Via Greg Pollowitz at NRO Media Blog, we learn from the local Washington NBC affiliate that a group of kindergartners from Stafford County, Virginia were turned away at the gate on Thursday morning for being too late for their White House tour.
Parents say they were just 10 minutes late for the scheduled tour. School officials say White House staff said they needed to get ready for the president's event with the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, so they couldn't come in.
The person who headed this White House trip up came out and said, 'I’m sorry, the White House tour's off.' There were a lot of crying kids," parent Barbara Stine said....
Paty Stine said the White House staff should have made an exception. She feels the kindergarteners were snubbed for the Steelers.
"Here we have President Obama and his administration saying, 'Here we are for the common, middle class people,' and here he is not letting 150 5- and 6-year-olds into the White House because he’s throwing a lunch for a bunch of grown millionaires," Stine said.
Organizers of the visit from Conway Elementary said they left the school at 8:30, but ran into heavy traffic and were ten minutes late for a 10:15 appointment. White House officials told the local NBC affiliate a different story, that the students were expected at 9:30.
Anyone who lives in northern Virginia knows it would be foolish to only budget an hour to travel Interstate 95 in the morning rush hour from the northern outskirts of Fredericksburg and hope to arrive in downtown Washington. The White House story sounds fishy, although the school probably should have allowed even more time for the commute.
As the White House plans to reschedule after the small amount of embarrassing publicity, school officials are sounding very unperturbed by the snub. A quick Nexis search finds no national network coverage, not even NBC, and nothing in the Washington Post or Washington Times.
But when the smallest Bush boo-boo (like trying to open a locked door in Beijing) can be a major story, skipping this kind of story would demonstrate that network morning shows who love stuffing their broadcasts with light stories of interest to young moms are taking a pass to protect all the gooey Obama family public relations they’ve offered in the first 100 days and more.