A ceremonial firing of the War Room cannons goes to the first reader who can guess the official Bush administration explanation for why the White House just paid to make a holiday video starring Barney, the Bush family's 7-year-old Scottish terrier.
Never mind. It's too easy.
The answer, of course, is 9/11.
From today's White House press briefing:
Dana Perino: Barney Cam, you may have noticed, is now available at WhiteHouse.gov. The theme of this year's video is "Holiday in the National Parks," and it features the president, Mrs. Bush, the twins and some other very special guests, including Prime Minister Tony Blair -- former Prime Minister Tony Blair -- and country singer Alan Jackson. The entire production team did a fantastic job, and I'm sure everyone will have a lot of fun with it.
Reporter: Who produces that? Is that government expense?
Perino: We do it here at the White House. Remember, the whole reason we started Barney Cam was because there was a lot of interest in 2001 for people to be able to see the decorations of the White House, and that year, if you'll recall, after the September 11th attacks, the tours were closed. And so this was an idea that we came up with. And actually now we've decided to keep going because there's so many Americans who would love to see the White House at Christmas time and can't make it.
In case you're one of those Americans, here's the video: