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Square knots in the Oval Office
June 20, 2005 7:38 PM   Subscribe

No "beeper violations" or loosened ties in this White House, mister.
posted by digaman (31 comments total)

 
Yes, I know this is a minor NewsFilter FPP, but I'm not trying to blow it up into a huge political point. I did, however, find this little item to be illuminating of how our fearless leader sees himself, despite his just-folks demeanor on camera.
posted by digaman at 7:41 PM on June 20, 2005


While Bush grapples with the limitations of being a lame duck president

Lame duck? Is he?
posted by bonaldi at 7:47 PM on June 20, 2005


Oh, how I wish i could s(h)it on the presiden't couch.
posted by handshake at 7:51 PM on June 20, 2005


Wow. The President likes people to look and act appropriately in the Oval Office. What an asshole.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:05 PM on June 20, 2005


Yes, sitting down, so inappropriate.
posted by bonaldi at 8:06 PM on June 20, 2005


I'm far from the archetypal Bush-basher, but this whole appearance over substance, style over real issues paradigm is SO prevelent in senior manglement and hell, if it's not frustrating.

Doesn't he have a protocol manager making near six figures to worry about this crap? George: let the tie issues go... and try, just try to get ya head around the big picture once more. Kthxbye.
posted by OneOliveShort at 8:09 PM on June 20, 2005


One could express paranoid anti-semitism in the oval office ca. 1971-1973
posted by longsleeves at 8:20 PM on June 20, 2005


What leader in modern history, beside Bush, has publicly scoffed at reading newspaper? This guy knows as much about etiquette at my left pinky toe. Passive aggressive asshole. (Period)
posted by snsranch at 8:24 PM on June 20, 2005


I love living in a time where the biggest concern of the President of the USA is whether or not foreign journalists sully the Oval Office couch, and who is wearing proper neckwear.

He is so lucky to not have to worry about wars and economic issues, like presidents before him.

The man's a buffoon.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:27 PM on June 20, 2005


bonaldi: Yes, sitting down, so inappropriate.

If you are ever called into the Oval Office and not invited to sit, then, yes, sitting down (or "sprawling" as was the case in the article) would be inappropriate. I've been in the chambers of local county judges where people were not invited to sit and therefore stood. It's a little formal, a little stuffy, and not the atmosphere I'd want to promote. But it seems well within the prerogative of the President of the United States, and this relentless nitpicking of every little fucking triviality is petty, and distracts from real issues.

on preview: I love living in a time where the biggest concern of the President of the USA is whether or not foreign journalists sully the Oval Office couch, and who is wearing proper neckwear. He is so lucky to not have to worry about wars and economic issues, like presidents before him.

Are they mutually exclusive? Do you really believe he's the only President to have required certain formalities in the Oval Office?
posted by pardonyou? at 8:33 PM on June 20, 2005


Is there really anything here to debate or discuss? The man is an ass. This we already know. How does this information change how we percieve current events?
posted by snsranch at 8:44 PM on June 20, 2005


If you are ever called into the Oval Office and not invited to sit, then, yes, sitting down (or "sprawling" as was the case in the article) would be inappropriate.

It's not my house, so I'd follow the rules.

At the same time, I don't like leaders to pretend they are royalty. Being annoyed at sound technicians using a couch? Griping about loose ties? Fuck you Bush, we don't have royals over here. You're just another citizen, like it or not. If my neighbor was that way about his house, I'd call him an asshole, too.

Are there more important things to worry about? You bet. Good luck on getting people to notice them, though. Modern news is about entertainment. It ain't entertaining to report on serious issues. Hell, I just saw newscast this week (the day the city of Ramadi was overrun by Iraqi insurgents and American troops were almost completely out of control of that city). The newscast mentioned nothing of that. They did spend 3 minutes of a 30 minute program to cover the story of how they had a father and son team covering the Michael Jackson trial, though.
posted by teece at 8:45 PM on June 20, 2005


Ah, if only he'd been as meticulous about the CIA's the "evidence" for "yellowcake" and other WMDs, or as inflexible about the outing of Valerie Plame, or as vehemently against Karl Rove's smears about John McCain's "mixed race child".

Adam Entous gets upbraided for a loose tie, George Tenet gets a Presidential Medal of Freedom for missing Osama and spuriously finding WMDs.
posted by orthogonality at 8:57 PM on June 20, 2005


Camelot it ain't.
posted by bardic at 9:06 PM on June 20, 2005


The only problem I see is that he's the President. Otherwise everything's okay.
posted by underer at 9:19 PM on June 20, 2005


Dunno, I wouldn't want a zillion people's cellphones going off in my house, and who uses a beeper anymore anyway?
posted by angry modem at 9:33 PM on June 20, 2005


This makes perfect sense to me. Isn't it a tad like respecting the (physical) flag instead of what it stands for?
posted by dreamsign at 9:39 PM on June 20, 2005


What a wonker.
posted by peacay at 9:44 PM on June 20, 2005


It's not my house, so I'd follow the rules.
I agree with your comments teece, but it is your house. It's all of ours. He doesn't own it, he's merely occupying the office, he's a custodian.

