On October 30 in the Nation’s Capitol, Congress will host a ceremony to dedicate a bust of Winston Churchill, whom Speaker Boehner calls “the best friend America ever had.” He released a sneak preview of the event.
The installation of the bust at the Capitol could be seen as a direct rebuff to Obama, who removed a bust of Churchill from the Oval Office on his first day in the White House. Boehner may call Churchill “the best friend America ever had, but as far as Obama is concerned, he is “persona non grata.”
White House Dossier reported:
The bust, which will be donated by the British-based Churchill Centre, will be located in Statuary Hall alongside great figures in American history.
According to Speaker John Boehner’s office, the bust is being donated as a result of a House Resolution that he authored. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are all expected to attend an unveiling ceremony October 30 that will amount to a slap in the face to the president.
In 2012, you may remember, Charles Krauthammer caused a a bit of a kerfuffle when he mentioned Obama’s slight in a Washington Post column. Because His Petulance was running for reelection, and that little piece of history was suddenly inconvenient, White House propagandist Dan Pfeiffer was quickly dispatched to set things right on the White House Blog:
“Lately, there’s been a rumor swirling around about the current location of the bust of Winston Churchill,” Pfeiffer wrote. ”Some have claimed that President Obama removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and sent it back to the British Embassy.Now, normally we wouldn’t address a rumor that’s so patently false, but just this morning the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer repeated this ridiculous claim in his column. He said President Obama “started his Presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office.”This is 100% false. The bust still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.
News outlets have debunked this claim time and again. First, back in 2010 the National Journal reported that “the Churchill bust was relocated to a prominent spot in the residence to make room for Abraham Lincoln, a figure from whom the first African-American occupant of the Oval Office might well draw inspiration in difficult times.” And just in case anyone forgot, just last year the AP reported that President Obama “replaced the Oval Office fixture with a bust of one of his American heroes, President Abraham Lincoln, and moved the Churchill bust to the White House residence.”
And thus the White House had spoken – the ridiculous right-wing “rumor” had been debunked and that was supposed to be the end of that. But CNN – believe it or not – did not fall in line.
British Embassy Spokesman James Barbour said there were actually two busts of Churchill, both by artist Sir Jacob Epstein.The one that was loaned to the George W. Bush administration in 2001 was returned after Bush left office and now resides at the British ambassador’s residence in Washington.A second bust, which is part of the White House’s own art collection, is displayed in the White House. It is that bust which Obama is pictured looking at with Cameron in 2010.
Charles Krauthammer asked for an apology from Pfeiffer, and eventually got one.
I’m guessing Obama’s schedule will be too full to attend the unveiling ceremony on October 30.