White House fills empty seats with interns for Bush’s final conference to make the room seem less empty.

Posted: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 | Posted by Chico Brisbane | Labels: , ,

When the White House announced President Bush’s final press conference yesterday, it sent a bulletin to reporters declaring “one correspondent per organization” and “standing room only for non-seat holders.” But as the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank points out, not enough reporters attended for the presser to make it “standing room only”:
Further complicating his last-minute legacy rehabilitation: Nobody seems to be paying attention. The White House had high expectations for yesterday’s final, historic news conference. “ONE CORRESPONDENT PER ORGANIZATION,” proclaimed the bulletin sent to reporters. “STANDING ROOM ONLY FOR NON-SEAT HOLDERS.” But when the appointed hour of 9:15 a.m. arrived, the last two rows in the seven-row briefing room were empty, and a press aide told White House interns to fill those seats.
At the conclusion, Bush ended the dismal event by saying “It has been an honor to work with you. … I wish you all the very best.” And with that, Bush concluded the briefing and walked off the podium, leaving the press corps unsure of how to react. Some hesitated to stand, while most stayed seated. One said “thank you Mr. President,” and a small number offered half-hearted applause. Watch it: