Flipping the White House (1 x 60′) – When a U.S. President is sworn into office at high noon on inauguration day, the cool facade of the White House conceals a complex mission happening at warp speed. A hand-picked and highly trained team is tasked with transitioning the old administration out as the new administration moves in – all in less than six hours. The outgoing president exits the home on inauguration day, and the incoming president enters the home complete with pictures on the walls, books on the shelves, and socks in the drawers just a few hours later.
This documentary special features interviews with former key White House staffers, including former President Regan Chief-of-Staff James Baker, former President George W. Bush Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief-of-Staff Karl Rove, former President Clinton Chief-of-Staff Mack McLarty, former President George W. Bush advisor Karen Hughes, former Vice President Dan Quayle, former President Obama social secretary Desiree Rogers and White House Chief Usher from 1986-2007, Gary J. Walters. These White House insiders share valuable insight about the flips which oftentimes happen under very tense circumstances, including President Carter’s transition which was scheduled in the midst of the Iranian hostage negotiations. They also share little known moments, such as President Clinton’s late arrival to his own scheduled exit – sending White House Chief Usher Gary J. Walters into a panic.
A typical move from one home to another could involve weeks of pre-packing, which is not an option when 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is your address. Every trace of the previous presidency must be erased as the new family moves in. The team must move quickly to remove all remnants of the previous administration from the West Wing offices plus 3,100 square feet of living quarters. In the West Wing, it’s as if every member of a Fortune 500 company vanishes as a new company hurries in with the security of the free world riding on their shoulders. One item out of place during a flip could mean a significant delay on urgent presidential actions.
For the United States, a successful “flip” of the White House represents more than just a move. This changeover represents the peaceful transition of power for the leader of the free world, which has been accomplished 43 times in our nation’s history. It’s a race against time before the new President of the United States and family cross the threshold to begin a new page in history.
Channel: Discovery Channel
Producer: New Animal Productions
TX: 28th October 2012
Source: Discovery Channel press release