John McCaslin

In the category of the more things change the more they stay the same, veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs during Monday afternoon's press briefing why President Obama was sending more American troops into Afghanistan "to kill people"?

Mr. Gibbs explained to the 88-year-old Miss Thomas that "terrorists" reside in Afghanistan.


Robert Wood, acting spokesman at the State Department, is becoming acclimated under his new boss, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"Welcome to the briefing. If you like, I'll run down some of the secretary's calls that she's had over the last couple of days," began Mr. Wood, not the least being Mrs. Clinton's long-distance conversation with Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg.

Mr. Wood: Czechoslovakia holds the EU presidency, as I think most of you know.

Reporter: Except that, I'm sorry, Czechoslovakia hasn't existed for a while.

Mr. Wood: Did I say - excuse me, the Czech Republic. It's just one of those things.

Reporter: First day jitters, eh?


Care to send a letter to former President Bush now that he's packed up and moved from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

Here's his new mailing address, as provided to Inside the Beltway:

George W. Bush
P.O. Box 259000
Dallas, TX 75225-9000


The Republican National Committee is peddling President George W. Bush Commemorative Cigars for $12 each, or a full box of 25 for $225.

The Bush stogies are premium handmade from the Dominican Republic, with a Sumatra wrapper and gold wax seal to preserve the collectible for years to come. The cigar's tube is imprinted with a "43" logo with the dates of Mr. Bush's presidency: Jan. 20, 2001 to Jan. 20, 2009.


Effective April 12, Alan C. Lowe will become director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Lewisville, Texas.


Mr. Bush's library is temporarily located in Lewisville while a permanent library and museum for the nation's 43rd president is being built on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Upon completion, it will become the 13th library in the National Archives Presidential Libraries system.

Mr. Lowe was interim director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, N.Y., and more recently led the building and development of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy in Tennessee. He first worked as an archivist at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.


Everybody wants a tour of the White House now that President Obama is in the Oval Office.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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