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Extreme Makeover: Oval Office Edition?

News 2010/09/02 22:00:00
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If you’re like me, the first thing you do when you move into a new house or apartment is gut it. Away go the tacky curtains, the lame wallpaper, the ugly paint and any grandma furniture the previous tenants left behind.

But when you’re the president and the room you’re doing an extreme makeover on is the Oval Office, well, everyone has an opinion.

While the First Family was on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard last week, a team of designers came in and gave the most famous office in the world a fresh coat of paint.

Why President Obama waited 18 months to re-arrange the furniture is anyone’s guess, which might explain why New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd slammed the ill-conceived timing, writing “Obama clearly needs a reminder about what really counts as the Democrats prepare to get their clocks cleaned.”

Designers added a new mica custom coffee table surrounded by coffee-colored sofas that an interior designer told The Washington Post were too casual and lacked regard for “history and tradition.” They hung hand-painted gold striped wallpaper on the formerly eggshell-colored walls. And the piece de resistance? A rug embroidered with quotes that have meaning for the President from Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, as well as past presidents Lincoln and both Roosevelts.

Designers replaced a rug hand-picked by former first lady Laura Bush, one that former president Bill Clinton famously commented on during a January 2009 visit to his old digs, when he exclaimed “I love this rug!”

The White House did its best to make sure the new materials were all American made, but it's not like Obama is some design diva.

The Oval Office facelift is a presidential tradition and the funds for it came from a contribution from the Presidential Inaugural Committee to the White House Historical Association, not taxpayers' pockets. The White House stressed that the changes were minimal and comparable to what former presidents George W. Bush and Clinton spent on their makeovers.

What Do You Think of the Oval Office's New Decor?
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Top Opinion

  • KCurtis 2010/09/03 00:05:33
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    KCurtis
    +13
    It's like rearranging the lounge chairs on the Titanic.

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  • jay 2010/11/06 14:42:35
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    jay
    i agree most people do renovate a new apartment or house,but then again most people don't use American tax money to do it !
  • RK 2010/09/14 16:03:23
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    RK
    The new decor of the Oval Office is an Obama-SLAP to the dignity of the Oval Office and a restraint ( more of a total omission of time-honored respect for the historicity) of the Oval Office. The new decor is blah and does not give the Oval Office the visual importance it once commanded! It is too blah and lacks Presidential quality!
  • ptete in left I trust ~ POT... 2010/09/07 14:06:04
    It looks great!
    ptete in left I trust ~ POTC**FUKU2**
    AT NOT COST TO THE TAXPAYERS. So what is the problem? No one complains about the CEOs of corporations redecorating their offices do they?
  • hmjtrj-searching for truth 2010/09/05 16:39:18
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    hmjtrj-searching for truth
    But they all do it. It is very...............beige.
  • lady_c5_loadmaster 2010/09/05 16:03:06
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    lady_c5_loadmaster
    +1
    I think it looks more like a casual living room than the main seat of our government. The worst thing is they could not even get the quotes on the rug attributed to the right people. One of the quotes from King and one from Lincoln are really attributed to a man named Parker (I think I have that right) prior to the Civil War.
  • Freebird 2010/09/05 14:57:12
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    Freebird
    +1
    I really don't care at this point. Obama won't be there much longer.
  • safari 2010/09/05 07:46:26
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    safari
    +1
    Wrong time and what's up with all of those dessert colors? Baghdad beige every where! And here is the clincher - and I wonder how much money he wasted on this - the big mackin Baghdad beige rug that has quotes on the border of it - well one of them is attributed to King when it wasn't a King quote! Can't this moron do anything right? Oval Office Rug Gets History Wrong! Do You Think Obama Will Keep It Or Get Rid Of It? http://www.sodahead.com/unite...
  • JamesCampbell 2010/09/03 21:08:55
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    JamesCampbell
    every President does this, but Obama could have waited....he knew it would come up

    This reminds me of Gov Patterson here in NY paying $5,000 for 2 rugs! yea 2 rugs...that was th ebeginning of the end for him
  • MBTOMP 2010/09/03 20:43:21
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    MBTOMP
    +1
    I really don't care for the bars on the walls. It reminds me of my tax bill :-)
  • Tiny 2010/09/03 20:17:12
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    Tiny
    +1
    perhaps he knows his days in that cushy government job are numbered, so is trying to milk every dime from the rest of us taxpayers that he can before the bell tolls in 2012.
  • MOM - LOL@Silly.St.Sarah.of... 2010/09/03 20:02:27
    It looks great!
    MOM - LOL@Silly.St.Sarah.of.Wasilly
    +2
    It looks great, more comfortable, less stodgy than the previous digs. The haters will find everything wrong with it, regardless.
  • Hawkeye 2010/09/03 19:55:59
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    Hawkeye
    +1
    "No matter what he does right or wrong, these people are going to say something negative about...."

