Obama's White House Can't Take a Joke

White House staff needs to lighten up and not scrub the president's jokes from official transcripts.

I can see the stack of newspapers from here.

Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

There’s a poignant moment midway through Ron Chernow’s superb biography of George Washington when the father of our country, struggling to make his Mount Vernon plantation profitable after the war, writes fretfully to a friend that he knows no more “than the man in the moon where I am going to get money to pay my taxes.” Chernow’s Pulitzer Prize-winning volume spends a lot of time on Washington’s life at Mount Vernon between generalship and presidency, and the image of constant financial struggle helps to humanize a man who has been the subject of so much hagiography.

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