When Laura Bush asked members of Congress to pick local artists to decorate ornaments for the White House Christmas tree, she got more than she bargained for with Deborah Lawrence (left) of Seattle.
Democratic Representative Jim McDermott of Washington state contacted a local arts organization, which got in touch with Lawrence. The politically oriented artist was at first "nauseated," but she then looked at the assignment as an "opportunity." Her swirly ball features a text focusing on Washington state's 1919 labor strike, suffrage movement and 1999 riots against the World Trade Organization.
Oh, it also features one more thing: praise for McDermott for backing a resolution to impeach George Bush.
The ornament was at first accepted, but word got around about the ball's message and it was decided that it will not be placed on the tree. Sally McDonough, Laura Bush's spokeswoman called it "inappropriate."
Lawrence, who was disappointed but not surprised, attended a White House artists' reception, but did not get the opportunity to exchange pleasantries with Laura Bush.
Was the ornament inappropriate? The First Lady wanted artists to highlight local landmarks and heroes. Lawrence highlighted landmark events in Washington and her hero, Representative McDermott. Perhaps Laura Bush, a former librarian, is not as supportive of artistic free expression as she'd like to think.