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Local Family Homeless After Tornado Destroys White House

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What’s At Stake In New Hampshire

With the New Hampshire primary election Tuesday poised to impact the course of the 2016 presidential race, The Onion examines what’s at stake for the candidates

Monocle-Wearing Oil Baron’s Cigarette Holder Splinters In Clenched Teeth After Hearing Bernie Sanders’ Environmental Platform

GREENWICH, CT—Leaving him visibly seething as he sat in his tufted leather wingback chair in his study, monocle-wearing oil baron Frederick Porter Harriman’s ivory-inlaid cigarette holder reportedly splintered between his clenched teeth upon him hearing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders outline his environmental platform during Thursday night’s Democratic debate.

Biggest Campaign Gaffes So Far

The road to the 2016 election has seen its fair share of blunders, miscalculations, and poorly worded statements, all captured by an eager news media that’s always on the lookout for political missteps. Here are some of the biggest campaign gaffes of this election cycle so far:

How The Iowa Caucuses Work

The votes cast in the Iowa caucuses on Monday night mark the official beginning of the 2016 election season, but the specifics of the state’s selection process can be confusing to voters who don’t live there. Here, The Onion answers the most common questions about how the Iowa caucuses work:

Iowan Comforts Sobbing Jeb Bush At Town Hall

DES MOINES, IA—Slowly approaching the distraught, trembling presidential candidate before embracing him in a gentle hug, 42-year-old single mother Holly Sullivan comforted a sobbing Jeb Bush during a town hall forum, sources confirmed Friday.

Dazed Marco Rubio Wakes Up In Koch Compound To Find Cold Metal Device Installed Behind Ear

‘Hello Marco, We Will Now Begin The Program,’ Says Soothing Voice

UNKNOWN LOCATION—The brightly lit, stark-white room gradually coming into focus as he regained consciousness, GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio reportedly awoke in the Koch brothers’ secret compound Thursday and reached suddenly to his throbbing head to discover a cold metal device implanted behind his left ear.

Hillary Clinton Relaxing Before Debate With Few Hours Of Debate Practice

GOFFSTOWN, NH—Describing it as a much-needed escape from the hype and pressure surrounding the event, aides from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign confirmed that the candidate has been taking it easy and kicking back ahead of Saturday’s Democratic debate with a few hours of intensive debate practice.

Terrified Jeb Bush Beginning To Fade From Visible Spectrum

LAS VEGAS—His voice slowing during his response to a question about immigration as he struggled to comprehend what was happening to him, a visibly terrified Jeb Bush reportedly began to vanish from the visible spectrum while on stage at Tuesday night’s Republican debate.

Koch Brothers Get Each Other Same Election For Christmas

WICHITA, KS—Chuckling and shaking their heads as they described their annual family gift exchange to reporters, Koch Industries executives Charles and David Koch confirmed Wednesday they had unwittingly gotten each other the same election for Christmas this year.

The Pros And Cons Of Political Correctness

A key issue currently driving a wedge between political parties in the U.S. is the question of so-called political correctness, or the avoidance of language and actions that could be construed as exclusive, oppressive, or marginalizing of minority groups. Here are the pros and cons of political correctness in our national discourse:

Rand Paul Escorted Off Stage After Falling Below 2.5% In Middle Of Debate

MILWAUKEE—Interrupted midway through answering a question about how he would reform the nation’s tax code, Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul was reportedly escorted off stage roughly an hour into Tuesday’s GOP primary debate after falling below the minimum 2.5 percent polling threshold necessary for participating in the forum.

Fact-Checking Ben Carson’s Claims

GOP presidential frontrunner Ben Carson is currently under fire for claims he’s made about his past in books and interviews, many of which journalists have alleged are fabricated or skewed in the candidate’s favor. The Onion breaks down what’s truth and what’s fiction.