The President likes people to look and act appropriately in the Oval Office. What an asshole.
What is appropriate is relative, pardonyou? (Watch someone will argue with me).

I wouldn't disagree with Bush's policies on this basis though (I do on some of course). LBJ was a tremendous asshole, who wouldn't let people use the toilet while he was working, and yet forced people to talk to him while he was using the can.
But he did some very good work on civil rights.
I understand John Wayne was a real prick in person. I still like his movies though. (Some).

History is history. Some folks like sports stats, others obsess over trivia and minutiae of Presidents. Sucks that you can't tell him to go fuck himself though. But he won't be president forever....I think.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:49 PM on June 20, 2005


Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, standing against a wall, stepped forward to peer at the offending sound technicians.

That bit made me laff!

Image Condi peering at you indignantly. She would be like the stuffy old battleaxe Harriet Oleson from Little House on the Prarie.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:14 PM on June 20, 2005


He doesn't own it, he's merely occupying the office, he's a custodian.

He's not even a custodian, just a second generation tenant in that fishbowl, and a less welcome one with every passing day.
posted by paulsc at 10:54 PM on June 20, 2005


Supercillious, fastidious, persnickity yankee-yalie George W. Bush. Whoo-da thunk it?
posted by telstar at 11:06 PM on June 20, 2005


Minor nitpick, but...if you're a sound technician or cameraman at the White House, you have to wear a suit and tie despite having to lug around a bunch of sound or video equipment? And if you don't you get peered at?
posted by alumshubby at 3:44 AM on June 21, 2005


I could care less about his personal life and preferences. He could get a blow-job in the oval office as far as I care. It would not change how I view him. Your personal life, if kept separate, does not change how effective a leader you can be.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:43 AM on June 21, 2005


This makes perfect sense to me. Isn't it a tad like respecting the (physical) flag instead of what it stands for?

Yes, it's exactly the same thing - which means it's innane, selfish, and misguided. The flag is cloth. It is nothing without the idea behind it. Similarly, manners are nothing without respect behind them.

Bush is one of those people who believe that getting called "Sir" actually means something, so he insists on being called Sir. Listen to how he deals with press questions sometime - he refuses to answer them unless he's 'properly' addressed to begin with. It's all tedious, empty bullshit.
posted by odinsdream at 6:24 AM on June 21, 2005


Reminds me of how massah treats the blacks in the South. Do they have to enter through the kitchen too?
posted by nofundy at 6:52 AM on June 21, 2005


Bush isn't a lame duck. Even though he can't run for re-election at the end, he's in the middle of a mandate; a lame duck official is one who has been voted out of his office but who still occupies it in the period between the election and the inauguration of the winner of that election.

There are definitely different dynamics in a president's second term, but since his second-term performance is important to his party's chances in the subsequent election, he doesn't have the total lack of accountability that a true lame-duck official has.
posted by mendel at 9:09 AM on June 21, 2005


Compare and contrast:

After Lincoln became President he scheduled a ride in the Presidential carriage with an old friend from Illinois. Neither man had worn gloves in the days of their former acquaintance, except when it was cold, but it was now the custom in elite Washington society to wear gloves in social situations. Both men, aware of society's dictate, considered beforehand whether to wear gloves or not. Lincoln decided to put his in his pocket and don them only if his friend had his on; his friend decided to wear his, but to remove them if the President wasn't wearing his. When they were seated in the carriage Mr. Lincoln, seeing that his friend wore gloves, slyly began to draw his on, and his friend, seeing that the President wasn't wearing gloves, was as surreptitiously removing his. "Discerning the state of affairs" Mudge writes, "they both burst into a hearty laugh...and were soon talking earnestly together ungloved, and on the old familiar footing.... A good-sized volume" Mudge continues, "might be made of such illustrations of Mr. Lincoln's freedom from the pride of station.... [even] while in the exercise of an official power which shaped the destinies of millions of the human race."
posted by digaman at 10:11 AM on June 21, 2005


Mendel, the period from the mid-term elections to the end of a President's second term is known as the "lame duck session.' Essentially, a President is a lame duck as you defined, simply awaiting the next President to take office. Once he hits that period, Congress drops him like a dirty diaper and starts getting kissing up to who they think will be their party's next big man (Frist and Biden? McCain and Clinton? only the shadow knows).

Just for the record, I said what I said about not caring because I suppose I should give Bush the same sentiment I gave Clinton. Somewhere, deep inside, I knew he was a dick-hole all along.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:13 AM on June 21, 2005


nice one digaman
posted by Smedleyman at 10:20 AM on June 21, 2005


If you are ever called into the Oval Office and not invited to sit, then, yes, sitting down (or "sprawling" as was the case in the article) would be inappropriate.

I don't wait to be invited to sit. Never have, never will, at the Oval Office, or elsewhere. I live in an egalitarian world. In my house, if I have permitted you entry, you are allowed to sit as a natural human courtesy. I expect the same courtesy in return. Anything else makes you an officious asshole.
posted by Chasuk at 10:23 PM on June 21, 2005


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