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The Oval Office apple bowl
August 13, 2012 10:40 AM   Subscribe

In Barack Obama's Oval Office, there is a bowl of apples. Undemanding, it silently witnesses history in ways large and small.
posted by Etrigan (150 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is this the place where I say that the doors with wallpaper and chair rails on them in the Oval Office always freak me out? Plus, the doors must be curved...?
posted by DU at 10:43 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obama and his anti-jellybean agenda are going to take us back to Jimmy Carter's days of malaise if we aren't careful.

But he will keep the doctor away with those apples. Which is what you'd expect from the architect of Obamacare.

Anti-Reagan, anti-health care, anti-America! Romney/Ryan 2012.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:44 AM on August 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


Since you asked, I do like them apples!
posted by Capt. Renault at 10:44 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh man, Barry, DUDE, stop letting all those grubby little kids touch your apples. DEADLY COOTIE VECTOR.
posted by elizardbits at 10:44 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


All those apples and Axelrod's the only person who appears to eat them.
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:45 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also those better be honeycrisp.
posted by elizardbits at 10:45 AM on August 13, 2012 [18 favorites]


That is the ugliest coffee table I've ever seen in my life. And the couches! Were they consciously trying to make the Oval Office look like the living room of my college girlfriend's grandparents' house circa 1991, or did they just get lucky?
posted by The World Famous at 10:45 AM on August 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


I like the apples but I think the coffee table is ugly and out of place.
posted by mullacc at 10:46 AM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also those better be honeycrisp.

Could be Braeburns. Another strong move.
posted by Iridic at 10:47 AM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I swear, Biden always looks like he's either not paying attention, telling a dirty joke or playing a prank. Even in #40, POTUS and VPOTUS have the kind of awkward hand-holding going on one would get from a superglue prank.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 10:48 AM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


That is the ugliest coffee table I've ever seen in my life. And the couches! Were they consciously trying to make the Oval Office look like the living room of my college girlfriend's grandparents' house circa 1991, or did they just get lucky?

It really is embarrassingly bad furniture.
posted by odinsdream at 10:49 AM on August 13, 2012


Have they been replaced or is that the same bowl of apples in every photograph?
posted by infini at 10:49 AM on August 13, 2012


Sometimes, the apple bowl is bold, taking center stage; sometimes it is shy, peeking out in the background. Sometimes it is brazen, like an outrageous flirt.

It is a bowl of many moods.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:49 AM on August 13, 2012 [31 favorites]


I swear, Biden always looks like he's either not paying attention, telling a dirty joke or playing a prank.

When you choose to only publish photos where the President looks good, it's inevitable that the other people in the photo will look bad.
posted by The World Famous at 10:49 AM on August 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


You know, if those were some green seedless sweet grapes people would be all over that. Grapes are a crowd pleaser.

Mmm, grapes.....
posted by anitanita at 10:50 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


That bowl of apples is where Dick Nixon would have hid the tape recorder mic. "Would you like an apple?"
posted by R. Mutt at 10:51 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


When you choose to only publish photos where the President looks good, it's inevitable that the other people in the photo will look bad.

Hey, I didn't say he looked bad...also, in #30, the President is asleep.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 10:52 AM on August 13, 2012


Why is it always apples? I suspect some apple lobbying kickbacks are going on somewhere. What about the humble pear?
posted by arcticseal at 10:52 AM on August 13, 2012


Is it just me, or does the woman sitting on the right side of the couch in picture 17 appear to have part of her foot Photoshopped out?
posted by dortmunder at 10:52 AM on August 13, 2012


also, in #30, the President is asleep.

Obama even looks good when he's asleep (but it looks to me like he's just got his eyes closed).
posted by The World Famous at 10:53 AM on August 13, 2012


It looks like he's thinking about cake.

i mean that is totally my cake-thinking face
posted by elizardbits at 10:55 AM on August 13, 2012 [16 favorites]


I love the ones like 21 and 23 where it is barely in frame. Since we know to notice it, our cultural knowledge ascribes it sinister motives as it lurks there. Waiting. Soon. Soon.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:56 AM on August 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Did you notice the decor changed midway through? Better drapes and coffee table and leather armchairs rather than the striped ones. I wonder which is most current?
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 10:57 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


So... Granny Smith Goes To Washington, ends up at a Gala and gets to meet the First Pink Lady?
posted by rh at 10:59 AM on August 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Selection of what [I imagine] previous presidents have kept on that coffee table:

Bush II - Jerry can of sweet light crude oil
Carter - Bowl of Peanuts
Ford - Nachos
Nixon - Reel to reel tape recorder, and those little chalky pastel mints
Hoover - Bowl of apple cores
Taft - Bowl of taffy Apples
A. Jackson - Bowl of whiskey
Washington - would have been apples if not for...
posted by obscurator at 11:00 AM on August 13, 2012 [16 favorites]


Obama's oval office apple bowl is a new tounge twister
posted by The Whelk at 11:00 AM on August 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


Oh yeah picture 24 onwards, the coffee table / couches look much better!
posted by peacheater at 11:00 AM on August 13, 2012


I swear, Biden always looks like he's either not paying attention, telling a dirty joke or playing a prank.

That's just how I imagine Biden rolls all the time.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever you say, man. By the way, did I ever tell you the one about the Mormon and the Catholic that walk into a gay bar?"
posted by zombieflanders at 11:00 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


That must have been quite a day for the assistant cabinet secretaries. They get to meet with the big man in the Oval Office without their bosses interfering, and they even get to eat some of the apples.

I wonder what the etiquette around these apples are. Who dares pick up an apple without being invited by the President? Children, obviously. What about the dude in photo 16? Countless Aaron Sorkin-written or -inspired political dramas have taught me that he is probably some senior White House policy or political wonk, judging by his appearance. He probably has unfettered access to the President. But does he have unfettered access to the President's fruit bowl?

Who is this man?
posted by grouse at 11:01 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


#5 OH fuck Joe, not this story again. *sigh*

#10 Yeah, I don't even know who restocks these things. Elves in the night, I guess! *laughter*

#16 You gonna pass that doob or what?
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 11:02 AM on August 13, 2012


omigod foto 33! TERRORIST FIST BUMP IN THE OVAL OFFICE!
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:02 AM on August 13, 2012


It's as American as pie of some kind.
posted by argonauta at 11:03 AM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Who is this man?

grouse: That's David Axelrod
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:03 AM on August 13, 2012


elizardbits: "Also those better be honeycrisp."

I think everyone can agree that at least they aren't Red Delicious.
posted by Plutor at 11:04 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Obama's oval office apple bowl is a new tounge twister.

And apparently a finger twister.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:04 AM on August 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


#17 lady is wearing a metallic toned pump of that shape, no pattern, and lighter color.

My vote is for Jonagold apples.
posted by tilde at 11:04 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did you notice the decor changed midway through? Better drapes and coffee table and leather armchairs rather than the striped ones. I wonder which is most current?

Oh yeah picture 24 onwards, the coffee table / couches look much better!

Picture 24 onward is Bush's Oval Office decor. Obama had it redecorated to be uglier. Obama's a brilliant guy and a good President, but he has terrible taste in decorating (and he wears terrible dad jeans and tucks his t-shirt into his sweatpants).
posted by The World Famous at 11:04 AM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


My favorite one is #4. I can imagine that conversation with the mom and her son. 'You're meeting the president, put on a suit' 'No! I'm going in shorts and sneakers.' 'Fine, but you're going to eat an Apple!'
posted by jourman2 at 11:05 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Coffee table needs legs, badly!
posted by washburn at 11:06 AM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


If I were in charge of the Presidential Apple Bowl it would be nothing but winesaps...
posted by jim in austin at 11:07 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]




All these meetings and no laptops...
posted by desjardins at 11:11 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man you gotta love a Gauntlet joke in a presidential apple bowl thread. You gotta.
posted by Mister_A at 11:11 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I wonder if Obama ever takes out his frustrations by throwing those apples at a stop sign while complaining that Biden is always trying to put his testicles on him.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:14 AM on August 13, 2012 [5 favorites]



You know, if those were some green seedless sweet grapes people would be all over that. Grapes are a crowd pleaser.

Mmm, grapes.....


Oddly, that it exactly what I am snacking on right now, and I agree with you completely.

It's a good thing apples have a long shelf life. When I buy apples, it takes a while before I get around to eating them, compared to other fruits such as grapes, strawberries, or peaches, which tend to get eaten within a couple days in my household.
posted by mysterpigg at 11:14 AM on August 13, 2012


"Everybody in this room better eat an apple or I'll send the lot of you off to Guantanamo."

