The country will have a new president Tuesday, and while the minds of pundits and politicians tend to focus on the economy, and the environmental groups are focusing on global warming and energy policy, and the historians are focusing on his family and their pioneering step into the world's highest office ... there is no shortage of ideas for the incoming Obama Administration's ... well, you might call it a hyper-domestic agenda.
Like, how about a garden?
Eat the View, founded by Roger Doiron (who founded the home organic gardening movement known as Kitchen Gardeners International) is urging the Obamas to have an organic garden planted on the 18-acre front lawn, and he has the backing of prominent foodies like Alice Waters. The produce would not only be used in the White House kitchen but also used to supply local food pantries with the surplus. Billed as a 21st-century Victory Garden, it would inspire the idea goes a new wave of organic home gardening at a time when Americans can use both the nutrition and the break on home expenses. Not to mention the mental relaxation that comes with gardening ...
The local food movement folks were also hoping for a bigger pronouncement on hyper-domestic food policy from Obama's choice of White House chef. They wanted Obama to endorse local and organic eating with a prominent new chef who embraced those ideas ... but he kept Bush's chef, Cristeta Comerford, who has held the position since 2005. But wait! Our friends over at Grist have pointed out that Comerford does embrace local and organic food. Some of the veggies were apparently even grown on a White House roof garden who knew? and everything that could be organic, was, by dictate from Bush herself (no surprise there it was Laura's decision).
There's the Jimmy Carter throwback (not to disparage it at all) that the Obamas should install a green roof and solar panels (the Solar Energy Industries Association has, no surprise, endorsed the idea as well):
One idea that didn't seem to catch on: The Obamas should go vegetarian.
Then, there's been the unending interest in the incoming First Dog, a yet-to-be-chosen pooch that will meet the demands of two important constituencies: the Obama girls, and advocates who want the Obamas to choose a rescue dog from a pound.
While the public education benefits of a humble clothesline could do wonders in terms of reducing home energy use and saving Americans a few dollars they'd otherwise spend on running the clothes dryer, we can't help but wonder what the Axis of Evil or, perhaps more imminently, the paparazzi would react to the President's underwear waving in the wind. Nonetheless, San Francisco advocate Ben Davis is making a pitch.
Dorion's idea for a prominent organic garden at the White House won an On Day One vote. What do you think?
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