Then-President George W. Bush with previous presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and President-elect Barack Obama in the Oval Office in January 2009. (Eric Draper via George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum)

White residence staffers, if you desire to stop a headache following year, take it our advice and also don’t imitate invoice Clinton’s team ~ above your way out.

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We’re introduce to change pranks, a tradition adopted most energetically by Clinton’s staff as soon as handing the reins come George W. Bush in 2001. (You’ve more than likely heard around the lacking W keys on White house keyboards.) yes a reason President Obama’s an elderly aides room already setting expectations because that a no-nonsense changeover in January 2017, no issue whether Donald trump card or Hillary Clinton takes over.

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Not just do troubles generate bad press, yet they can additionally bring out the many neurotic tendencies of everyone involved.

Take this little-known federal government Accountability Office report from June 2002, i beg your pardon comprises 220 pages of back-and-forth between the bush White home staff, the Clinton White house staff and the general Services administration about, in essence, that stole what doorknob.

So, in the attention of saving everyone from that type of craziness, right here is what White residence staff must not execute on its critical day:

Scatter bumper stickers. Document obscene voice-mail greetings. Damage furniture. White-out computer system keyboards. Smear Vaseline end desks. Unplug refrigerators. Write on walls. Take it cellphones, TV remotes or presidential medallions. Glue telephones or drawers. Abandon vacation decorations. Quit locks.

Clinton’s team did all of this, and at Congress’s request, the scene to be meticulously rebuilded through virtually 200 after-action interviews through the GAO. Did you know Al Gore accidentally took a bust the Abraham Lincoln home, just to return it after dick Cheney do a fuss? currently you do.

“A previous employee … claimed that ~ above his critical day of work-related at the end of the administration, the left a voice mail greeting ~ above his telephone indicating that he would be out of the office for the following 4 years as result of a decision through the supreme Court, and also he noted his house telephone number.”

“Staff the office room as gift ‘extremely filthy’ or ‘trashed out’ and the a specific room contained ‘a malodorous stench’ or looked like there had actually been a party. … three of the team leaders stated that castle saw personal items left behind, such together unopened beer and wine bottles, a blanket, shoes, and also a T-shirt v a snapshot of a tongue sticking the end on it draped over a chair.”

In one case, the an enig Service in reality took fingerprints indigenous a door wherein a 12-inch presidential seal had actually been eliminated without permission. “No suspects were identified,” the GAO writes.

Let’s it is in clear: only 108 the the then-roughly 1,200 rooms in the White House complicated were affected, and also only a fraction severely. Yet if you think the GAO to be overdoing it, take into consideration this: attorney-general-to-be Alberto Gonzales, then Bush’s White residence counsel, complained its initiatives were inadequate — in a 76-page letter.

“The President and also his management had no interest — and also have no interest — in dwelling top top what happened during the 2001 transition,” Gonzales wrote.

A casual reader might problem this based upon sections from his letter such together this one, about a “sticky substance” found on desks:

We’ll let readers decide whether the trump card or the Clinton administration will be an ext exacting around pranks.

But regardless, a last word that advice to Obama’s staff: If you do steal a presidential seal top top your method out, try not come leave any type of fingerprints.

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