Awkward silence in the room. Glances are exchanged. Is he serious? But the president doesn't make a sound, just stares fixedly at the bowl. Moments loom past like swollen black thunderclouds. The room is deathly silent.

This shit is getting serious, thinks Biden. He almost opens his mouth, to try some gaffe to dispel the tension. But he knows that look. Barry is not messing around here. So, he reaches for the first apple, the shiny one right on top.

Soon everybody has taken an apple and they all chew in nervous quiet while the president looks on, making sure every last one of them has taken a bite. They look up at him nervously.

His grim stare suddenly breaks into an ear-splitting grin of demonic proportions. He laughs.


"Nah, I'm just messing with you. The apples are poison, you're all dead now"

END SCENE

-excerpt from Bill O'Reilly's sensational new nonfiction thriller "Secret Muslim - Terror at High Noon" (with optional erotic Wall St. bath house scene insert)
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:17 AM on August 13, 2012 [26 favorites]


First thing I'd do to redecorate? Turn that damn desk around to face the windows.
posted by namewithoutwords at 11:22 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


All those apples and Axelrod's the only person who appears to eat them.

LOOK AT HIM FEEDING AT THE PUBLIC TROUGH!
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:23 AM on August 13, 2012


Mark my words, we will not have a cooler more badass dude in the White House until the Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho administration.
posted by danl at 11:24 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


GOOGLE ELECTROLYTES
posted by zombieflanders at 11:26 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or, alternately:

GOOGLE BRAWNDO PAUL
posted by zombieflanders at 11:26 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fuji apples people, those are genetically engineered in japan so you know they are quality. Every bite is like eating a future where all apples are crisp and tart and all watermellons are square.

I can underdstand if Obama only wants to appear in photos with domestic apples though.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:26 AM on August 13, 2012


These pictures would be even more awesome with LOLZ captions.
posted by Leezie at 11:27 AM on August 13, 2012


Well, at least we know where the listening device is.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:29 AM on August 13, 2012


Well, at least we know where the listening device is.

"No, not that one, David."

"Oh. Right, sir."
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:30 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


That is the ugliest coffee table I've ever seen in my life. And the couches! Were they consciously trying to make the Oval Office look like the living room of my college girlfriend's grandparents' house circa 1991, or did they just get lucky?

Thank you. I am so happy to know I am not alone in thinking this is horrible stuff. It's like the went down to state surplus and got the couches they pulled out of the the state ferry employee breakroom.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:32 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


These pictures would be even more awesome with LOLZ captions.

3 - 2 - 1 -

bowlofapples.tumblr.com
posted by Fizz at 11:32 AM on August 13, 2012


Obama and his anti-jellybean agenda are going to take us back to Jimmy Carter's days of malaise if we aren't careful.
But he will keep the doctor away with those apples. Which is what you'd expect from the architect of Obamacare.
Anti-Reagan, anti-health care, anti-America! Romney/Ryan 2012.


Your off-the-cuff joke is more coherent than Romney's real-life talking points.
posted by aught at 11:33 AM on August 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


If I were in charge of the Presidential Apple Bowl it would be nothing but winesaps...
posted by jim in austin at 11:07 AM


...Marry me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:40 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


elizardbits: "honey"

Ugh, I hope not. Gala FTW.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:48 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just as long as they're all-American Washington state apples.
posted by grouse at 11:49 AM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


bowlofapples.tumblr.com

Too Late
posted by pupdog at 11:52 AM on August 13, 2012


He should replace those apples with assorted assault weapon rounds and his approval rates will go through the roof!
posted by clvrmnky at 11:54 AM on August 13, 2012


I got to do an oval office tour guided by a friend of mine a few months back, and some of these issues were actually explained.

1. The apples are there at Michelle's insistance, with the hope that perhaps Barack might accidentally eat something healthy during the course of the day. The secret service agents posted just outside the oval office have a stash of cookies for him, though.

2. The couches were chosen based on Sasha and Malia's preferences, in the hopes that they would want to hang out in the oval office with dad.

No word on allowing that coffee table to sit in the same room with the resolute desk, however.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:56 AM on August 13, 2012 [23 favorites]


Ooh! Ooh! Idea! Ghastly Coffee Table + Resolute Desk slashfic. COME ON GUYS WE CAN DO THIS

GO TEAM FUJI
posted by Doleful Creature at 11:59 AM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


For some reason I really want to walk around on that rug in the Oval Office...

barefoot.

Nothing else would do.

Asking me to explain myself will be met with the old standby, if you have to ask then you probably just don't understand*.

*... and No, there's not any hidden meaning, just a fanciful yearning from a simple person. More than that I cannot vocalize.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:02 PM on August 13, 2012


I bought an apple for my desk, so that I can be like the President. If just for one day, or until the thing gets eaten, which is probably later this afternoon.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:02 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yasser Arafat had the box of baby wipes and the Big Red Binder of Doom.
posted by ocschwar at 12:02 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's no bowl in 35. Yes, an apple, and an apple actually being eaten, but no plurality of apples and no bowl. That's 39 photos of Obama's oval office apple bowl. If all you can write is a listicle, make it an accurate listicle
posted by morganw at 12:04 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Am I the only one who was hoping for a little prop to show up in each image, like the ones the West Wing production team used to insert into Gail's fish bowl?
posted by zarq at 12:07 PM on August 13, 2012


This makes me think of a modern American remake of The Remains Of the Day, with the apple bowl as the main character.
posted by Bwithh at 12:13 PM on August 13, 2012


The leather upholstery on the chairs is an improvement on those dingy stripes, but he managed to pick the only coffee table worse than Bush II's. I'd never choose the couches, but I'd probably wind up with something like those. I like 'em.

Navelgazer: The apples are there at Michelle's insistance, with the hope that perhaps Barack might accidentally eat something healthy during the course of the day.

I scrolled through that whole list hoping but knowing Obama'd never be eating one. I imagine any visit to the Oval Office must be exhausting, what with the exhilaration and the tension and everything, so I hope there's no etiquette around eating the apples. There for the taking.
posted by carsonb at 12:15 PM on August 13, 2012


2bucksplus: "All those apples and Axelrod's the only person who appears to eat them."

Nope: Check out Rahm Emanuel in the background in #35. This photo was clearly staged so that POTUS and Axelrod in the foreground are distracting us from the conclusive evidence that Rahm is a human who consumes food, rather than a robot assassin in the employ of Skynet.
posted by Dr. Zira at 12:16 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's no bowl in 35.

Look again.

It is a bowl that defies explanation. You never see it move. One moment you just notice that's it's not on the coffee table anymore. You scan the room. No bowl. Then, with mounting horror, you slowly bring your gaze down, and it has been beside you all along.

So you take an apple.
posted by CaseyB at 12:17 PM on August 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


You know, if those were some green seedless sweet grapes people would be all over that. Grapes are a crowd pleaser.

Yeah, picking up an apple is much more of an investment than say, strawberries or grapes. A grape you can just pop into your mouth in one bite. An apple, you're going to be holding that thing for a while, and you'd better time your bites right so you're not stuck munching on an apple while the President's waiting for you to swallow. That's the President, right there, he doesn't need anyone wasting his time, least of all some bozo standing there munching on a honeycrisp while there's an economy needs dealing with. And the noise! You better hope the President isn't saying anything you need to listen to because half of everything he says is going to be drowned out by apple crunches. That's if he isn't put off by the regular sounds of some idiot next to him breaking through the apple skin every ten seconds.

And what about when you finish it? What are you planning on doing with that apple core, there, putting it in your pocket? Yes, maybe there's a trash can somewhere. I saw you looking. You going to put your apple core in The President's Waste Disposal? You think you're such a hotshot? I'm sorry, Mr. President, we're going to have to come in here and empty your Special Presidential Trash early, someone keeps clogging it up with all these apple cores. Or maybe you could just stand there, The Presidential Aide Inexplicably Holding An Apple Core For Thirty Minutes. How photogenic, Pete Souza's going to love that one. Just hope that nobody hands you anything important, because if you've got a hand free now that one is holding a goddamn apple core it may still have bits of leaky apple juice all over it. Just be happy it wasn't a bowl of pears.

