Washington DC, Tuesday -- Bringing "honor and dignity" to the White House
White House spokesman Scott McClennan yesterday announced at the weekly White House press gaggle that President George W. Bush will in future be appearing in advertising for Jack Daniel's whiskey. He added that "images of the President will be on billboards, and short movie clips will feature the President drinking the product as part of TV commercials for Jack Daniel's."
Questioned about the settings for these advertisements, McClennan replied that the Oval Office will be used, as well as the so-called "Western White House", Mr. Bush's property in Crawford, Texas.
"Filming and photography for these endorsements will be carried out in such a way that will bring honor and dignity to the White House. Jack Daniel's whiskey has a long and distinguished tradition, and we are proud to use the White House to celebrate this part of the American heritage."
Mr. Bush -- past and present
For many years now Mr. Bush has given the impression that he is a teetotaller, following a widely-publicized decision to stop drinking, after his health and marriage were endangered by incipient alcoholism. Mr. McClennan was invited to explain the discrepancy between Mr. Bush's previous public stance and this latest development.
He explained that "many people have complained that the President is inflexible and cannot adapt to changing circumstances. I think this latest development shows that given the increasing death toll in Iraq, declining poll figures, criticism of federal emergency services and the indictment and arrest of so many prominent Republicans, the President has demonstrated that he can alter his stance on at least one issue."
Helping restore fiscal discipline
Mr. McClennan was asked about Mr. Bush's compensation for his endorsement, but declined to give details, claiming that that executive privilege applied, in addition to national security. He did, however, add that Mr. Bush would voluntarily donate 5% of the money he received to the US Treasury to show an example of fiscal discipline and to help reduce the US deficit, which is running at record levels under the Bush administration. When it was pointed out that 5% was substantially less than the federal income tax, Mr. McClennan simply replied that "5% is a lot of money".
The White House -- possible name change
He also added that naming rights were under discussion for the Presidential residences, so that the current White House might become the "Jack Daniel's House", Camp David would become "Camp Jack Daniel's" and the township of Crawford, Texas would become Danielsville. However, since this was still under discussion, he did not wish to comment further on this issue.