    When this guy ever does something right,, somebody PLEASE,, let me know...

    Even the LEFT is getting tired of this guy's "Marie Antoinette" attitude.. Bush MIGHT have taken more days off at his CRAWFORD ranch during his two terms but THIS guy and his Wife spend more on ONE vacation then HE did for all that..

    THIS clown needs to put away his Golf Clubs and at least ACT like his,, and his Party's,, Destruction of the economy has had SOME effect of him like it has anyone else..

    Instead.. HE,, and his FAMILY,, are treating their positions as FIRST FAMILY,, as though they have WON the LOTTERY and can't move FAST enough to SPEND their newfound wealth..
  • lady_c5... Hawkeye 2010/09/05 16:09:37
    lady_c5_loadmaster
    +1
    At least when Bush took his vacations at Crawford he was at home and not spending all that money on 70 hotel rooms. The majority of the times he went there the press always stated it was a "working vacation" unlike Obama where the press stated "vacation interupted by a phone call."
  • connie (in name only) BN-0 2010/09/03 19:50:49
    It looks great!
    connie (in name only) BN-0
    +1
    And no taxpayer dollars were used :)
  • marylou connie ... 2010/09/03 22:39:12
    marylou
    +1
    Who paid for his living space and expenses while this work was being done in OBAMA"S quarters and OVAL OFFICE?

    He chose his 6th vacation at taxpayer expense at pricey Martha's Vineyard
    paid for on taxpayer dime!

    He could have moved into Blair House, but he is not interested in Americans and their plight.

    Deal with it. He DOES not care about you or me.
    He's living high on the hog off the taxpayer dime and he will continue to do it,
    with no remorse. This man believes, you owe him!
  • connie ... marylou 2010/09/04 17:34:54
  • rabbit 2010/09/03 19:09:10 (edited)
    It looks great!
    rabbit
    +2
    No matter what he does right or wrong, these people are going to say something negative about it....
  • marylou rabbit 2010/09/04 19:38:27
    marylou
    I have a question, since you went off topic.

    We know only the destruction he has caused to our freedoms and the Constitution.
    What can you possibly come up with to make amends for that ever?
    Can you honestly tell me you are better off today??
    Query your friends and neighbors and just ask them, conversationally with no mention of Obama,
    "Do you think you are better off today than last year?" Then come talk to me!
    Unless of course, you are a govt. worker on the taxpayer dole who has not felt the pain!
  • lady_c5... marylou 2010/09/05 16:16:12
    lady_c5_loadmaster
    I do not care for the man's politics but I wish everyone would stop think government employees make big bucks. Only the top people in Washington appointed by Obama are really getting the top dollars. My husband is getting a small retirement from the Air Force, I am receiving a small retirement after 25 years civil service and just last month I started getting my retirement for the AF Reserve. Even with these 3 retirement checks my daughters qualify for free meals at school because we don't make enough money.
  • marylou lady_c5... 2010/09/06 05:24:33
    marylou
    Sorry, but it is common knowledge that salaries of Govt. workers are much more than the private sector. That is fact.

    I am truly sorry that you are struggling. Imagine, if you can't get by with three retirement checks, what the rest of the private sector is doing with one retirement check or SS.

    I don't honestly intend to make light of, or belittle your situation, but check with your school and you will find that the majority of students are getting free breakfast / lunch,despite the fact that most of those families have one or two parents working!

    That, in itself, should convince you that you are probably right "not to care for the man's politics".

    I would like to thank your husband for his service and as an American want him to know, that I am truly grateful to him for his courage and sacrifice.

    I agree that our servicemen are sorely underpaid and that is absolutely obscene.
    I was appalled when I heard recently that there was talk of cutting military pay.

