The White House use to be truly open to the public, in which the public could pretty much show up and gain admission into the White House without any questions being asked. Those days are long pass, and today in order to access the White House, or specifically certain portions available to the public of the White House, one must be properly vetted and consequently apply through one's congressman and then upon approval, if you are approved, you will be allowed to be visit the White House after going through security, showing your identification, and shuffling through the eight rooms opened to the public, all under the watchful eye of the Secret Service officers.
Perhaps this is the way things should be, after all, the White House is a special place, the President and his advisors are special people, and we are just subjects to his White House. Hold on though, that isn't what America is about, in fact, the President is not our King, he is elected by the people, for the people, and to represent the people. The President is beholden to us and not us to him. The White House is not the Presidents but ours, it is his for a little while, but it is ours in principle.
There was a time when the White House would be literally overrun by the public at inaugurations, with White House items becoming damaged or even taken from its premises. On an average day, the President would be inundated with visitors trying to solicit the President for jobs, offers, and public service. The press felt that they too had the right to inquire or question the President about this or that for the public consumption, no matter the inconvenience to the President and his tasks.
While we can never go back to those times, it was during those days that the people felt a greater connection to the Presidency, that the President was one of them, that they, the people, were part of this great republic, with a voice and an opportunity to be heard, in which they could actually visit and possibly speak and communicate with the President of the United States. These were times when the President understood the importance of the people having access to the President, to hear their voice, to break bread with them, and to solicit their cares and concerns.
When you are far removed from the public, in which virtually no one that visits or speaks with you is a true common man, a true representative of the people, than it is difficult to understand the public pulse, to empathize with the people, or to really relate to their concerns and cares. At that point, you are no longer a representative of the people, you certainly are not one with the people, and you are more akin to the Kings and Queens of yesteryear whose voice is the voice, whose law is the law, who are the rulers, for better or for worse.