Perhaps you read about the tourist couple who recently were ushered into a White House breakfast buffet with President and Michelle Obama even though they did not have an invitation. All Harvey and Paula Darden planned on doing when they showed up at the White House was take a tour that their congressman helped arrange for them. Unfortunately, they arrived a day earlier than they were supposed to.
This turned out to be a good thing. When they arrived saying they were there for a tour, the White House staff person lead the Dardens into the East Room. There the couple found themselves chowing down food in the midst of people who were not dressed in tourist attire.
The buffet was for veterans–something neither of the Dardens are. But, according to the White House staff, because the Dardens had been cleared by security like all the other guests—and since there wasn’t a tour, they were given breakfast instead.
The only reason we know about this incident is because the Dardens became worried after Tareq and Michaele Salahi crashed the state dinner two weeks after the Dardens’ visit. The Dardens, I suppose, felt it necessary to come forward to tell about how their off the cuff visit happened. It wasn’t something they planned. They don’t want people to get the wrong idea about them. They are not event crashers who tried to pull one over on the White House.
Hopefully, the Dardens’ splash into national news won’t halt the unexpected buffet invites for the rest of us who might show up at the White House for a legitimate reason but on the wrong day.
The news story, unfortunately, was written as if this might have been another White House gaff.
No, no, no. Don’t say that. Just say that the Dardens felt uncomfortable with their unexpected luck. To feel better, I suggest the Dardens write a thank-you note and add that it’s nice to know that tourists have access to a White House brunch every once in awhile when they least expect it—with the proper security clearance, of course.