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President Bush tries to say 'l'chaim,' ends up looking like a schmo

November 28, 2008 |  2:04 pm

President Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, will be hosting a Hanukkah reception for Jewish leaders at the White House next month. 

It's a nice gestuGeorge Bush and his wife, Laura Bush, have stirred up comment after an invitation to their Hanukkah party featured a Christmas treere. There's just one kvetch: The invitations for the Hanukkah party show a Clydesdale horse pulling a big Christmas tree up the driveway at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. And there's a Christmas wreath tacked to the White House in the background.

Sally McDonough, a spokeswoman for Laura Bush, blamed the goof on a "staff mistake," according to the New York Post.

"Mrs. Bush is apologetic," McDonough said. "It is just something that fell through the cracks."

Although the mistake has invited lots of teasing in the blogosphere, not everyone is offended. The Orthodox Union's Institute for Public Affairs defended the president on

Not only is George W. Bush the first to place a Chanukah Party on The White House calendar, but when the fact of this event is considered in the context of Jewish history -- a history of centuries of persecution and exclusion -- a sensible person's only reaction can be one of gratitude for the freedom Jews enjoy in the United States of America and respect and appreciation for this nation's president.

-- Kate Linthicum

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Photo credit: President Bush lights a menorah in 2003. Credit: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters