The White House Press Office accidentally e-mailed a draft version of President Obama’s Thursday schedule on Wednesday night that included the back-and-forth between White House staffers.
The e-mail, sent on a daily basis to inform the media of the next day’s events, at first appeared to be like any other press schedule. But at the bottom of the e-mail, there was a series of exchanges from the press team, as well as a draft of the schedule. The first section of the schedule noted that in the morning, Obama planned to talk with homeowners who have refinanced their homes and benefited from lower mortgage payments. One staffer, recommending changes to that line, wrote to “put more emphasis on the real people aspect of this.” The draft version said Obama will talk “with his economic team,” and also attending the meeting “will be a handful of households.” The final version took the emphasis off the economic team and said “Attending the meeting will be a handful of homeowners … as well as members of President Obama’s economic team.” The draft schedule also showed the president hosting Seder to celebrate Passover. The dinner was marked “closed press,” meaning no reporters allowed. One staffer asked, “Can we remove the dinner at the end of the day”
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“We put it on yesterday’s deal — so folks already know that it’s happening. They’ll wonder why it’s not listed if we don’t include it on there,” another staffer replied. The staffer who asked to remove the dinner from the schedule replied, “Apparently Jewish here and in neighboring states are now calling wondering why they have not been invited.” The dinner was not listed on the final schedule. In another exchange, one staffer recommended nixing a line about Obama meeting with leaders from the Veterans Service Organizations and Military Service Organizations since the president was now meeting with them before his remarks in an event closed to the media. “Can we keep it and just change it to say before. Its good for us to say we are meeting with them,” another replied. The final copy kept the line, noting that the VSO and MSO leaders would meet with Obama before his remarks. The White House says the error was made by a sleep-deprived staffer, adding that the staffer will not suffer repercussions for the mistake.