The Final Day

(From L to R: Joe Lockhart, Dee Dee Myers, Marlin Fitzwater, President Bush, Tony Snow, Ron Nessen, Jim Brady, Sarah Brady)

Lots of pics when you click below…

Highlights from today’s White House Press Briefing (the last one before renovations begin and the briefings take place across the street at Jackson Place):

  • Before the briefing, many enjoyed a funny “interview” between Sam Donaldson and Helen Thomas.

  • “You don’t have to go home, you just have to get the hell out of here.”

  • As Joe Lockhart made his way into the room before the briefing began, one cameraman blurted out, “Joe, get a job!”

  • Snow: “This is the last press briefing before we renovate another swimming pool.”

  • Overheard: One reporter saying, “Why is it not surprising that, on the last day, this place feels like a gymnasium?”

  • Snow: “There will indeed be a new press room.” Phew. “It will be right here. The carpet will be cleaned and the electronics up to date.” (You mean a video wall?)

  • There was a very real sense in the room that, as Snow went on about the Middle East, most people were eager to get back to the jovial festivities.

  • Snow praised the press corps for “keeping us honest.”

    The quality furniture:

    Bush asks reporters: “You want to double the room’s size? Forget it!”

    The media back-scratching is never ending (Joe Curl):

    The rock-star of the day: Helen Thomas

    The Hill’s Pat Ryan and Lester Kinsolving (who is dying to know President Bush’s position on Mel Gibson):

    Party food:

    Connie Lawn tries–unsuccessfully–to get reporters to sing “Auld Lang Syne”, in honor of the room’s closing.

    Dee Dee Myers:

    Joe Lockhart wonders why he ever left:

    Sam Donaldson goes back to the old days and heckles Bush about whether Mel Gibson should be forgiven:

    Bush responds, “Sam, you’re a has been.”

    “Sam, I can’t hear you,” said Bush, to Donaldson, who was in the back of the room. “I’m over 60…like you!”

    Bush says his best moment in the room was “when the conference was over.”

    Donaldson and Lockhart:

    Ford Press Secretary Ron Nessen:

    Proof positive that press secretaries like to talk down to people:

    Joe Lockhart walks the long, lonely road away from the White House: