Oval and Out
August 31, 2010 9:13 AM   Subscribe

A New Look for the Oval Office Obama makes his mark on the First Office. It is a different look than the office of George W. Bush and the presidents before him. And yes, the rug is gone (previously).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (168 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think I liked it better with more blue accents. But hey, at least it's not Ford's decor: "Pale gold rug with blue florettes; pumpkin drapes with gold curtains".
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:15 AM on August 31, 2010


That rug really tied the room together.
posted by mazola at 9:15 AM on August 31, 2010 [26 favorites]


ThePinkSuperhero: "Obama makes his mark on the First Office"

I see what you did there.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:16 AM on August 31, 2010


The worst White House Design was under the Eisenhowers. it looked like aliens trying to re-create a B&B for their human Zoo.
posted by The Whelk at 9:17 AM on August 31, 2010 [8 favorites]


Clinton, what the fuck were you thinking?
posted by Plutor at 9:19 AM on August 31, 2010 [10 favorites]


Gah! It's the ghost of Ethan Allen Yet To Be!
posted by The Whelk at 9:21 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like the Clinton office. Not so much the red striped couch, but the blue carpet and yellow drapes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:21 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


"The Welfare of Each of Us is Dependent Fundamentally Upon the Welfare of All of Us," President Theodore Roosevelt

I've never heard this quote before (despite espousing the sentiment myself many times). For that, I thank this rug.

Also: I've never understood why the doors into the Oval Office have to be camouflaged. Preventing the escape of your co-negotiator?
posted by DU at 9:21 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


"The makeover was not done at taxpayer expense; the White House said the costs were covered by the White House Historical Association, a nonprofit group, through a contribution from the committee that paid for Mr. Obama’s inauguration."

But the economy is so terrible, does even this send the right message?? Couldn't they have just smeared ashes all over the walls and just laid down a picnic blanket?
posted by hermitosis at 9:21 AM on August 31, 2010 [14 favorites]


I love how clean the desk is: phone, intercom, sticky notes. Chairs to the side rather than across. This is the desk of someone who gets stuff done. I need to get all this crap off my desk...
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:21 AM on August 31, 2010


The Clinton office is gangsta.
posted by hermitosis at 9:22 AM on August 31, 2010


Needs more color. They really just put the stripes from the old rug on the walls.
posted by smackfu at 9:23 AM on August 31, 2010


This is simultaneously too Socialist and not Socialist enough!
posted by Artw at 9:23 AM on August 31, 2010 [18 favorites]


It's so classic Jimmy Carter that he just used what was already there. No fancy new rug for him, by gum.
posted by padraigin at 9:23 AM on August 31, 2010 [13 favorites]


This was just featured on Snopes where Your Angry Relatives confused pictures of Presidents at press conferences with the Oval office. I'm not saying this is your angle, TPS, just where I saw it first.

The Whelk: "The worst White House Design was under the Eisenhowers." You are wrong. Please check out Bill Clinton's Oval Office in that snopes link above. Good god.
posted by boo_radley at 9:23 AM on August 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


But the economy is so terrible, does even this send the right message??

Commenters all over the internet are already bitching. People, if we all stop spending, that's not going to help things. Those with money (like the President) should go ahead. And buy me something while you're at it...
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:24 AM on August 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


The Clinton office is gangsta.
If the gansta lives in a trailer park.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:24 AM on August 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


That wallpaper! Those couches

It… it looks like the "continental breakfast" area of a Holiday Inn.
posted by wreckingball at 9:24 AM on August 31, 2010 [7 favorites]


The only justification for that Clinton Couch is if it is literally made of peppermint.
posted by The Whelk at 9:25 AM on August 31, 2010 [27 favorites]


Why, I can practically smell the bland through my computer screen!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:25 AM on August 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


The Johnson Oval Office in 1964, temporarily using the final Kennedy rug and curtains but with LBJ's desk—built for him by the Senate cabinet shop...

Oh FFS, they have free healthcare AND a dedicated cabinetmaker?
posted by DU at 9:25 AM on August 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yeah, all of the couches from the past half-century look like they were picked up at a sale at The Brick.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:25 AM on August 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


I love how clean the desk is... This is the desk of someone who gets stuff done.

This is the desk of someone whose desk is about to be photographed for the New York Times.
posted by hermitosis at 9:25 AM on August 31, 2010 [61 favorites]


Elegant. Very understated and carefully thought through and modern, like the President himself. I particularly like the quotations on the new rug, and the sources.

George W may have loved his sunburst rug, but it reminded me too much of the Sun King, Louis XIV. (George W is a good match for the Sun King's most famous alleged quote, too -- "L'État, c'est moi.")
posted by bearwife at 9:25 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


The only justification for that Clinton Couch is if it is literally made of peppermint.

It also has a certain Champagne Room vibe to it.
posted by Fizz at 9:26 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


GWB seems to have stolen his look for the office almost directly from Reagan. Colors, furniture. Even down to the sunburst rug pattern. That's kind of interesting.
posted by penduluum at 9:26 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did George W. Bush bring his dad's sofas into his Oval Office? That's got to be a metaphor for something.
posted by oinopaponton at 9:26 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


It is a different look than the office of George W. Bush and the presidents before him.

Aren't they all "different looks"?
posted by outlandishmarxist at 9:28 AM on August 31, 2010


Cut me some slack.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:29 AM on August 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


I rather liked the decor Bush had. I am not sure about Obama's redo, it looks a little too upscale-rec-room for me. Maybe it's all the caramel colored upholstery.
posted by contessa at 9:30 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


OOL--Bush finally gets the Oval Office just the way he wants it
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 9:30 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Obama reupholstered Mr. Bush’s two mahogany chairs and kept the desk, called the Resolute, that every chief executive since Rutherford B. Hayes — with the exception of Johnson, Nixon and Ford — has used.

Practically, does that have anything to do with having to slip recording equipment into the desk?
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 9:30 AM on August 31, 2010


And yes, the rug is gone.

That's strange -- what does he pray on?
posted by escabeche at 9:32 AM on August 31, 2010 [29 favorites]


Sure is a lot of brown in that office, if you know what I'm saying
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:32 AM on August 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


An empty desk is not the desk of someone who gets stuff done. It's the desk of someone who delegates everything that lands on their desk. This guy is getting stuff done. Thumbed books on the desk. Wire tangle underneath.
posted by DU at 9:32 AM on August 31, 2010


This was just featured on Snopes where Your Angry Relatives confused pictures of Presidents at press conferences with the Oval office.

I count myself blessed that I have no Angry Relatives who send me stuff like that.
posted by octothorpe at 9:34 AM on August 31, 2010


I love that the desk has a name ("The Resolute"). I'm going to name my desk too...I shall call it...The Hesperus.
posted by jquinby at 9:35 AM on August 31, 2010 [8 favorites]


My desk is called The Bastard.
posted by The Whelk at 9:36 AM on August 31, 2010 [9 favorites]


I wonder where the old sunburst rug went. Do people fight over this stuff? I imagine the rug in the rumpus room of Skull-and-Bones, for some reason....
posted by umberto at 9:37 AM on August 31, 2010


I like the blocky, modern table.

I have to admit, though, I like H.W. Bush's office the best -- those pale blue drapes are really lovely.
posted by kalimac at 9:40 AM on August 31, 2010


“No Problem of Human Destiny Is Beyond Human Beings” – President John F. Kennedy

Holy shit! So the Bene Geserits got to Kennedy and Obama?
posted by COBRA! at 9:40 AM on August 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


An empty desk is not the desk of someone who gets stuff done. It's the desk of someone who delegates everything that lands on their desk.

I'm taking for granted that the desk is cleared off for the sake of the photo-op. Anyway, I bet Obama has a sweet Macbook Pro stashed in one of those drawers, where all the magic happens.
posted by contessa at 9:40 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


I realize (I think) that any jokes about spending and the economy and sending the right message are jokes, but to be perfectly serious, in regards to the economy, it does send the right message, which is:

If you have money, please, for the love of God, spend it so eventually some of the rest of us might see it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:40 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


I call mine Liza With a Z.
posted by hermitosis at 9:40 AM on August 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


So they're literally re-arranging the deck chairs?

When the Gallup gives the Tea Publicans a ten point lead in the generic congressman poll?

Yeah, that's going to go over real well with the Democratic congressmen facing defeat for voting for health care refortm.
posted by orthogonality at 9:41 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bland. Careful to offend no one.

The office is kind of dull too.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:41 AM on August 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


Hmm. I wonder how long it will be before any president dares adopt the Carter couch arrangement.
posted by washburn at 9:43 AM on August 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


If that Resolute desk doesn't have an ancient map plank hidden inside leading to treasure I'm calling shenanigans.

It's kinda neat that the desk really is named 'the Resolute'.
posted by zennish at 9:43 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'd have put a beanbag chair in there, just to mess with people's heads.

Reason 7,546,324 I will never be President.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:44 AM on August 31, 2010 [8 favorites]


How much fun would it be to give random citizens the chance to design the oval office for a year?

And by fun I mean shit-stormingly hilarious.

I'd remove everything but a sackcloth and a pile of sand. once the President has fully Considered The Sand, they are ready to lead us through the forest
posted by The Whelk at 9:45 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Queue inflammatory Fox News outrage at use of taxpayer money to remodel the oval office (regardless of the fact that Republicans have remodeled it in the past) in 3...2...1...
posted by usonian at 9:47 AM on August 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


The only justification for that Clinton Couch is if it is literally made of peppermint.

It also has a certain Champagne Room vibe to it.


Yes, but unlike the Clinton Oval Office, there is no sex in the Champagne Room.
posted by maqsarian at 9:47 AM on August 31, 2010 [8 favorites]


I love that the desk has a name ("The Resolute").

This is old news. Haven't you seen the National Treasure movies? That's where I learn all my American history.

Frankly, all of these designs seem way too stuffy for me. Though I do kind of like Johnson's Oval Office. It kind of has that "grandpa's den" vibe going on.

If it were me, I'd just slap up the same Queen poster and Kandinsky print I've been toting around with me since I was 17 and be done with it.
posted by phunniemee at 9:48 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd have put a beanbag chair in there, just to mess with people's heads

I'm wondering who the first president will be to have one of these commissioned for the Oval Office.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:48 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


One random citizen's design.

Re: Naming your desk. I make up a new one every time I bash my knee on it. None of them are safe for work.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:49 AM on August 31, 2010 [7 favorites]


In spite of both articles mentioning that the re-do is paid for by the non-profit White House Historical Association (through a contribution from the Presidential Inaugural Committee), I am sure my parents' e-mailboxes will be stuffed by day's end with forwards, each one a variation on a theme of "Obama's Spendin' While We're Starvin'!" or "Obama's Got Socialistic Messages All Up In The Oval Office!"
posted by grabbingsand at 9:50 AM on August 31, 2010


Yes, but unlike the Clinton Oval Office, there is no sex in the Champagne Room.

Only until Boehner gets subpoena power.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:50 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Pale gold rug with blue florettes; pumpkin drapes with gold curtains".

It was the 70s. Whuddyagoando?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:51 AM on August 31, 2010


Clinton, what the fuck were you thinking?

"What? Italian silk goes great with buffalo wings."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:52 AM on August 31, 2010


What? No bearskin rug? What a lost opportunity.

Also, "the Clinton Couch" sounds like a sex position.
posted by brundlefly at 9:56 AM on August 31, 2010 [8 favorites]


or "Obama's Got Socialistic Messages All Up In The Oval Office!"

Yep. Socialistic messages from Republican presidents past. Another fact that will be ignored, or blithely hand-waved away to that knowing refrain "things are different now" that I always hear from my hardcore Christian Conservative Crusader cousin.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:57 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


orthogonality: "When the Gallup gives the Tea Publicans a ten point lead in the generic congressman poll?

Yeah, that's going to go over real well with the Democratic congressmen facing defeat for voting for health care reform.
"

Did you know? When the President redesigns the Oval Office, he has to do it himself, totally alone. Not even his wife can help. He has to move the furniture out all on his own, and tear up the carpet all on his own. And once he starts, he can't do anything else.
posted by boo_radley at 10:01 AM on August 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


I love that the desk has a name ("The Resolute")

It's because it's built out of the wood from a ship of same name.

Funny that the Tea Party has yet to get up in arms about the Un-American Socialist Desk camping out in the Oval Office. Thing was a gift from Queen Victoria! Cast off the oppressor! Buy American made desks!
posted by sonika at 10:01 AM on August 31, 2010


DU wrote: "I've never heard this quote before (despite espousing the sentiment myself many times). For that, I thank this rug."

Yeah, I definitely dig the quotations on the rug, and most especially that one.
posted by wierdo at 10:04 AM on August 31, 2010


I have a question. Why doesn't the oval office have a computer? Doesn't the President get to use a computer?
posted by wabbittwax at 10:06 AM on August 31, 2010


love that the desk has a name ("The Resolute")

You might be interested in this awesome post about it, then.
posted by dersins at 10:08 AM on August 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


needs more blue. and i'm not just sayin' that from a meta standpoint.

the quotations are awesome, though.
posted by lapolla at 10:09 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why doesn't the oval office have a computer? Doesn't the President get to use a computer?

When Bush's staff left, they stole all the O-s from the keyboards.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:09 AM on August 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


If I were president!
posted by Xoebe at 10:11 AM on August 31, 2010


Why doesn't the oval office have a computer? Doesn't the President get to use a computer?

It was removed when Clinton violated the Acceptable Workplace Internet Use Policy.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:14 AM on August 31, 2010 [17 favorites]


Who cares?
posted by dbiedny at 10:15 AM on August 31, 2010


Totally dig LBJ's TV setup.
posted by mazola at 10:17 AM on August 31, 2010


I'm just glad it looks like an actual office now. W and Clinton had it looking like a day-care center or a circus tent or something.
posted by amethysts at 10:20 AM on August 31, 2010


Why doesn't the oval office have a computer? Doesn't the President get to use a computer?

The Oval Office is for show. The President has a study right next door -- that's where he can go and screw around (figuratively and in Clinton's case, literally).
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:20 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


George W is a good match for the Sun King's most famous alleged quote, too -- "L'État, c'est moi."

Funny, I was thinking of a different quote: "Après Moi le Deluge."
posted by mr vino at 10:21 AM on August 31, 2010 [8 favorites]


An empty desk is not the desk of someone who gets stuff done. It's the desk of someone who delegates everything that lands on their desk.

Why doesn't the oval office have a computer? Doesn't the President get to use a computer?

You do know that modern presidents have all had their real, day-to-day private offices in a different spot, right? Where they can leave their papers strewn all over the desk without causing an international incident? Where they can surf the Internet for porn to their hearts' content?
posted by killdevil at 10:22 AM on August 31, 2010


Forget the couch. I want to see pneumatic tubes.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:25 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


The President has a study right next door -- that's where he can go and screw around (figuratively and in Clinton's case, literally).

You do know that modern presidents have all had their real, day-to-day private offices in a different spot, right?

I did not know that. Now I do. I want to see pictures of THAT office.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:25 AM on August 31, 2010


there, found some.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:28 AM on August 31, 2010 [14 favorites]


I actually did prefer the Dubya décor. It's lighter and fresher looking. Not that the Obama redesign is unattractive, but it is a little too neutral for my tastes. I'd have put some red throw pillows or something in there to liven it up a little.
posted by orange swan at 10:29 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Loving all the hacks going off in the comments about how Obama is wasting taxpayer money redecorating. The ignorance of tradition and/or opportunism is astounding.
posted by fusinski at 10:30 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pictures of the President’s Private Study.
posted by ericb at 10:30 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or, what you said!
posted by ericb at 10:31 AM on August 31, 2010


Clinton, what the fuck were you thinking?

America, fuck yeah! dear gods!

Why doesn't the oval office have a computer? Doesn't the President get to use a computer?

There was a concern that a computer in the Oval Office would lead to less productivity and more time on Facebook, just like 50% of office workers.*

* This statistic is purely speculation.

And in regards to the red, white and blue theme: that isn't the sole domain of the United States. Based on flags alone, USA is with Australia, Bermuda*, Burma, Cambodia, Chile, Cook Islands, Costa Rica*, Republic of Croatia*, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, Iceland, North Korea, Laos, and more (* ignoring coat of arms or other details with smaller amounts of other colors). Just sayin'.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:34 AM on August 31, 2010


Those sconces are dreadful. Is there no end to this man's tyranny?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:34 AM on August 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


I did not know that. Now I do. I want to see pictures of THAT office.

There were some pictures of Obama's private office published to the White House Flickr feed back in 2008. It's small, has a computer and is decorated with pictures of his kids.
posted by killdevil at 10:37 AM on August 31, 2010


Oh and RE: the current decor? Eh. It's too homey for a State Office for my likely, and a bit too carefully tasteful genteel but what are you going to do with a national symbol like that? Paint is hot pink and glitter?


well yes OF COURSE but they wont let me re- paint the Lincoln Memorial in life-like colors either so nyah
posted by The Whelk at 10:38 AM on August 31, 2010


Pictures of the President’s Private Study.

Amazing how ancient the 1991 Bush study is. Tiny tube TV, a typewriter, an actual intercom.
posted by smackfu at 10:39 AM on August 31, 2010


Funny, I was thinking of a different quote: "Après Moi le Deluge."

I would love to attribute that to Louis XIV and George W too, but actually Louis XV is the prescient source of that quote.

The other famous French quote that comes to mind when I think of George W's attitude is actually a song title: "Non, je nes regrette rien."
posted by bearwife at 10:40 AM on August 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


There was a concern that a computer in the Oval Office would lead to less productivity and more time on Facebook, just like 50% of office workers.*
"Will President Obama have a personal computer?

... Probably not, if recent history is a guide—neither Bill Clinton nor George W. Bush had a dedicated office computer. On Thursday afternoon, the White House did confirm that Obama will keep a BlackBerry to communicate with a small group of friends and senior staff. Before Obama, presidents had gone without e-mail, both to keep their messages secure from hackers as well as to sidestep the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which requires that all correspondence be archived and eventually made available to the public. (Plus, it helps keep them focused on the job at hand; all documents that arrive at the office, from bills to birthday cards, get filtered by the staff secretary.) Ultimately, it's the president's decision whether he wants a computer, one he makes under advisement from the White House counsel and, most likely, the White House Communication Agency, the Department of Defense office that handles his classified correspondence.

Even if he doesn't have a desktop computer, Obama will still be able to go online now and again while he's on the job. The president has a fleet of computer-equipped staffers sitting directly outside his office doors. President Bush sometimes used the computers of these personal aides to check news reports or sports scores. (He also had a personal computer at his Crawford ranch, which he used for limited personal surfing.)

... During Bush's tenure, the White House's IT department blocked sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and most of MySpace. The ability to comment on blogs was blocked, as was certain content that was deemed offensive. According to David Almacy, who served as Bush's director for Internet and e-communications from 2005-07, only two people had access to the iTunes store during that period: Almacy, who had to upload speeches to the site, and the president's personal aide, so that he could download songs for Bush's iPod."*
posted by ericb at 10:40 AM on August 31, 2010


And on the new color scheme, my only comment is:

Neutral Official: "Your neutralness, it's a beige alert."
Neutral Leader: "If I don't survive, tell my wife: Hello."

posted by killdevil at 10:40 AM on August 31, 2010 [17 favorites]


When Bush's staff left, they stole all the O-s from the keyboards.

It was removed when Clinton violated the Acceptable Workplace Internet Use Policy.

that's where he can go and screw around (figuratively and in Clinton's case, literally).

Jesus Christ, can someone please ban Jay Leno for having multiple sockpuppet accounts?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:41 AM on August 31, 2010 [13 favorites]


I did not know that. Now I do. I want to see pictures of THAT office.

In addition to the Oval Office and the adjoining private study, there's also the Treaty Room in the White House residence, which serves as a personal office.
posted by washburn at 10:44 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Huh. I had no idea about the private study. Dorky question: did that ever show up on West Wing? I only remember Bartlet working in the Oval.
posted by brundlefly at 10:44 AM on August 31, 2010


Office design by the Neutrals of the Neutral Planet.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:46 AM on August 31, 2010


OMG, is that new rug sisal?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:47 AM on August 31, 2010


When Bush's staff left, they stole all the O-s from the keyboards. destroyed the country.

FTFY, Leno.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:48 AM on August 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


as well as to sidestep the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which requires that all correspondence be archived and eventually made available to the public.

Or you can just delete those emails. I thought that was the policy in place last term?
posted by inigo2 at 10:49 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hmm. I wonder how long it will be before any president dares adopt the Carter couch arrangement.

I'm wondering who the first president will be to have one of these commissioned for the Oval Office.


Myself, I wonder when the next time a president will dare to put pictures of FDR and George Washington flanking a damn foreigner. Truman was lucky to have lived before the rise of cable news.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:56 AM on August 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


Needs more bean-bag chairs and velour.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:58 AM on August 31, 2010


Dorky question: did that ever show up on West Wing? I only remember Bartlet working in the Oval.

Don't think so, though you do see Bartlet working in the residence from time to time, but that's not in any kind of "study" but just sort of "I'm in my jammies with national security."
posted by sonika at 11:00 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Huh. I had no idea about the private study. Dorky question: did that ever show up on West Wing? I only remember Bartlet working in the Oval.

And in the Residence, too, occasionally. But no: real life West Wing and TV West Wing do not line up perfectly. The Mural Room on the show is the cabinet room in the real world, Leo's (later CJ's) office is actually a dining room, etc.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:01 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ, can someone please ban Jay Leno for having multiple sockpuppet accounts?


I love ya man, but having read your strip I do not think you want to get into a comedy pissing match on the nets. But yeah, I concede the Clenis is played out [ insert your own joke here, wait: insert? insertion?! ... 10010101001 JOKE-BOT IMPLOSION 0101011100 ]
posted by joe lisboa at 11:04 AM on August 31, 2010


I love ya man, but ... must be the new With all due respect ...
posted by joe lisboa at 11:05 AM on August 31, 2010


Dorky question: did that ever show up on West Wing? I only remember Bartlet working in the Oval.

Don't think so, though you do see Bartlet working in the residence from time to time, but that's not in any kind of "study" but just sort of "I'm in my jammies with national security."


Seems to me they placed the Chief of Staff's office where the presidential study is located and, yeah Bartlet did all of his official business in the Oval office or was sometimes seen in the Treaty room and the bedroom in the residence.
posted by wabbittwax at 11:14 AM on August 31, 2010


The Johnson Oval Office in 1964, temporarily using the final Kennedy rug and curtains but with LBJ's desk—built for him by the Senate cabinet shop...

Oh FFS, they have free healthcare AND a dedicated cabinetmaker?


Yep! The Senate cabinetshop has a long history, and actually still makes a lot of sense. Furniture is rotated and passed down through many generations of senators. Rather than discard nice pieces of hardwood furniture, the cabinetmakers sand, restore, and refinish them. Many of the items that they work on have some level of historic value as well.

I believe they also employ a guy who does nothing but make picture frames. The capitol complex is huge, and the architect employs a maintenance staff that is almost completely self-sufficient. It cuts down on waste, and provides steady, local employment. If there's demand for it, why not employ a cabinetmaker?

Compared to almost every other country on the planet (first-world and otherwise), the Capitol and White house are incredibly austere. Many of the ambassadors in DC have more impressive offices than our own political officials. (I got a glimpse into the Indonesian ambassador's office during their open house earlier this year. It's the sort of office where'd you expect there to be a shark tank under the floor -- outright intimidating. It's also got a pipe organ inside!)
posted by schmod at 11:15 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm still waiting for this.
posted by misha at 11:17 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pictures of the President’s Private Study.

LBJ had three TVs in there too. He was like the nation's grandpa-- always staring at the TV when he wasn't yelling to you while he was taking a shit.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:18 AM on August 31, 2010 [7 favorites]


In addition to the Oval Office and the adjoining private study, there's also the Treaty Room in the White House residence, which serves as a personal office.

Look! A computer! BURN IT.
posted by m@f at 11:25 AM on August 31, 2010


I have to admit, though, I like H.W. Bush's office the best -- those pale blue drapes are really lovely.

Me too. And sadly, I even like W's design better than Obama's. It's so brown.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:27 AM on August 31, 2010


I'm sure there are teabaggers right now screaming, "See?!? Welfare state! Welfare state!" based on that Kennedy quote.

Context - the most under appreciated treasure of the real world.
posted by yeloson at 11:28 AM on August 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


If I was president I would have one of those treadmill desks forever set to sprint. Behind me would be a screen , a projector would show a looping video of a jaguar forever running right towards the camera. Chasing me.

I would have a photometer set on the roof of the white house. Powerful full spectrum lamps would create an amount of light identical to the outside world.

The space would be dominated by a large tank of saline water heated to 98.6 degrees kept absolutely dark and silent. That's where I'd do my thinking and enter a state not so different from your sleep.

"Greetings Mr. Medevev" my voice would boom with such a rich resonance that you would wonder whether the words emerged from inside him. He would reply in a thick accent "an interesting garb you have chosen" He would of course be refering to the fact that I was wearing only a weighted vest and shin guards. Then we would probably just listen to REM records for a while and really hash things out.
posted by I Foody at 11:31 AM on August 31, 2010 [24 favorites]


The only justification for that Clinton Couch is if it is literally made of peppermint.

It also has a certain Champagne Room vibe to it.

Yes, but unlike the Clinton Oval Office, there is no sex in the Champagne Room.


See, here's the problem with that couch idea: even if a Clinton couch was made of solid peppermint candy, are you going to risk licking it?
posted by roystgnr at 11:34 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


misha: Close enough.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:37 AM on August 31, 2010


I want to see pictures of the real "Kennedy Room," as seen in Mars Attacks!
posted by brundlefly at 11:38 AM on August 31, 2010


Oh no! Obama was just a red herring—the real crypto-Muslim was President Taft!
posted by ocherdraco at 11:40 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's nice and neutral, but it looks like anybody's family room. The first thing I thought when I saw it was that it looked like a generic furniture showroom display. That being said, it is rather calm and subdued, and slightly casual, which is fitting I guess. I prefer this laid back look to some of the previous presidents' tacky and over-the-top AMERICA, HOME OF THE FREE crap.
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:52 AM on August 31, 2010


Via the USA Today Link: New rug produced and donated by a Michigan-based business and paid for by the non-profit White House Historical Association through a contribution from the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Oh yes! Thanks Mr. President for stimulating the Michigan Economy. A little will go a long way.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 11:53 AM on August 31, 2010


Taft was a terror baby.
posted by Omon Ra at 12:03 PM on August 31, 2010


In addition to the Oval Office and the adjoining private study, there's also the Treaty Room in the White House residence, which serves as a personal office.

That image of Bush leaning back with his feet hoisted up on the desktop reminds me of everything I hate about that bastard.
posted by blucevalo at 12:05 PM on August 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


Clinton's! Oh my. That's the ninetiesest thing I've ever seen.
posted by Neofelis at 12:11 PM on August 31, 2010


having read your strip I do not think you want to get into a comedy pissing match on the nets. But yeah, I concede the Clenis is played out

I guess you were trying to return an ego bruise there or something, but honestly I'm just confused. I said your comment wasn't funny and you agree with me. Ummm... hell of a "match" there, Roger Federer.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:13 PM on August 31, 2010


Sorry, but nothing is remotely funny about didacticism (of any ideology), is all, especially in comic strip form. Keep up the good fight, though.

Besides, the impeachment was twelve years ago. Studies have shown that Leno is approximately six years behind the times.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:24 PM on August 31, 2010


there is really zero need to go to people's profiles to insult them.

when we could all be happily insulting that fake-ass velvet fabric which is, in my opinion, the worst upholstery fabric ever. Every time you sit on it you leave an ass print.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:32 PM on August 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


The Speech President Obama Should Give about the Iraq War (But Won’t)
posted by homunculus at 12:40 PM on August 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


They need to dig this Lyndon Johnson-era chair out of storage.
posted by Kabanos at 12:41 PM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


You assume incorrectly, young rope-rider. I was familiar with his work long before this thread. Hell, I discovered it because he linked (several times, if memory serves) to strips he had drawn in the past. I have been here long enough to become familiar with people and their work before they contribute to a thread.

But your general point is absolutely spot-on, even though it does not apply here.

And yes, fake-ass velvet is not my thing.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:44 PM on August 31, 2010


Omens for Tonight's Speech
posted by homunculus at 12:44 PM on August 31, 2010


Every time you sit on it you leave an ass print.
posted by the young rope-rider


Feature, not a bug. How else will we thwart the Russian's assprint scanning technology when entering their secret lairs?

Yes! Won't you sit down Mr. Medvedev! And don't squirm around too much. *narrows eyes shiftily*
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:46 PM on August 31, 2010


"That image of Bush leaning back with his feet hoisted up on the desktop reminds me of everything I hate about that bastard."

Is that the Treaty Table?

I kind of like the new Oval Office decor. Yes it's coloured neutrally, but that's not a bad thing when the room is used for high powered meetings and diplomacy. (But then, I like the Ford-Carter decor too, so maybe my taste is weird.) The worst decor is probably Nixon's, with that deep blue and bright yellow it looks like a movie set. (Probably a black and white movie, since there's so much contrast.) And the next worst is Kennedy's, with the bright red carpet, although he never actually saw it. If you've got powerful people getting together to talk about important things in an atmosphere that's always emotionally charged, the last thing you should probably have is a room design that subliminally encourages extremes.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:55 PM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry, but nothing is remotely funny about didacticism (of any ideology)

I guess that's why the Daily Show struggles for ratings.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:04 PM on August 31, 2010


Is that the Treaty Table?

Yes. Sorry, I should have specified.
posted by blucevalo at 1:38 PM on August 31, 2010


No, you didn't make a mistake or anything. I'm just amazed that he'd put his boots up on a genuine antique.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:39 PM on August 31, 2010


I remember a lot of people were really upset about obama putting his feet up on his desk too. Fairs fair. Neither of the men respect wood.
posted by I Foody at 1:41 PM on August 31, 2010


Is this where I tie this activity to him being a Nazi Muslim Communist Kenyan?
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:45 PM on August 31, 2010


What is it with the couches. Looking at that page, the last time the President of The United States had a decent-looking couch was in 1925.
posted by Authorized User at 1:49 PM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


What is it with the couches. Looking at that page, the last time the President of The United States had a decent-looking couch was in 1925.

I don't know. Obama's at least looks comfy.
posted by wabbittwax at 1:54 PM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I were was somehow President, I'd use that little study for the real work. No antiques in there, just an ordinary desk that could be scratched and stained and worn through use, with a computer on it. Then a big TV and comfy couch in the middle of the room for watching Important Stuff. (Maybe with a videophone thingie installed.) And if there was space maybe a little table at the far end, so the Vice President and I could get drunk and play chess. That would be sweet.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:54 PM on August 31, 2010


You might be interested in this awesome post about it, then.

YE GODS AND LITTLE FISHES.
posted by jquinby at 1:56 PM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


whoa, my quoting got all screwed up.

Thanks for the pointer, dersins.
posted by jquinby at 1:57 PM on August 31, 2010


The comments about Obama's speech tonight remind me that the deaths of millions of innocent people have been caused by the decisions reached in that room over the years.

It's rather macabre, actually.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:35 PM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I guess that's why the Daily Show struggles for ratings.

I was gonna stay out of this now, but Jon Stewart does not take himself seriously. And I guess I should have specified self-important didacticism, but that strikes me as redundant. I am sorry I told a humorist who found me like Leno that I did not appreciate his own humor, either, with which I was already familiar. Carry on with the couch talk already, jeez.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:37 PM on August 31, 2010


I thought it was pretty weird you called him unfunny based on non MetaFilter work he's done.
posted by smackfu at 2:43 PM on August 31, 2010


I thought it was pretty weird you called him unfunny based on non MetaFilter work he's done.

