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The Value of the White House Pool

(Ryan Kelly/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Ryan Kelly/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Most of the time, the White House press pool and its reports can be about as compelling as watching a Senate quorum call.

But every once in a while, we at HOH thank our lucky stars that the pool is there to record the otherwise-pedestrian activities of the president’s family.

Case in point: Last week’s pool coverage of first lady Michelle Obama’s trip to Fort Worth, Texas.

Her first stop? Olive Garden. OK, not so awesome. But wait for it …

“Motorcade was uneventful except for some traffic and a camel sighting,” poolers Carol Lee and Mark Landler reported.


Well, yes. Camels have been around Texas since the mid-19th century.

They first arrived in 1856 as part of an ill-fated venture by the military to deploy them in the American Southwest for transport purposes, according to the Texas State Historical Association.

Private companies such as the Texas Camel Corps lead treks as an attempt to make money while educating the public about the history of camel use.

Still, it’s not an everyday sighting, particularly in urban America, circa 2012. What could be next for the first lady?

“Also we passed an Olive Garden on the way to the Olive Garden,” the pool report said.

That’s more like it.

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