29 Strict Rules In The White House That The First Family Should Never Forget

Published on 03/01/2021
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29 Strict Rules In The White House That The First Family Should Never Forget

There are many advantages to being President and a member of the First Family, but these advantages come with a range of responsibilities. Becoming the leader of a free nation does not give the President carte blanche to do whatever he desires. There are some rules that must be followed, or else there may be repercussions. The following are some of the more unusual rules and traditions that the First Family must follow during their time in the White House. And it’s the sort of thing they used to take for granted on a daily basis.

29 Strict Rules In The White House That The First Family Should Never Forget

Don’t Open the Windows!

Living in America’s most well-known and historically significant White House comes with a number of regulations that may appear strange to the general populace. Windows, for example, are not permitted to be opened. Michelle Obama mentions that one of the things she misses about her time at the White House is being able to open the window and let some fresh air in. She jokes in an interview with Ellen Degeneres that once she leaves the White House, the first thing she will do is “just hang out the window.”

A Presidential Funeral

When a president takes office, the first thing he or she must do is a plan for his or her funeral. “It may sound shocking, but during the first week of moving into the White House, the president is asked to plan his, or her funeral should anything occur during their presidency,” says George W. Bush’s deputy assistant. A presidential funeral typically lasts five days and is packed with pre-planned events. As a result, this type of burial is a major ordeal. Eight presidents of the United States have died while in office, four of whom were assassinated. Being President is a difficult job that makes them a target.

A Presidential Funeral

Move-In

It may come as a surprise, but the First Family is responsible for the cost of relocating into the White House. They have the option of hiring whichever moving company they would like, but the movers are not permitted access to the White House. When the moving truck arrives at a checkpoint, it is up to them to move everything inside, and only the residence staff is allowed to assist them. When it comes to moving out of the White House, the same procedure is applicable.

Move-In

Driving

Driving is one of the delights that the President and First Family will have to forego. None of them are allowed to drive on public roads for safety reasons. The last President who was allowed to drive in public was Lyndon B. Johnson. However, the President and his family continue to have access to private roads. George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan both enjoyed driving around their private ranches, the former in Texas and the latter in Santa Barbara.

Driving

Interior Design

The White House, interestingly, does not have such an interior designer, so the First Lady is responsible for finding one. The employment takes place as soon as the family has settled into the White House. Except for the historic rooms, which must never be touched, the designer’s task is to redesign and organize the White House. A curator is on staff to ensure that the ancient artifacts are well cared for.

Interior Design

The Football

The President always brings “The Football” with him when he needs to travel. The particulars of this briefcase are unknown to the general public, but they must be significant. The briefcase is thought to contain a series of nuclear codes that the President can quickly access in the event of an attack. There must be other items inside “The Football,” as the briefcase is said to weigh around 45 pounds.

The Football

Easter Egg Roll

The White House Easter Egg Roll is a White House practice that began in 1878, but some believe it dates back to President Lincoln’s period. The kids will roll the Easter eggs with a spoon and race across the White House lawn in this time-honored tradition. This event takes place every year on Easter Sunday, and the only time it has been canceled was during wartime or when the White House was being built. After the event, First Lady Nancy Reagan has started a tradition of giving each participant a wooden Easter egg.

Easter Egg Roll

Decoration Rules

The First Family has not had full control over the White House, contrary to popular opinion. The White House is more akin to a museum than a home, and there are several rooms they are not permitted to change. The Oval Office and the Lincoln Bedroom are two of these rooms. There are even some decoration changes that the historical committee must approve. The White House is overseen by this committee. The second and third floors, on the other hand, can be decorated. They can do whatever they want.

Decoration Rules

The Beast

Quite apart from the White House, the President gets a new car, dubbed “The Beat,” “Cadillac One,” and “First Car” by various people. This, on the other hand, does not resemble a standard car and is more akin to a tank. It has the necessary bulletproof glass and has already been strengthened with enough armor to withstand a bomb. It also has a sealing capability as well as an internal oxygen system that can withstand chemical attacks.

