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Lump of Coal Arrives for White House Reporters Picked for Christmas Pool Duty

The December rotation for the White House In-Town Pool was announced on the first of the month, which means political reporters learned who would have to include monitoring President Biden’s whereabout in their holiday plans. Administered by the White House Correspondents’ Association, the pool rotates through its 32 member outlets alphabetically, so who draws Christmas is always a matter of bad luck.

Christmas Eve went to Linda Feldmann, the Christian Science Monitor’s Washington bureau chief, who said she hopes that President Biden travels out of town for the holiday. (The Bidens spent Thanksgiving on Nantucket.) But if so, she said she’ll need to “pay attention to my inbox” in case “he stays in DC or comes back for some reason.” She added, “I’m just grateful I didn’t get Christmas Day!”

That, er, honor went to the Daily Beast. White House reporter Scott Bixby told Off the Record, “I was actually discussing this with my editor yesterday (we basically drew straws to see who would end up on-call for Christmas).” He, too, is counting on the Bidens traveling out of town for the holidays, “so the in-town pool may be spared a Christmas spent in the basement of the West Wing.” (In which case it will be the reporters picked for the travel pool whose holiday will be disrupted.)

“Basically, we’re expected to sign up for COVID testing and be near a phone/in Washington just in case there’s a sudden change of plans and the president needs to return to the White House,” he explained. “Barring an alien invasion on Christmas Day, we should be in the clear and able to celebrate without having to put a suit jacket over holiday-themed pajamas.”