And even if you get rid of the thing you know there's still going to be a bit of the skin trapped in between your teeth because of course there is. You're either going to have to make friends with your new pal Tooth Decay, or figure a way of getting it out. Do you see that pile of Presidential Toothpicks over there, free for the taking for staff and distinguished guests who need to do some fiddling with their teeth during White House business? No, of course you don't, because that would be completely stupid. You're stupid. Who the hell is going to be picking their teeth in front of the President? Joe Biden, maybe. But that's Joe Biden, everyone expects him to do that sort of thing. Who the hell are you?

So yes. Apples are just another way of appearing to offer hospitality while knowing the offer will never be taken up on. Obviously Obama only cares about the appearance of openness and not the results. Barack Obama: Bad for snacks. Bad for America.
posted by eykal at 12:22 PM on August 13, 2012 [64 favorites]


it silently witnesses history in ways large and small

Hey maybe these little beauties could resolve the Bill Clinton/Monica Thingy question if we sort of rubbed them up the right way...
posted by MajorDundee at 12:23 PM on August 13, 2012


I swear, Biden always looks like he's either not paying attention, telling a dirty joke or playing a prank.

I'm not sure that you can take a candid shot of Biden without it being subtly hilarious in some way. #40 is the best, because the only explanation I can think of for it involves the conversation:

BIDEN: S'up, Dogg? Just cuttin' through, keep chillin'...
CLINTON: Are you drunk?

But #5 is great too. Just looking over Obama's expression gets funnier and funnier, and I have no clue what's going on. I didn't know an expression could say "you're my dreamboat" and "don't fucking touch me" at the same time, but there it is.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:24 PM on August 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Those apples probably have in cider information.
posted by plastic_animals at 12:25 PM on August 13, 2012 [19 favorites]


groan

eykal, you obviously just have to take one on your way out. Has the added bonus effect of missing knickknack prevention. Klepto urges to souvenir? Have a snack, take it with you.
posted by carsonb at 12:31 PM on August 13, 2012


Speaking of redecorating, is there any way whoever replaces Obama removes the MLK bust without coming across as a bit of a dick?
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:31 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


You are all wrong. They are either Gala (someone did mention it upthread) or Macintosh (Barry is a Mac guy you know). My money is on Galas.

Best. Apple. Ever
posted by ShawnString at 12:33 PM on August 13, 2012


Gala? Donkey food. Honeycrisp.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:41 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


White House Gala photographs.
posted by infini at 12:42 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


They had a bowl of corn and potatoes, but it was considered a security risk.
posted by rocketpup at 12:44 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah Gala.
posted by stbalbach at 12:54 PM on August 13, 2012


Gala apples are to HoneyCrisp as McDonalds is to a porterhouse steak, lovingly cooked until there's a thin line of succulent pink in the center. On the side, potatoes. Mashed? No sir not mashed. Barbarians mash. These potatoes are hugged. Hugged until their solid form gives way to become a starchy chalice for sour cream. Sourcream of a porcelain white, gleaming like the the whites of the eyes of a young woman in love. She lifts her head, lips parting slightly, her breath full of invitation and acquiescence and...

Yeah, Honeycrisp.
posted by DWRoelands at 12:58 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


So... Granny Smith Goes To Washington, ends up at a Gala and gets to meet the First Pink Lady?

I was actually coming in here to wonder why there are never any green apples in there. I, for one, certainly wouldn't be partaking.
posted by benbenson at 1:00 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just don't understand this. That coffee table looks like it's covered in the vinyl sheet flooring from my aunt's kitchen. And it looks like they kept all of the other traditional style occasional tables, which totally don't go with it. Maybe it has sentimental value? I'm having serious cognitive dissonance here. Barack is cool ≠ Barack has this ugly-ass coffee table in his office. There must be some explanation.
posted by HotToddy at 1:05 PM on August 13, 2012


It makes sense that Rahm and Axelrod are the only ones that eat them. Everyone else has the grace to realize they are part prop, part thing to give away to rubes who inexplicably wind up in the oval office, and part child's playthings.

Rahm doesn't give a shit, it is simply a power play to get up inside your head, you are trying to talk and he is taking huge bites of some apple, getting all up in our face spitting apple flecks all over your brand new shirt. he doesn't care about the core, he just hands it to whatever secret service agent is handy. Sometimes he really is hungry, like when he up in the situation room for 72 hours drinking pot after pot of poisonously strong coffe, he barely has a chance to shave and change his shirt before rushing to the oval office for some briefing. Grab an apple to hold him over until the white house chef whips him up an extra lean pastrami on rye.

