Hillary Offers to Housesit for Bush
Would Water Plants, Read Presidential Briefings in Oval Office
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) said today that she was "just trying to be helpful" when she offered to housesit for President Bush at the White House for the remainder of August.
Sen. Clinton, who was immediately criticized by congressional Republicans for advancing the proposal, said that her only intention was to "hold down the fort" while Mr. Bush took his traditional August vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.
"I would water plants and take in the mail," Sen. Clinton told reporters. "And if any Presidential Daily Briefings come across the desk with titles like 'Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the U.S.,' I would read those for him."
Leading Republicans on Capitol Hill blasted Ms. Clinton's offer, with Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn) claiming that the house-sitting proposal "reeked of opportunism."
"She just wants to know what it's like to be in the Oval Office," Sen. Frist said. "After all, when her husband was in there, he always kept the door locked."
At the President's ranch in Crawford, White House spokesman Tony Snow said that Mr. Bush had politely declined Sen. Clinton's proposal, "although the offer to read stuff for him was pretty attractive."
Mr. Snow said that if Sen. Clinton really wanted to be helpful, she could come out to Crawford and do the chores that Mr. Bush finds too onerous.
"There are plenty of things the President doesn't like to do at the ranch," Mr. Snow said. "Like talk to Cindy Sheehan."
Elsewhere, former FEMA chief Michael Brown said he would mark the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina by returning his calls from a year ago.