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Hey, It Comes With The Job

November 03, 1996|Sue McAllister

Rent-free residence in the White House, with swimming pool, putting green, tennis court, exercise room, jogging track, horseshoe pit, bowling alley, movie theater and 18 acres of beautifully tended grounds. The White House has 132 rooms, 32 bathrooms, 29 fireplaces and three elevators. Excluding the basement, it is 42,840 square feet.

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Air Force One, a converted Boeing 747-200B equipped with private bedroom-bathroom suite, two galleys capable of serving 100 meals at once, conference room that converts into an operating room, six lavatories, quarters for Secret Service and presidential guests, airborne Oval Office, 85 telephones, 19 TVs, 11 VCRs, goodies such as M&Ms in boxes with the presidential seal and Air Force One playing cards. (Clinton's staff reportedly grumbled about bad coffee aboard; the plane now is said to serve Starbucks.)

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Around-the-clock Secret Service protection for you and your family. Agents continue to protect you after you leave office, for life; post-presidential protection extends to your children under 16, and to your spouse, for life, until remarriage.

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Camp David, the 143-acre retreat in Maryland's Catoctin Mountains, complete with heated pool, tennis court, stables and skeet-shooting range.

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A residential staff of butlers, maids, ushers, curators, doormen, florists and chefs. National Park Service employees who help around the house include gardeners, horticulturists, plumbers, carpenters, painters and electricians. A chief of protocol and social staff make sure state dinners proceed flawlessly; White House calligraphers address invitations to your parties.

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Free health care at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

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Free box seats at the Kennedy Center.

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Custom-built Fleetwood Brougham limousine--one of three manufactured at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Mich., at an estimated cost of $250,000 to $600,000 each. The heavily armored cars feature oversized bulletproof windows, leather upholstery and Zebrano wood accents and presidential seals on the rear passenger doors and rear seats.

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Cuff links, tie clips and other trinkets bearing the presidential seal, paid for by your party's national committee and dispensed by an aide to well-wishers when you appear in public. In exchange, you'll receive about 15,000 gifts a year from heads of state and constituents and alike: everything from diamond tiaras to macrame vests.

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