UPDATE: White House Christmas tree won't feature 'impeach Bush' message
The White House has been loathe to discuss any attempts by lefty members of Congress to impeach President Bush, but the final Christmas tree erected during the Bush administration will feature a pro-impeachment message.
The Washington Post's Reliable Source gossip column reported that a Seattle artist submitted an ornament design celebrating Rep. Jim McDermott's support for impeachment.
The globes (to be unveiled by the first lady on Wednesday) are supposed to showcase something special about each congressional district. Washington State's Rep. Jim McDermott contacted a local arts organization, which asked Lawrence, a collage artist, to create the local entry.A White House spokesperson originally told the Washington Post that the ornament would not be removed, condemning the "divisive and partisan" message as inappropriate for the tree. Sally McDonough, spokesperson for the First Lady, followed up and informed the Post that the ornament would not be hung: "We reviewed the ornament along with all the [other] ornaments, and Mrs. Bush deemed it inappropriate for the holiday tree."
"I was at first nauseated, then realized it was an opportunity," said [Deborah] Lawrence, 55, who frequently combines politics and satire in her work and saw this as the perfect way "to highlight Jim McDermott because he's a hero of mine."
The nine-inch ball is covered with swirly red and white stripes -- and, in tiny glued-on text, salutes the Democratic congressman's support for a resolution to impeach President Bush. (Also showcased: Washington state's 1919 labor strike, its suffrage movement and the violent anti-World Trade Organization riots of 1999.) Lawrence sent it off to D.C. in September and was very surprised it was accepted for the tree -- and that she was invited to this afternoon's White House reception for the artists, which she flew to D.C. to attend.
"Apparently, they didn't read it -- or Laura Bush is more progressive than I believed," Lawrence told us.