Can we please drop it? He linked to his work here. His username is the name of his strip, which I have read, LINKED HERE. I referenced it. That is all. If you guys want to die on this hill, be my guest, but I am out. I think the dude is not funny, he thinks I am not funny. Game over, already.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:57 PM on August 31, 2010


Well, if there's a Round 2 of the global financial crisis, every president from now on will be redecorating with stuff they found through Craigslist.
posted by Ritchie at 3:02 PM on August 31, 2010


Are those ashhtrays on the sitting area tables?
posted by zennie at 3:11 PM on August 31, 2010


Oh FFS, they have free healthcare AND a dedicated cabinetmaker?

Members of Congress actually pay into FEHBP, just like other federal employees (until 2014, at which point they will instead be required to use the exchanges set up under health care reform). It's good health insurance, but it's not free.
posted by naoko at 3:20 PM on August 31, 2010


Are those ashtrays on the sitting area tables?

No, I think the answer to that is definitely not, even if the President is still sneaking smokes now and then. This is a pretty good slideshow of what the Oval Office looks like now, and close up it seems clear these are not ashtrays.
posted by bearwife at 3:31 PM on August 31, 2010


that coffee table looks like it came from ikea.
posted by msconduct at 3:53 PM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


msconduct....you beat me to it. That coffee table is horrid!!! Can we GET any more presswood?? It makes the whole thing (which otherwise isn't so awful) look like PC beach condo, circa 1977.


Bleeeeeech!!
posted by pearlybob at 4:16 PM on August 31, 2010


Here's the full text of President Obama's Oval Office address.
posted by homunculus at 5:15 PM on August 31, 2010


Today marks the 100th anniversary of the most ‘radical speech’ an American ex-President has ever delivered.
posted by homunculus at 5:29 PM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I gotta say, all the photos that feature President Obama are pretty much what I expected; utilitarian but comfortable, bland but modern. Just like the man.

Which is exactly why I voted for him. He's not nearly progressive enough for me, but he's done pretty much what he said he would, and his decor, I think, reflects that.

For some odd reason this comforts me despite the aforementioned hatred of some of his policies.
posted by digitalprimate at 5:36 PM on August 31, 2010


Insipid, eom.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 9:04 PM on August 31, 2010


I think I'd like it quite a bit, if the wallpaper were blue.

Quick and dirty PS:

Blue Walls

(current) Yellow Walls
posted by taz at 9:55 PM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think those couches and the coffee table look like they found them down at Discount Furniture Warehouse. Or maybe they were donated by La-Z-Boy.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:22 PM on August 31, 2010


Where DID he get those couches? At least Clinton's don't look freshly delivered from Furniture Warehouse DEALS DEALS DEALS!!! If you must have those (as apparently you must), at least make them interesting.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 6:45 AM on September 1, 2010


OMG I love the blue walls, taz.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:58 AM on September 1, 2010


Nicely done, taz! Major improvement!
posted by contessa at 9:16 AM on September 1, 2010


As Troops Leave Iraq, Why Is Obama Sounding Like A Neocon?
posted by homunculus at 9:29 AM on September 1, 2010


As MetaFilter Discusses Interior Design, Why Is Homunculus Bringing Up Politics?
posted by Plutor at 11:17 AM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


What, really? Because the only reason the Oval Office redesign is being unveiled to the public now is for it be the backdrop for Obama's speech about Iraq. Almost every article about it opens like the first one of this post: "The Oval Office has gotten a makeover. When President Obama addresses the nation on Iraq on Tuesday night, he will do so from newly redecorated digs." The timing is not a coincidence; the Iraq speech has been bundled with the Oval Office redesign to make it more palatable to the public.
posted by homunculus at 12:05 PM on September 1, 2010


Well, maybe that was a clear link in your mind, but I thought you were just posting in the wrong thread.
posted by smackfu at 12:12 PM on September 1, 2010


Well, I don't want to derail the thread if I'm the only one who sees it that way, so I'll bow out. Carry on.
posted by homunculus at 12:42 PM on September 1, 2010


It's like that time we bombed Hiroshima. Truman was wearing a new suit, so it was A-OK by me.
posted by Plutor at 12:53 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


the Iraq speech has been bundled with the Oval Office redesign to make it more palatable to the public.

Or maybe the Oval Office redesign has been bundled with the Iraq speech to make it more palatable to the public.
posted by WalterMitty at 9:57 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


More rug criticism: The Washington Post reports that a quote on the rug is misattributed to MLK instead of Boston abolitionist Theodore Parker.
posted by Frank Grimes at 10:48 AM on September 4, 2010


The Washington Post reports that a quote on the rug is misattributed to MLK instead of Boston abolitionist Theodore Parker.

Ditto for the Lincoln quote.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:01 PM on September 4, 2010


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