The largest gathering of descendants of presidents gathered on the Kennedy Center stage for The Presidential Sites Summit. The once-every-two-years event hosts the operators and administrators of presidential libraries, historical sites, and the descendants of America’s presidents.
As part of the festivities, participants gathered at the Kennedy Center on Tuesday, August 28th. Kennedy Center president Deborah Rutter brought out Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan to welcome participants and kick off the night.
David Rubenstein, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Kennedy Center, then moderated a series of discussions including stories from the White House told by presidential descendants with Susan Ford Bales, Daughter of President Gerald R. Ford, Clifton Truman Daniel, Grandson of President Harry S. Truman, Massee McKinley, Descendant of Presidents William McKinley and Grover Cleveland, Lynda Johnson Robb, Daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Tweed Roosevelt, Great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt.
Rubenstein also hosted a discussion on “The White House Behind the Camera” featuring an introduction from Anita McBride, chair of the Presidential Sites Summit and the Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush.
Panelists included Adan Canto, star of Designated Survivor, Tammy Haddad, President & CEO of Haddad Media and HBO, Mack McLarty, chairman of McLarty Associates, Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton, and consultant on Designated Survivor & White Down, Capricia Marshall, House of Cards consultant and Social Secretary to Bill Clinton, documentarian Kirk Saduski, and Jamie Vanderbilt, the writer and director of White House Down.
David Rubenstein asked Kirk Saduski, who produced the HBO miniseries’ John Adams and Band of Brothers, how hard it is to maintain accuracy when creating these films. Saduski agreed with Haddad that filmmakers demand precision in the way events in the White House are portrayed, from official White House protocols and hierarchies to the norms and social mores of living and working in the White House.
The segment ended with David Rubenstein telling his most embarrassing moments from working in the Carter White House.
You can watch more Presidential Sites Summit events live on CSPAN here.