Republicans’ Demands For Upcoming Debates

Following last week’s contentious debate in Colorado, Republican presidential candidates are formulating demands for future debates in the effort to reduce perceived media bias and foster a more productive, policy-focused discussion. Here are the GOP’s demands for upcoming debates

Top Issues For Voters In The 2016 Election

With the presidential race well underway and the pool of candidates narrowing, Americans will soon have to choose their next leader based on how well they speak to the issues. Here are the top issues that matter for voters in the 2016 election

Winners And Losers Of Last Night’s Debate

The top 10 leading GOP presidential candidates met in Boulder, CO for their third debate last night, hosted by CNBC and featuring a number of contentious moments concerning alleged liberal media bias, frontrunners’ contradictory statements, and more. The Onion breaks down who won and who lost the debate

Ben Carson Tormented By Periodic Rational Thoughts

SAN ANTONIO—Calling the disturbing incidents a persistent source of anguish, GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson told reporters at a Monday campaign stop that he has been tormented by periodic rational thoughts for the past several years.

How Democrats Are Preparing For Their First Debate

The first Democratic presidential debate will be held Tuesday, and the candidates are expected to battle it out over issues as wide-ranging as gun control, climate change, and wealth inequality in America. Here’s how the candidates are preparing for the debate

Group Of Christie Campaign Deserters Found In Forest

SHAMONG, NJ—Huddling together around fires of burning yard signs while sipping small rations of soup from mugs adorned with the phrase “Telling It Like It Is,” a ragged encampment of advisers, pollsters, and volunteers who deserted Chris Christie’s presidential campaign was reportedly found living deep in a New Jersey forest Friday, authorities confirmed.

Sight Of 400 War Elephants On Horizon Marks Hillary Clinton’s Arrival In Swing State

WHEELING, OH—Feeling the earth shake beneath them as they watched the procession climb over the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains toward their village, sources along the Ohio border confirmed Thursday that the sight of 400 war elephants marching on the horizon marked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s arrival to the critical swing state.

Unemployed Single Mother In Rubio Speech Told Candidate About Her Problems In Confidence

CEDAR FALLS, IA—Describing her shock and embarrassment upon learning that her personal struggles were shared with an entire campaign rally audience, 37-year-old Allison Kilpatrick, an unemployed single mother that Republican presidential hopeful Marco Rubio mentioned in a recent stump speech, informed reporters Thursday that she told the candidate about her problems in confidence.

Obama Scrambling Around White House Kitchen Before State Dinner

WASHINGTON—Darting back and forth from refrigerator to sink to prep table while hurriedly preparing 350 hand-carved radish rosettes, a visibly agitated President Obama reported Friday that everything must be absolutely perfect for tonight’s state dinner in honor of Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Voters Look On In Horror As 3 New Republican Candidates Appear In Place Of Scott Walker

MADISON, WI—Overcome by a profound feeling of dread and helplessness as the GOP field multiplied before their eyes, voters at Scott Walker’s press conference yesterday, in which the Wisconsin governor announced he was exiting the presidential race, reportedly looked on in horror as three new Republican contenders appeared on stage in place of the former candidate.

Top Snake Handler Leaves Sinking Huckabee Campaign

LITTLE ROCK, AR—Dealing yet another blow to the former Arkansas governor’s presidential hopes, Dalton Hobbs, one of Mike Huckabee’s top snake handlers, has decided to leave the sinking campaign, sources reported Thursday.

Aides Rush On Stage To Rotate Scott Walker Back To Direction Of Audience

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Upon noticing that the Wisconsin governor had become disoriented during one of the moderator’s questions and begun delivering his response while facing the set’s backdrop, several of his aides rushed on stage during Wednesday’s GOP primary debate to rotate Scott Walker back in the direction of the audience.

