Thursday, September 25, 2008

The White House story that wasn't

Colleagues attending the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference alerted us Tuesday that a big story was shaping up in the host city, Washington, D.C. The Bush Administration had invited 200 restaurateurs from the conference to visit the White House Wednesday for an announcement from the President of a significant policy initiative. It had to be something of import to restaurants and other small businesses, or why would the attendees be summoned to serve as a backdrop? We geared up for what we thought would be a very newsworthy political development.

A few hours later, deputy managing editor Paul Frumkin called again from the PAC meeting: The White House had cancelled the invitation, saying the reason would become obvious. Clearly something bigger had trumped the meeting at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

We now know that big development was Bush’s decision to address the nation last night about the bail-out package pending on Capitol Hill. What’s still a mystery is the policy initiative he was going to announce. NRA officials indicated that it would be of importance. But that covers a lot of ground, given how many industry-related political issues were apparently covered at the PAC conference.

All we can say is, Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Riddle me this Batman. Why would 200 restaurateurs go anywhere without knowing the reason why? What policy initiative from a lame duck president with four months left, have any impact at all? The only initiative that ould be worth going to Capital Hill would be the President putting the Burger King "King" on the terrorist watch list and banning those stupid commercials.

    The cancellation reminds me of the riddle: "How do you keep someone in the dark?"

    Sincerely, Steakman