There are few individuals in Washington DC who are adored by both political parties—William "Buddy" Carter is one of those people. Carter has worked as a butler between Blair House, the presidential guest house, and the White House for over four decades. Carter is now retiring from his post, spurring congratulatory remarks from a number of influential figures.
Carter began working at Blair House 47 years ago, where he served for 15 years. He then headed the White House Executive Residence, becoming one of just six butlers on staff. Carter worked on the residence staff of seven presidents, beginning with Ronald Reagan. He is beloved by first families of both parties—he attended both Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush's weddings.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden released a statement to CNN regarding Carter's retirement.
"For 47 years, across 10 administrations, Buddy Carter was integral to the lives of US Presidents, their families, and their home, the White House," the Bidens wrote. "We are enormously grateful to Buddy for his kindness, his service, and the times that we shared together—he performed a demanding job with excellence and joy for nearly half a century, always ready to lend a hand. Though it is difficult to imagine life in the White House without Buddy, we wish him all the best on a well-earned retirement, and many happy years ahead with Carol and their beloved children and grandchildren."
CNN also reports that Carter is retiring to spend more time with his family. A small, private party with staff will be held Thursday at the White House and the Bidens will hold an intimate lunch for him and his family.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted a photograph of her, President Barack Obama, and Carter, congratulating him on his many years of service and referencing their special relationship.
"William “Buddy” Carter is retiring after 47 years as a butler at the White House and the Blair House," the former First Lady wrote. "Barack and I are so grateful to have had his warmth, charm, and dignity by our side for eight of those years. Congratulations, Buddy!"
Carter is close with not only the Bidens and Obamas, but also the Bushes and Trumps. Per CNN, Carter was one of two White House residence staff members who Melania Trump brought with her to former First Lady Barbara Bush's 2018 funeral, after the Bush family invited Carter to the event. Donald Trump even once delayed the start of the annual Congressional Ball at the White House, to sing "Happy Birthday" to Carter as a surprise cake was brought out on the State Floor.
CNN also noted Carter's bond with the Clintons, as he was often the first staff member the former President saw each day; Carter would bring Clinton his coffee and newspaper every morning.
"Very few people are selected to work here, and I'm one of the few," Carter once said for the Clinton White House website. "It's a wonderful feeling."
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