The Beast

Christmas Tree Themes

The tradition of Christmas tree themes was started by First Lady Jackie Kennedy in 1961 and proceeded to this day. Her first Christmas tree theme for his husband’s first year in the office is Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker.” Each year, the First Lady selects a different theme to carry on the tradition. “American Flower Tree,” “Antique Toy,” as well as “Mother Goose” are just a few of the themes. Last year, Lady Melania’s theme was “Time-Honored Traditions.”

Christmas Tree Themes

January 20th

Each time a new president is elected, January 20th is a historic day in the White House. Because their predecessor is still residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue until January 19, the President is not permitted to move in until January 20. The new First Family has only 12 hours to move into the White House for security reasons. The Obamas may hold the record for the quickest transition into the White House, taking only five hours.

January 20th

Food

The presidents of the United States do not live off of the hard-earned funds of the American people. They are, in fact, responsible for their own food, toiletries, dry cleaning, as well as other personal items and services. “There is no such thing as a free lunch,” as the saying goes. If we want to see what’s on the menu for the White House kitchen staff and the First Family, we can go to the White House kitchen’s official Instagram page.

Food

Turkey Pardons

On Thanksgiving, the sitting President is expected to pardon a turkey in a ceremony that is currently taking place. The National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation has been a tradition since 1940. Ronald Reagan was the first to “pardon” a turkey, though he didn’t use that term. However, President Bill Clinton granted the first official pardon in 1999 to “Harry Turkey.”

Turkey Pardons

Constantly Under Surveillance

When a person joins the First Family, they lose some of their liberties. This includes the ability to go somewhere on your own. Once you become a member of this family, you are constantly monitored by the secret service. The secret service’s mission is to protect the president, his family, and the vice president’s family. It makes no difference what you’re doing or where you’re doing it. They will always keep an eye on you once you become a member of the first family.

Constantly Under Surveillance

No iPhones

A president can not have full rights to all of the most cutting-edge technology. This, like anything else, is for security reasons. President Barack Obama is the first president to ever own a smartphone, and he is allowed to keep his Blackberry during his term as president. It is, that being said, heavily modified and encrypted and thus cannot be considered a smartphone. In an interview, Obama says, “Does your three-year-old have one of those play phones? That’s basically the phone I got.”

No iPhones

Decoration Budget

The White House has a one-hundred-thousand-dollar budget for redecorating, which means that presidents can’t go all out in their redesigning. Anything not covered by the budget will have to be paid for out of pocket. The Carters used up their $100,000 budget and then contributed $50,000 of their own money. The Reagans refused to accept the allocated budget and paid for their purchases with their own money. The Carters spent roughly the same amount as the Clintons and Obamas. None of this, however, compares to Kennedy’s project, which costs $16.4 million for a complete restoration of the White House.

Decoration Budget

Convertibles

Because we all know that President John F. Kennedy was gunned down while riding in the back seat of a convertible, any sitting president has been forbidden from doing so. Continue reading to learn more about the President’s and First Family’s responsibilities.

Convertibles

Secure Lines

Among the most important rules is that the President can only make phone calls from safe lines while in office. It makes no difference if the call is personal or private. All of the President’s incoming and outgoing calls are on a secure line for national security reasons. A White House expert has stated, “Because the smartphones of high-level government officials — including the President — are obvious targets for foreign intelligence services, the government goes to significant effort to ensure that government-issued smartphones are constantly updated to address security vulnerabilities.”

