How to Photograph a White House Chief of Staff

Richard A. Bloom
Add to Briefcase
Richard A. Bloom
Dec. 11, 2015, 5 a.m.

It was 1987, and former Sen­at­or Howard Baker had re­cently been named Pres­id­ent Re­agan’s chief of staff, re­pla­cing Don­ald Regan. Stor­ies like these were Na­tion­al Journ­al’s meat and pota­toes, and I was told to get a photo for the next week’s cov­er story on how Baker’s ap­point­ment would af­fect the White House staff.

A few years earli­er, I had pho­to­graphed Baker in his role as sen­ate ma­jor­ity lead­er, which is when I also met Tommy Griscom, Baker’s press sec­ret­ary. Like most Hill staffers, Tommy was pro­tect­ive of his boss’s time, al­low­ing me only five minutes to take my pho­tos and dis­ap­pear. I ac­cep­ted his con­di­tions, entered Baker’s of­fice with Tommy, and began tak­ing pic­tures. After about four minutes, I thanked the sen­at­or for his time, packed up my gear, and headed to­ward the door. Baker, a renowned photo buff, put his hand on my shoulder and star­ted talk­ing cam­er­as. I looked at Tommy and shrugged. After a few minutes, ob­vi­ously miffed, Tommy turned on his heel and walked out of the of­fice. The sen­at­or and I con­tin­ued to dis­cuss lenses and cam­er­as.

Fast for­ward to 1987. Tommy Griscom was now White House com­mu­nic­a­tions dir­ect­or, and I had to go through him to get my cov­er photo of Baker. When I fi­nally got him on the phone, his an­swer was set in stone: No way could he let me take pic­tures of Howard Baker, who was far too busy to take the time. After much plead­ing, he al­lowed that al­though he couldn’t de­liv­er Baker, he could get me in with the pres­id­ent in­stead. That didn’t help me with the prob­lem at hand, but you don’t turn down a one-on-one with the lead­er of the free world.

A few days later, I ar­rived at the White House Press Of­fice and was es­cor­ted by an aide to the Oval Of­fice wait­ing area. After a few minutes, I was brought in to meet Pres­id­ent Re­agan. I star­ted click­ing away, mov­ing out­side near the Rose Garden for a bet­ter back­ground. Re­agan was ex­ceed­ingly gra­cious and co­oper­at­ive. When I had all the pho­tos I needed, I thanked him and shook his hand. He then asked me if there was any­thing else he could do for me.

“Mr. Pres­id­ent,” I said, “I really need to take a pic­ture of Howard Baker.” With­in two minutes, I was tak­ing pic­tures of Baker, both with and without the pres­id­ent.

What We're Following See More »
JOINT NEWS CONFERENCE TONIGHT
Trump And Putin Meet in Helsinki
6 minutes ago
THE LATEST

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki, kicking off a widely-anticipated diplomatic summit that "consists of a one-on-one meeting and a larger working lunch, and will conclude with a joint news conference." During his opening remarks, President Trump did not mention Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, instead focusing on the World Cup, China and nuclear weapons. His one-on-one meeting with Putin is expected to last around 90 minutes.

Source:
SAYS HE'S ALREADY ADMITTED TO HOUSE COMMITTEE
Roger Stone Says He's the Unnamed Person in Mueller's Indictment
20 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The mercurial veteran GOP political operative, Roger Stone, has acknowledged that he is the unnamed Trump campaign regular who corresponded with an alleged Russian hacker, as described in a new indictment against a dozen Russians returned Friday by a federal grand jury." He told ABC News that he previously admitted to the contact to House investigators. He called the correspondence "benign."

Source:
HACKERS SPOKE WITH AMERICANS
DOJ Indicts 12 Russians For Hacking 2016 Election
20 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A dozen Russian intelligence officers have been charged with conspiring" to hack into Democratic organizations, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and state election boards and private companies providing ballot verifying software for the 2016 presidential election, announced Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The Russians corresponded "with several Americans," Rosenstein said, who clarified that there was "no allegation in this indictment" that the Americans knew they were speaking with Russian hackers.

Source:
PLAYING INTO PUTIN'S HANDS?
Trump Calls European Union a "Foe"
20 hours ago
THE LATEST

"President Trump described the European Union as 'a foe' in an interview with CBS News on Sunday, ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland. "I think we have a lot of foes," Trump said. "I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they are a foe."

Source:
WITH MIKE PENCE
Kavanaugh Arrives on Capitol HIll
5 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login