Whoever wins the election tonight, it’s not a hopeless case for the loser. Because they can still move into the White House. No, not that one in Washington, D.C. I’m talking about the replica in Atlanta, Georgia.
Fred Milani, an Irani businessman who made his riches in the building boom of the 1990s, built himself and his family a ¾-scale model of the White House, at 16,500 square feet. The interior is not exactly the same as its more famous twin at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There is an Oval Office, a movie theater, and a replica of Lincoln’s bedroom, with a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation. But that’s where it ends as the rest of the place is a mix of Middle Eastern décor and Christian iconography (hey, is that a giant tapestry of “The Last Supper”?).
As an immigrant, Milani saw the house as a tribute to American democracy. But unfortunately that American dream did not last. When the housing market went bust four years ago, Milani was forced to sell White House: The Sequel. Going for a little under $10 million, the house still hasn’t sold. Quick! Someone get McCain, Kerry, Gore and Dole on the phone. The White House can be theirs after all.