Spaatzen Treated to West Wing Tour
In May, senior White House staffer and Army Colonel Jim Babbitt, Spaatz #206, hosted TSA webmaster Matt Johnson, #901, USAF Capt Richard Griffith, #1228, and Richard’s wife Jamie, #1329, on a once-in-a-lifetime private tour of the west wing of the White House. The group was treated to an insider’s view of the White House including visits to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the Rose Garden and the White House Press Room, plus the west wing’s Cabinet Room, Roosevelt Room and the Oval Office itself. “More than once Richard and I exchanged looks of amazement bordering on disbelief as we reflected on the significance of what we were seeing as we meandered through the nation’s most famous building,” Matt said of the tour.
The colonel detailed for the group some of his experiences in his 5+ years as a special advisor for international affairs to the Vice President under both the Clinton and “Bush 43” administrations, revealing such facts as the 5,000-6,000 e-mail messages he would sift through in a typical 12.5-hour workday and personal recounts of President Bush’s own brand of humor from meetings in the Oval Office. Colonel Babbitt has since moved on to another assignment but said he considers his time at the White House to be the highlight of his Army career. 17 Aug 2003