Axelrod just doesn't notice when everyone gives him odd looks when he eats the apples, he is lost in a world of policy minutia. The president is talking and next thing you know Axelrod is munching on an apple, he doesn't even realize conversation comes to a halt. Axelrod also forgot his lunch, or brought his kids organic peanut butter sandwich in by mistake, and doesn't want to bother the white house chef. Axelrod holds the core for 30 minutes while Rahm talks. Rahm knows this but likes seeing Axelrod squirm. Axelrod ends up putting the core in the inside pocket of his Brooks Brothers blazer, and forgets it there until his housekeeper picks it up off a chair back to bring it to the cleaners.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:10 PM on August 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


Barack is cool ≠ Barack has this ugly-ass coffee table in his office.

Barack is, indeed, cool. But Barack has never given any indication that he has any sense of style, at all. It is, indeed, impressive that his level of cool is so high that people forget that he is also a giant dork.
posted by The World Famous at 1:10 PM on August 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm having serious cognitive dissonance here. Barack is cool ≠ Barack has this ugly-ass coffee table in his office. There must be some explanation.

If Obama freely chose to wear these jeans, any lapse in taste is possible.

Honeycrisp are too bland, easy and sweet. Macs or Galas are a little feistier.
posted by maudlin at 1:12 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does anyone else think the Oval Office would be a pretty creepy room to be alone in...even if you were POTUS?
posted by dry white toast at 1:20 PM on August 13, 2012


I don't want to be hyperbolic, but you Honeycrisp lovers are the cause of all of the world's problems. Honeycrisps are barely even apples, they're just sugar suspension in apple form. You want something a bit sweet, go Gala. Tart, maybe a Jonagold (Granny Smiths are best for baking).
posted by Chrysostom at 1:26 PM on August 13, 2012


Ooh! Ooh! Idea! Ghastly Coffee Table + Resolute Desk slashfic. COME ON GUYS WE CAN DO THIS


" I may be new but I not worthless." The coffee table thought as it was was laid onto the new Oval Office rug. " my name is Coffee Table and I am not ugly, I am well made from sustainable sources and do everything I can to support objects on top of me." the door clicked shut as the delivery men left the room. " I am coffee table" it thought to itself. "and I will perform my duty."

" and what, exactly are they letting in here?" a rough leathery voice came from the window, a voice regal and dripping oil soap and no nail construction. It was the Resolute Desk, plump and proud and looking all the word like it was just polished yesterday.

Coffee table remained firm, polite, unflinching.

" I am coffee table. I am new."

" I can clearly see that." Desk rarumphed to itself and went back to resolutely ignoring everything in the room.
posted by The Whelk at 1:35 PM on August 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Coffee table remained firm, polite, unflinching.

Resolute, even.
posted by The World Famous at 1:38 PM on August 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


Rahm doesn't give a shit, it is simply a power play to get up inside your head . . . He doesn't care about the core, he just hands it to whatever secret service agent is handy.

Rahm eats the core. That's when you know you're fucked.
posted by The Bellman at 1:38 PM on August 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


That coffee table just cost Obama my vote.
posted by brundlefly at 1:38 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Apples are the new flowers. Many hotels have replaced fresh flowers at the front desk with a bowl of apples. It cheaper and lasts longer.
posted by iviken at 1:38 PM on August 13, 2012


Then again, Romney hasn't provided any details about his coffee table, so it's hard to make that decision...
posted by brundlefly at 1:41 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney'll show you the table from the last few years when he knew he might be running for President but the ones before that are off limits.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:42 PM on August 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


... but you better believe they're awesome, or at least not shameful!
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:43 PM on August 13, 2012


Coffee tables are against Romney's religion, duh.
posted by The World Famous at 1:47 PM on August 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Then again, Romney hasn't provided any details about his coffee table, so it's hard to make that decision...

We've already shown you people all the furniture you're going to see.
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:49 PM on August 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm just going to do a find and replace in Jane Eyre and replace Mr. Rochester with " Resolute Desk" .
posted by The Whelk at 1:51 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


The thing that was most prominent to me is that the POTUS doesn't have a computer on his desk. My computer was down one day last week and I literally couldn't get anything done. So I'm all, what the hell does he do all day, anyway? How does he work??
posted by mudpuppie at 2:11 PM on August 13, 2012


Coffee tables are against Romney's religion, duh.

