama said.
When the promised Portuguese water dog or labradoodle turns up on the White House lawn, there could be some no-go zones. It will, for instance, have to keep out of the organic vegetable garden planted by Michelle Obama.

If the first pooch heads for the swing set near the West Wing, installed for the first daughters, it could get under the feet of the president. Obama rolled up with Hillary Clinton to the picnic table last Friday to swap notes on his recent trip to Europe and Iraq.

The dog will still have endless room to roam past the tennis court installed by Teddy Roosevelt in 1903, the horseshoe pitch where George Bush Sr tested the aim of Boris Yeltsin, the Russian president, the putting green installed by Dwight Eisenhower, the swimming pool built by Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton’s jogging track.
The puppy is due to arrive imminently after Obama promised on Jay Leno’s television chat show that the girls would finally get one after he returned from last week’s Nato summit.
They have already waited for five months since election night.

“This is Washington. That was a campaign promise. I’m teasing,” their father joked.
It will arrive “soon, so soon”, said Michelle, as she planted the first fruit and vegetable seedlings in the 1,100 sq ft garden with children from a local school.

The White House grounds will be overrun again for a day of fun tomorrow with up to 2,000 children attending the traditional Easter Monday “egg roll” – including 100 whose tickets were set aside for lesbian and gay families.
The organic garden will be tended at public expense by White House staff, with help from the first family, but it is “real inexpensive”, Michelle said. “We can produce enough fruits and vegetables to feed us for years to come just for a couple of hundred dollars.”
“It is a wonderful example of how you can use the role of first lady,” said Ann Stock, Hillary Clinton’s White House social secretary.

“She brought in a school class to plant the vegetables and brought in the television cameras, so millions of people heard about it. How many people planted gardens or filled pots with seeds as a result?”
The Obamas will pay for many of the White House improvements themselves after the president earned $2.5m (£1.7m) last year alone in royalties from the sale of his books, including the memoir Dreams from My Father.

They will redecorate their private quarters out of their own purse – turning down $100,000 of taxpayers’ money allocated by Congress.

“The Obamas have determined now is not the time to use taxpayer funds,” said Camille Johnston, Michelle’s communications director.
Stock said the Obamas were wise to pay for their own interior decorating: “It’s a very smart decision, given where we are now with the taxpayer and the state of the economy.”
The White House Historical Association pays for the redecoration of official rooms, she pointed out: “But this is where they actually live.

The White House, first and foremost, is a home and it’s got to be comfortable, particularly as they’ve got young girls. It’s where they eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and sleep in their beds.”
Where the dog will sleep has yet to be decided.

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