President Barack Obama’s official armored limo will bear license plates with the pro-D.C. statehood slogan “taxation without representation” starting this weekend, the dawn of his second term in the White House, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday.
"President Obama has lived in the District now for four years and has seen first-hand how patently unfair it is for working families in D.C. to work hard, raise children and pay taxes, without having a vote in Congress,” Keith Maley said in a statement.
“Attaching these plates to the presidential vehicles demonstrates the President's commitment to the principle of full representation for the people of the District of Columbia and his willingness to fight for voting rights, Home Rule and budget autonomy for the District," Maley said.
So will Obama, who in the past has called for D.C. to get full voting representation in Congress, now make a public push for full statehood for the District of Columbia? Officials demurred. But given the president's about-face on gay marriage last year, anything is possible. Perhaps pro-statehood might want to reach out to Vice President Joe Biden, who, er, helped Obama along on the gay marriage issue. (UPDATE: An earlier version of this story said that Obama had not yet come out in favor of D.C. statehood. However, the White House publicly supported it as early as June 2009.)
The license plate phrase, taken from the longer Revolutionary War slogan “taxation without representation is tyranny,” is standard-issue on Washington, D.C., license plates. But the presidential fleet has a bit of a rocky history on the issue.
President Bill Clinton’s limo had the plates just before he left office. President George W. Bush had them removed shortly after taking office.