At my house we call it a Postum table, just to be safe.
posted by Doleful Creature at 2:11 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh! I know that one mudpuppie, the OO is mostly for show, for press events, meetings where you want to intimidate or confer, it's a ceremonial office, not a working one. There is an actual office down the hall with family photos and computers and the like, but I also always imagined the POTUS is more or less constantly on the move and issues work orders and directives from there.
posted by The Whelk at 2:13 PM on August 13, 2012


He does do actual work, then? Like, at a desk? With his hands?

For some reason that makes me feel a helluva lot better about my own life.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:18 PM on August 13, 2012


Well for values of work and hands, as far as I can tell high level multi billion dollar management and admin jobs are like 90% tense phone conversations.
posted by The Whelk at 2:19 PM on August 13, 2012


Yeah, POTUS has a Presidential Study, which is kind of cramped and non-bling.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:20 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know at least one White House staffer must be reading this thread. Come on, you can do a lot to salvage this campaign by popping in to give us the lowdown on the coffee table. Don't just leave us sitting here thinking he likes it. Maybe his kids' board games wouldn't fit on the other one? Joe spilled his beer on the other one and ruined the finish? Something? Anything?
posted by HotToddy at 2:24 PM on August 13, 2012


Why is the lav in the presidential study marked "500"?
posted by HotToddy at 2:26 PM on August 13, 2012


It was the desk he wrote his first approved peice of legislatation on so now he inks it's lucky and takes it everywhere.
posted by The Whelk at 2:26 PM on August 13, 2012


In my dreams, Obama occasionally offers the apples to Boehner.

"Do you like Apples, Representative Boehner?"

"Yes, I do, Mr. President."

"Well, Obamacare is still a thing and I made that happen. How do you like those apples?"
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:33 PM on August 13, 2012 [20 favorites]


Burhanistan: "Yeah, POTUS has a Presidential Study, which is kind of cramped and non-bling."

Huh. I didn't expect to see a CRT television.
posted by brundlefly at 2:34 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Romney hasn't provided any details about his coffee table, so it's hard to make that decision.

Romney will chop the legs off the coffee table and insist that its still at the same height as before and besides the table top was the thing doing all the work anyways.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:35 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, no, the coffee table is just the right height.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:37 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


It wasn't there in 2010 but the apples were.

also A big bowl of fresh apples on the coffee table, something of an Obama family tradition, has proved hugely popular with visitors, although the president still keeps M&Ms handy for kids.

I think the table was a gift from a quarry state. Possibly even the cutters from Breaking Away.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:37 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Silly people. That's not a coffee table. It's a 12 dimensional chess board.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:39 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a 12 dimensional cheese board.

FTFY
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:03 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Clinton was no great shakes when it came to personal style, either.
Carter wasn't exactly angling for the cover of Gentleman's Quarterly, himself.
And LBJ? I suppose he had a certain flair, if you're a fan of Hee-Haw chic.

I guess what I'm saying is: Get your shit together, Dems! It's been a looong time since the days of Camelot.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:04 PM on August 13, 2012


I'm just going to do a find and replace in Jane Eyre and replace Mr. Rochester with " Resolute Desk" .

Reader, I sat at him.
posted by maryr at 3:04 PM on August 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Well hell. I like the coffee table.
posted by librarylis at 3:19 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I remember a similar photo series back in the 80's with the gargantuan ivy on the mantel over the fireplace, over the course of three presidents or somesuch. Made me happy to see that it's still guarding the fireplace, even as the apples get top billing.
posted by honey badger at 3:45 PM on August 13, 2012


With those couches and that coffee table, you wouldn't have to photoshop very much about #28 to make it look like a picture of my friends and I playing D&D in high school.
posted by "But who are the Chefs?" at 4:19 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


For all you apple nerds, here is a chart of all the apple varieties.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:24 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


That is not a chart of all the apple varieties, because it is missing the Opal, the apple before which all other apples hang their heads in shame.
posted by HotToddy at 5:06 PM on August 13, 2012


It's so much easier to take you people arguing about apples if I pretend you're talking about Pokemon.
posted by The Whelk at 5:10 PM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's so much easier to take you people arguing about apples if I pretend you're talking about Pokemon.

