Though Barack Obama’s cabinet selections are about as far away from Bush’s cabinet members as you can imagine, there does appear to be one area on which the President-elect Obama and current President George W. Bush do agree — their stomachs. While Obama’s chief priority seems to be selecting his top advisors and economic team, many Americans are curious about who’ll staff the new President’s kitchen. It appears that the frontrunner may be current White House chef Cristeta Comerford, rather than the celebrity chefs who are getting the buzz. If this is the case, Cristeta Comerford may be the only member of the Bush White House to stay on the Obama White House.
According to The Dallas Morning News, former White House executive chef Walter Scheib “believes there’s a 90 percent chance the new administration will stick with his successor, Cristeta Comerford.” Scheib was the White House chef for both a Democrat and Republican himself, working in a Clinton and a Bush White House. Though Internet buzz has suggested possible celebrity chef to join the White House staff, Scheib was quick to dismiss the possibility as impractical.
Cristeta Comerford was named the White House Executive Chef in 2005, and was the first woman to fill the position. The White House website confirms that the executive chef is responsible for coordinating “state dinners, social events, holiday functions, receptions, and official luncheons.”
Her job includes a tremendous amount of planning, organization, and creativity, and the Obamas may be wise to leave well-enough alone and allow Comerford to continue in the position that she has done exceptional work in thus far. While celebrity chefs are dreaming up White House dinners to impress the Obama’s, Comerford has already done the job without complaint.
Though President-elect Barack Obama’s White House is going to have marked differences from the White House his predecessor George W. Bush ran, Cristeta Comerford’s ability to continue on as White House Executive Chef could demonstrate to Americans the true spirit of bipartisanship. After all, at the end of the day, we all need to eat.
The Dallas Morning News; Update: Transition Watch; http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/politics/national/stories/DN-transitionbox_25nat.ART.State.Edition2.4aadd68.html
The Associated Press; Chefs Dream Up White House dinners for Obama; http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jkQRiys_ZScAUO-3-fgpY3dwHMUwD94JG7IO0
The White House; Cristeta Comerford Named White House Executive Chef; http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/08/20050814-1.html