Bust-ed: White House Apologizes to Charles Krauthammer

Obama communications man Dan Pfeiffer has posted a full apology to columnist Charles Krauthammer on the White House web site.


I take your criticism seriously and you are correct that you are owed an apology. There was clearly an internal confusion about the two busts and there was no intention to deceive. I clearly overshot the runway in my post. The point I was trying to make – under the belief that the Bust in the residence was the one previously in the Oval Office– was that this oft repeated talking point about the bust being a symbol of President Obama’s failure to appreciate the special relationship is false.  The bust that was returned was returned as a matter of course with all the other artwork that had been loaned to President Bush for display in his Oval Office and not something that President Obama or his Administration chose to do. I still think this is an important point and one I wish I had communicated better.

A better understanding of the facts on my part and a couple of deep breaths at the outset would have prevented this situation.  Having said all that, barring a miracle comeback from the Phillies I would like to see the Nats win a world series even if it comes after my apology


Dan Pfeiffer


Good on him for apologizing, but refer back to Pfeiffer’s snarky post in which he insisted that the bust was Right. Where. We. Put. It. Which was in the British embassy, as Krauthammer had said. It’s also worth noting that Reuters and National Journal — the two news outlets Pfeiffer cited in his defense in that post — have had the story totally wrong for years, while the blogs and columnists on the right have had it entirely right. The administration would be wise to put an adult in charge of its communications.

The British took the return of the bust as an insult and an ominous sign for our cross-Atlantic relationship. They have turned out to be right about that.


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