President Truman's Oval Office
Desk shot of Prez ignores decor in Oval Office
A make-over in the Oval Office signals that President Obama was either tired of toiling away in the shadow of George W. Bush - or is sending a signal to the American voter - that he intends to stay for the long haul (a 2nd term) in spite of ominous polls that underscore his approval rating has been down.
The President's office in the West Wing was refurbished while the Obama family was away on vacation recently in Martha's Vineyard.
The face-lift included a spanking new rug, fresh wallpaper (American-made), new paint (one coat covers a multitude of sins, they say), and a few sticks of distinctive furniture positioned here-and-there strategically about the stately office.
To stave off the critics, the President's staff noted in a recent press release, that the designer detailing was all carried out without any expense to the taxpayer.
An Obama spokesperson underscored that the undertaking was a bold-faced effort to put a "stamp" on the Oval Office that uniquely reflected the Barack Obama in style.
Well, the "look" is kinder to the sensibilities than those old "mom" jeans the President wears, I dare say!
The President's request for an oval-shaped rug - wheat- ande cream-colored with blue stripes on the edges bordering a series of quotes - is a lovely touch.
Four of the five quotes are from previous Presidents - Kennedy, Lincoln - and both Roosevelts.
The fifth quote, by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is probably Obama's favorite.
"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice."
A rug that rested in the spot previously, got the heave-ho, in spite of the fact it was designed by former 1st Lady Laura Bush for her husband, George
In January of 2009, Bill Clinton was overheard to remark that "he loved" the rug with the sunbeam motif.
Maybe the President will pass it on to slick Willy for a keepsake - or at a minimum - for future posterity?
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs described the renovations as "very modest".
The total cost was "comparable" to what former Presidents George W. Bush and Clinton spent.
The White House Endowment Trust - which received a donation from Obama's Presidential Inaugural Committee - coughed up the funds.
Some critics are miffed that the President's staff - not only held back on the total costs involved - but - refused to disclose the names of the donors involved.
Maria Downs, former social secretary to President Ford who now works at the White House, said that since the modern Oval Office was renovated in 1934, most Presidents have chosen to customize the room (changing everything from the color scheme to the drapes and artwork).
"They're the President. They can do whatever they want to their office," she said.
Just don't ask them to step in and tell a corporate entity like BP what to do when a crisis arises!
Oval Office before Obama tampering!