I'm giving serious consideration to applying that method to everything I hear and read about the U.S. Presidential election from here on out.
posted by The World Famous at 5:13 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Those are honeycrisps only if those photos all were taken during the months of November and December.

'Cause honeycrisps bruise easily and store poorly and must be consumed close to harvest time.
posted by notyou at 5:22 PM on August 13, 2012


I love the photo of the two children lining up the apples on opposite sides of the coffee table. The innocence. The joy of play. They had no idea about the privilege of being in one of the most important rooms in the world. "Mommy. Daddy. That man is really nice. We liked the apples on his table."
posted by ericb at 6:13 PM on August 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Paintings. How do you hang them on round walls?
posted by ifandonlyif at 6:17 PM on August 13, 2012


Two nails or string.
posted by maryr at 6:29 PM on August 13, 2012


I believe that bowl was the work of my old friend and respected wood artist George Peterson. His web site, The Circle Factory.
posted by klinefelter at 7:13 PM on August 13, 2012


I love the fact that there are hundreds of rotting apples out there in the world, rotting on people's shelves as souvenirs: "You'll never guess where I got this apple!"

Also, #1 is just so charming. If my family ever got invited to the Oval Office, that's exactly what my kids would be doing.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:52 PM on August 13, 2012


When I worked at a secure environment, it WAS surreal to not have laptops or phones. It was refreshing in some ways but totally inefficient in others.
posted by k8t at 9:25 PM on August 13, 2012


Wasn't it a big deal when Obama was told he couldn't keep his Blackberry?
posted by maryr at 9:41 PM on August 13, 2012


They gave him a secured BlackBerry after some back and forth.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:50 PM on August 13, 2012


Oops, I meant a secured Windows Mobile device. That's like insult to the CRT TV injury.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:52 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dad jeans, shirt tucked into sweatpants, and the ugliest coffee table on the world. Of course he also insists on using a blackberry.
posted by The World Famous at 11:21 PM on August 13, 2012


Heh. Are those Cameo apples?
posted by MuffinMan at 1:59 AM on August 14, 2012


The World Famous: "Dad jeans, shirt tucked into sweatpants, and the ugliest coffee table on the world. Of course he also insists on using a blackberry."

They're pretty standard still for government workers.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:06 AM on August 14, 2012


"The flavour is fairly bland, with a hint of pear - similar to Red Delicious but with less intensity. It is a bit crisper than Red Delicious too, but still fairly soft." (from MuffinMan's Cameo link.)

Of course they'd be uniform boring apples in such a unform boring room. The white house public spaces seem to be filled with empty space and what I call "funeral home furniture". Why not make it a much more interesting and personal space?

And I'd love to see an interesting mix of heirloom American apple varieties in there, maybe some great local Virginia apples like Spitzenburgs or Winesaps, or Thomas Jefferson's favorite, the Newtown Pippen.
posted by thefool at 7:12 AM on August 14, 2012


You know who else keeps a bowl of apples at hand?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:24 PM on August 14, 2012


Oh, these are great. I love in #29 it's like he just glamoured Susan Collins into the DADT repeal. And...who's that hottie in #34?

Barack is, indeed, cool. But Barack has never given any indication that he has any sense of style, at all.

Uh, hello? #21: Under Armour zip-up jacket? 'Round my parts, that's the pinnacle of style. No, I am not kidding.
posted by psoas at 10:31 AM on August 15, 2012


Uh, hello? #21: Under Armour zip-up jacket? 'Round my parts, that's the pinnacle of style. No, I am not kidding.

It only looks like he's wearing that because he's standing next to Sofia Vergara and the radiance of her awesomeness is reflecting off of the bedazzled fanny pack he's wearing.
posted by The World Famous at 10:38 AM on August 15, 2012


And...who's that hottie in #34?

That's Jon Favreau. No, the other one. His speechwriter.
posted by Etrigan at 12:49 PM on August 15, 2012




> Young Barack Obama's Genuinely Hilarious Self-Parody

Is indeed pretty hilarious and worthy of a separate post. He had me at "first Jewish".
posted by Burhanistan at 11:03 AM on August 23, 2012


worthy of a separate post.

Go for it.
posted by homunculus at 11:40 AM on August 23, 2012


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