GOP Debate Stage Manager Pulls Ladies’ Podium Out Of Storage For Carly Fiorina

SIMI VALLEY, CA—Having rummaged through a cluttered backstage closet for nearly half an hour in an effort to locate its elegantly curved lavender form, stage manager Paul Guzman is said to have finally pulled the GOP’s official ladies’ podium out of storage for Carly Fiorina ahead of Wednesday night’s Republican primary debate.
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Local Family Homeless After Tornado Destroys White House

'We've Lost Everything,' Family Says

The Obamas survey the devastation wearing only the clothes they had time to take before the storm struck.
The Obamas survey the devastation wearing only the clothes they had time to take before the storm struck.

WASHINGTON—Barack Obama stands alone in the ruins of what was once his living room, calling out in vain for a dog that never comes. Less than 36 hours ago, his house stood proudly intact. But the violent tornado that tore through the region late Sunday night upended everything in an instant, scattering his belongings and leaving his family homeless and helpless.

"My God, just look at this," the 48-year-old government employee said as he surveyed the splintered furniture and mangled chandeliers that littered the 18-acre property. "Everything is gone. Our clothes, our family photos, the federal budget for fiscal year 2011—it's all gone."

Added Obama, "This was our dream home."

With no relatives in the area to turn to, the Obamas have been living in the basement of Calvary Methodist Church on M Street and bathing at the nearby YMCA. However, with the church running low on canned goods and funds to support the displaced family, Obama worries he and his loved ones may soon be forced to move into a shelter or live out of their motorcade.

"My youngest daughter keeps asking me when we can go home," said part-time social worker Michelle Obama, 46, who escaped the disaster with nothing more than her enduring spirit and the Narciso Rodriguez cap-sleeve silk dress on her back. "I don't know what to tell her."

Joe Biden, 67, helps Obama sort through personal documents in the remains of his home office.

As of press time, several items of sentimental value to the family remained unaccounted for, including Mrs. Obama's wedding gown, both daughters' baby books, David Axelrod, and an antique portrait of George Washington that had been in the home for generations.

For Mr. Obama, who had worked primarily from a home office, the tornado's merciless destruction has been a doubly painful blow.

"My desk was right here," said a drawn Obama, pointing down at a tattered, rubble-strewn carpet bearing the Seal of the President of the United States. "I'd sit here every morning with my cup of coffee and paper, quietly perusing the latest intelligence on credible terrorist plots against the U.S. mainland."

"I'd give anything to have the comfort of that daily routine back," Obama added.

According to the National Weather Service, the category F3 tornado was spawned by a line of severe thunderstorms that struck the District of Columbia around 11 p.m. Sunday. The funnel cloud, with winds gusting up to 165 miles per hour, touched down only briefly, carving a short but devastating swath of destruction along Pennsylvania Avenue that not only leveled the family's house, but also uprooted numerous trees and drove one of Obama's American-flag lapel pins 3 inches into the north face of the Washington Monument.

Although they had only lived in the charming 132-room house for a year and a half, the Obamas had been eyeing the residence for years before finally being able to close on it in November 2008. What Obama had worked ceaselessly to attain, however, was demolished in a matter of moments, with the ravaging storm not even sparing his wife's beloved backyard vegetable garden.

"A really loud roaring noise woke me up, and I just knew it was a twister," said Malia Obama, 12, clad in an ill-fitting 'Hillary 2008' sweatshirt donated by a family friend. "So, just like Dad taught us, we all ran out of our bedrooms, down the Grand Staircase, through the foyer, the East Colonnade, and the Garden Room, down into the East Wing sub-basement, and made it into the bunker just as the roof of the house was lifted off."

While the Obamas acknowledge that regrouping from such a devastating tragedy will be a long and difficult process, they are drawing strength from the overwhelming outpouring of support and generous donations they have received from friends, neighbors, and lobbyists.

"When I heard the bad news, I figured I'd swing over with a few longnecks for Barry and some intimates for Michelle," said Joe Biden, one of Barack Obama's coworkers, referring to the six-pack of Budweiser and assortment of women's underwear and negligee that he hand-delivered to the family Monday evening. "Hope she's a size 10. Sure looks like a 10."

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