It only took about 15 seconds into a live segment NBC aired from the White House kitchen before Sunday's Super Bowl for President Barack Obama to commit a historical gaffe about the very place where he resides. He told the network's Savannah Guthrie that "We make beer — The first president since George Washington to make some booze in the White House."
Heavens to Betsy. The White House's construction wasn't completed until 1800, when John Adams, the nation's second president, moved in. Though this particular whopper couldn't have occurred while George W. Bush was in office because he doesn't drink alcoholic beverages, any kind of Bush 43 mistake at this level would be a strong competitor for this morning's main topic of conversation alongside Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll's historically awful play call in the final seconds of last night's game.
Nedra Pickler at the Associated Press is among those who I believe would have gleefully identified the gaffe if someone other than The One had said it. A paragraph from the White House's web site, video, and Pickler's non-coverage follow.
From the White House's web site (bold is mine):
Our first president, George Washington, selected the site for the White House in 1791. The cornerstone was laid in 1792 and a competition design submitted by Irish-born architect James Hoban was chosen. After eight years of construction, President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved into the unfinished house in 1800. During the War of 1812, the British set fire to the President’s House in 1814. James Hoban was appointed to rebuild the house, and President James Monroe moved into the building in 1817. During Monroe’s administration, the South Portico was constructed in 1824, and Andrew Jackson oversaw the addition of the North Portico in 1829. During the late 19th century, various proposals were made to significantly expand the President’s House or to build an entirely new house for the president, but these plans were never realized.
Washington's second term ended in March of 1797. Adams didn't move into the White House until three years later.
Now the video (relevant segment is in the first 20 seconds):
Here's the related text from Nedra Pickler's report at the Associated Press:
OBAMA WEIGHS IN ON MEASLES, DEFLATED FOOTBALLS, POLITICS
... Obama spoke to NBC's Savannah Guthrie before hosting a Super Bowl party at the White House for his friends. His comments on terrorism and vaccinations were taped to air on The Today Show Monday, but NBC released excerpts in advance.
Lighter topics were covered in a short segment that aired live in the pregame show. As Guthrie and Obama sampled White House-brewed beer from the executive mansion's kitchen, they mixed a discussion of the game's high-profile controversy - deflated footballs - with a brief discussion of politics.
Since it aired live, NBC didn't have a chance to clean it up. We long ago learned that when you let this guy talk without a teleprompter or the benefit of after-the-fact sanitation, you take your chances.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.