    Thank you and best wishes.
  • lady_c5... rabbit 2010/09/05 16:11:39
    lady_c5_loadmaster
    +1
    What has he done right so I can try and find something positive to say?
  • marylou5 lady_c5... 2010/10/03 03:22:28 (edited)
    marylou5
    +1
    I'm thinking........................ nothing comes to mind, sorry!


    edit: clarity!
  • jay rabbit 2010/11/06 14:45:48
    jay
    +2
    your an idiot! wake up, its not about black or white anymore. what has obama done ?
  • rabbit jay 2010/11/08 16:48:59
    rabbit
    this story is about the remodel that EVERY president does. no one said anything about black or white, YOU IDIOT......
  • jay rabbit 2010/11/11 01:29:55
    jay
    first of all i was married 17 years to a black women, so there was no racial remark on my side, I just think there are much more pressing issues and better ways to spend tax dollars at this time. sorry if you were offended by my comment
  • rabbit jay 2010/11/11 19:41:14
    rabbit
    'sorry if you were offended by my comment'
    You call some one a "IDIOT" and they should not be offended......

    'better ways to spend tax dollars at this time'
    Believe me there are many, many things that President Obama has done and doing that I dont like. But, this is something that every president has done reguardless of the economy. And no one has ever said a thing.... This is what gets to me.
  • BoiseSt8 2010/09/03 19:06:10
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    BoiseSt8
    +1
    And it looks tacky. Those couches look like they came from a man-cave. The coffee table is not fitting for the most important and prestigious workplace in America.
  • BoiseSt8 BoiseSt8 2010/09/03 19:11:12
    BoiseSt8
    +2
    BTW, this is what a classy Oval Office looks like:

    btw classy oval office

    btw classy oval office

    Simple and sophisticated.
  • MOM - L... BoiseSt8 2010/09/03 23:16:22
    MOM - LOL@Silly.St.Sarah.of.Wasilly
    +2
    Really? Simply outdated.
  • jay 2010/09/03 18:53:05
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    jay
    It was necessary for Bush to remodel the Oval Office just to get the cum stains out of the carpet, drapes and everywhere else Clinton squirted while he was molesting the interns. Clinton left so much of his "residue" behind that the Oval Office sofas filed a paternity lawsuit.

    I don't blame Michelle for wanting to make further changes just in case there is still some Clinton DNA stuck in the old crevices, but couldn't she find something other than the lobby at the Days Inn to get her decorating ideas?
  • johnc 2010/09/03 18:09:49
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    johnc
    +4
    But then again Obama is so out o touch with American values, I am suprised it is not a muslim prayer rug.
  • marylou johnc 2010/09/03 22:40:51
    marylou
    +2
    It's under the desk!
  • Shirleywillow 2010/09/03 18:09:06
    It looks great!
    Shirleywillow
    +1
    Someone will find fault with anything this President does. I'm surprised at maureen Dowd putting in her 2 cents though. I think the office looks great and not as stuffy as it was. I doubt President Obama had much to do with the decorating. I think he is the type who is happy with any design, as long as it serves the purpose.
  • johnc Shirley... 2010/09/03 18:13:07
    johnc
    +2
    If he ever does something for America he will get praise, but so far has not gone there.
    will not accept the responsibility of the office, attacks states, supports illegals over American citizens, Signs law that he has not read. Takes vacations early and often, kills jobs in the private sector. So far has done nothing to earn praise. Sorry you picked a loser, Are you sorry yet for voting for him?
  • Arclight 2010/09/03 18:07:18
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    Arclight
    +2
    I have lost all hope for the Obamas. Here we have two Ivy League educated folks acting as if they never learned anything along the way, other than how to self aggrandize and indulge themselves. We have two empty headed spoiled brats living in the People's House...
  • Sick Boy 2010/09/03 18:06:56
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    Sick Boy
  • jerrbear 2010/09/03 18:01:16
    I think it was the wrong time to do this
    jerrbear
    +4
    I guess Air force1 will get redone next wrong guess air force1
  • johnc jerrbear 2010/09/03 18:14:22
    johnc
    +1
    heart shaped windows, dingle balls in the door way, it is on the drawing board now.
  • jerrbear johnc 2010/09/03 18:18:27 (edited)
    jerrbear
    +3
    Let's not forget to put some spinner rims on it also.
  • johnc jerrbear 2010/09/03 18:20:28
    johnc
    +1
    sounds good. What the heck, it's only tax dollars,
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