THE WEEKLY STANDARD reported last week that Democratic congressional candidate Scott Murphy claimed to have met with White House political operatives "in the situation room." The White House has been non-responsive to inquiries as to whether the Situation Room--previously reserved for national security-related meetings--is now being used for political get togethers. Now we learn in today's Washington Post that Rahm Emanuel called a group of veterans' group leaders together to discuss a budget controversy "in the Situation Room," with "Emmanuel seated in the President's chair." The article notes that the vets made a political pitch to Rahm--"We said 'look, don't give Republicans an opportunity to slam you.'"
So it seems that the Obama White House is using the Situation Room for meetings in a way no previous administration did. Such a meeting would have been held either in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, or maybe in the Roosevelt Room in the West Wing (which is where the article says Obama himself met with the veterans 48 hours earlier)--but never in the Situation Room. Obama seems to be holding to this principle--but not the self-aggrandizing Rahm Emanuel.