Key West's 'Little White House' woos the Obamas

The Miami HeraldMay 25, 2009 

KEY WEST, Fla. — President George W. Bush considered coming to Key West a year ago for trade talks with the president of Mexico and prime minister of Canada, but there was a sticky problem.

The Little White House, which got its name during the 11 working vacations that President Harry S. Truman spent there, was too hot.

"The White House did a sweep, with 10 people in black suits, including ladies in black dresses," said Bob Wolz, executive director of the Little White House museum. "But it was like 95 degrees in the building. The president can't sweat. So they turned us down."

Now the $300,000 air-conditioning system is operational, part of a seven-year, $1 million historic restoration dedicated last week by George McGovern, the former South Dakota senator and Democratic presidential candidate.

With cool air and new upholstery, the wooing of President Barack Obama has begun. The Key West City Commission, Little White House brass and Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek all have extended invitations to Obama to use the comfy presidential quarters _ complete with phonograph, piano and poker table.

It's available for a presidential family retreat. Bo can come, too, Key West being dog-friendly.

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