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Moving out, moving in

January 20, 2009 |  8:46 am


WASHINGTON -- It may be the biggest shell game in politics.

For hours, the nation's eyes — even the world's — are trained on the presidential inaugural ceremonies on Capitol Hill, and on the hours-long parade that follows.

Meanwhile, back at the White House, its 93 staffers prepare for a precision drill: the moving out of one president and the moving in of another.

Actually, President Bush and first lady Laura Bush arranged for many of their personal belongings to be moved out to their ranch in Crawford, Texas, starting six months ago, according to Anita McBride, the first lady's chief of staff.

But this morning, when the official families were en route to Capitol Hill, a truck pulled up to the back of the White House to begin moving in the new first family. By the time the Obamas return around 5 p.m. from the day's festivities, their familiar furniture will decorate the family rooms and their belongings will hang in their closets.

Call it dedication to duty.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo credit: White House

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