The good guys at Verum Serum make a compelling argument that President Obama’s pitch to go to his website to win a chance for dinner was not, as the White House asserts, filmed in the president’s residence, but was in fact filmed in the Map Room, part of the non-residence portion of the White House, traditionally off-limits for fundraising activities.
Here are two earlier photos of Obama, taping his weekly national addresses in the Map Room, with the distinctive lamp in the background.
Once again, for your visual reference, the message Obama taped:
I see at Verum Serum, folks are already arguing, “big deal,” the traditional last line of defense. But Obama’s staff already conceded that there are legal restrictions on fundraising in parts of the White House; otherwise, the DNC could throw fundraisers on the White House lawn, etc.
Not being an expert on White House decor, I’ll note it’s conceivable there’s some other explanation; perhaps some other room within the residence looks remarkably similar to the Map Room, with the same style lamps, etc. (Having said that, in the video, it looks like there’s a map behind Obama’s left shoulder.)
But if the video was indeed filmed in the Map Room, where Obama tapes his non-campaign messages, the president violated the law and the White House lied about it yesterday.
UPDATE: Matt Cover looks at the White House visitor logs and finds two “Organizing for America” tapings in the Map Room from November 2010, as well. Organizing for America is the former 2008 Obama presidential campaign apparatus, shifted over to the DNC in January 2009.