Obamas Will Pick Up Tab for White House Renovations
First family turns down $100K in public cash
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 30, 2009 7:44 AM CDT
President-elect Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are welcomed to the North Portico of the White House by George W. Bush and Laura Bush in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009.    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – Barack and Michelle Obama won’t be using the $100,000 in taxpayer cash the first family is allotted for White House renovations, New York magazine reports. Instead, they’ll fund their fix-up out of their own pockets. Which may be a good political investment, since they’ve hired Michael S. Smith, a Hollywood decorator who's worked for the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Steven Spielberg—and scored the infamous $87,783 rug for former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain.

They “are not using public funds or accepting donations of goods for redecorating their private quarters,”  the first lady's communication director tells New York.