Secure Lines

Plan, Plan, Plan

Every minute of the President’s day is organized, and this is not an overstatement. It’s nearly impossible to cram something that hasn’t been planned into the schedule. There’s a good chance the secret service won’t let you, and the only way they’ll agree is if you give them four hours’ notice. President Obama once attempted to organize an impromptu basketball game, but it was quickly thwarted by the secret service. The Secret Service requires more time to ensure that the President’s life is not in danger.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Correspondents’ Dinner

The President’s attendance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner may not be mandatory. However, it is a long-awaited tradition that they attend for some self-deprecating humor. Journalists, comedians, athletes, and pop culture icons are among the regular attendees. The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is one of the First Amendment’s many celebrations of free speech. This allows the President to be roasted. During this event, scholarships and awards funded by admission fees are always given out.

Correspondents’ Dinner

Earning Extra Money

The President of the United States is not permitted to earn any money other than his or her government salary. The President is compensated with $400,000.00 per year. If the President already owns a business, they must separate themselves from how it is run and hand it over to someone else. Almost every President has assets, which must be placed in blind trust during their term.

Earning Extra Money

Social Media

Social media accounts are restricted to the First Children. Sasha, as well as Malia Obama, aren’t on Twitter and have limited Facebook access. Being a member of the first family is an honor, but it’s not easy not being allowed to do things that the other kids do. Michelle Obama has once said, “I still am not a big believer in Facebook for young people … particularly for them, because they’re in the public eye. Some of its stuff they don’t need to see and be a part of … So, we try to protect them from too much of the public voice.”

Social Media

Secret Service

The assassination of President McKinley in 1901 prompted Congress to pass legislation establishing the Secret Service as the official guardian of the President and his family. During the election year, they protect not only the president but also the vice president’s family, as well as the president-elect and vice president-elect. Some people, on the other hand, may refuse to be protected by the secret service. In fact, Donald Trump Jr. decided to give up his right to be protected by the secret service in September 2017.

Secret Service

Car Windows

The First Family has always been chauffeured in an armored vehicle, and they are never permitted to open the car windows. And if it has been opened on the off chance that it has, it is typically while they’re on private land. Michelle Obama has once recalled, “One day as a treat, my lead agent let me have the windows open on the way to Camp David. It was like five minutes out, and he was like, ‘The window’s open. Enjoy it!’ I was like, ‘Thanks, Alan.”

Car Windows

The First Ladies

After an election, it is customary for the incoming and outgoing First Ladies to meet for a cup of tea. Michelle Obama recently met with Melania Trump to talk about life in the White House. According to reports, the two women discussed how challenging it could be to bring up children. Before meeting with their husbands, Michelle Obama gave Melania Trump a private tour of the White House.

The First Ladies

Breaking The Law

The President may appear to be above the law, but as they’re the ones who sign these bills into law, they are evidently not allowed to break them. When it gets down to breaking the law, they’re just like the rest of us. If a sitting president breaks the law while in office, Congress has the authority to deal with it appropriately. The House of Representatives has the power to impeach the President, while the Senate has the power to take the President to court.

Breaking The Law

Declaring War

Although the President wields a great deal of power, one thing he cannot do is declare war on another country. Only Congress, according to the Constitution, has the authority to declare war. The last time a declaration of war was made was during World War II. Eleven times, Congress has declared war on other countries. In 1812, they issued their first declaration, which was directed at the United Kingdom. Even though the US is at odds with a number of countries, it has not declared war on any of them.

Declaring War

The Annual Hanukkah Party

President Jimmy Carter began hosting a yearly Hanukkah party in 1979. On the Ellipse, which is a park south of the White House, the President lit the menorah. President George W. Bush was the first president to light the Hanukkah menorah inside the White House, which he did in 2001, and the tradition continues today.

The Annual Hanukkah Party

The Grand Piano

Although the First Family has the ability to redecorate most of the rooms in the White House, certain items are off-limits. The famous Grand Piano is one of them. It is possible to play this piano, but it cannot be relocated. One of the most difficult tasks for a White House curator is ensuring that historical artifacts and art are cared for properly for and preserved. This is a difficult task, especially when there are young children in the White House.

The Grand Piano

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