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Obama Makes Political Calls from the Oval

To a certain point, everything a president does is political. If he goes out and gets a Big Mac, it has political meaning.

And the president’s regular office is the Oval Office, so even things he does there are political. But the room has a semi-sacred status, a place where so many important things occur that Americans view it as a one of the holy chambers of their civic church.

Obama shouldn’t do anything he wants in there. He wouldn’t, for example, give a campaign speech from the desk. But he could give a policy speech with large political overtones. It’s subtle where you draw the line.

But the president’s activities today fall outside the line.

Must Obama really be making get-out-the-vote phone calls to radio stations around the country today from the Oval Office? Couldn’t he just truck it down to the DNC for a few minutes? Is this a dignified use of the great and historic room where he works?

Ronald Reagan famously wouldn’t take his jacket off in the room. Neither, I was told by a aide, would George W. Bush.

Bill Clinton got a blow job in the Oval Office.

President Obama has not, as far as anyone knows, gotten quite as casual as Mr. Clinton in the office.

But here’s how he treats the place. He could do a little better and not really sustain a painful injury in the process.

Obama on the phone in the Oval OfficeObama feet on table

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11 Responses to Obama Makes Political Calls from the Oval

  1. Great piece, Keith! The pictures are a nice addition. :)
    I can only imagine the hue and cry if it were Pres. Bush electioneering from the Oval Office. Since it’s a dem president, no biggie.

  2. I’ve always wondered why Pete Souza takes pictures of his boss that make him look so bad? There are at least 2 more feet on the furniture pics along with countless chin up high in the air poses and everyone can remember the arrogant pose with Biden at some black tie affair. I’m glad he does. They make great visuals for us.

  3. Don’t get me going on the “middle east, sans tie” rant again. We dress business casual in our company (construction industry) but the Obama dress code is insulting. Not to mention the feet on the furniture issue. It’s obvious he wasn’t taught any manners as a child.

  4. Ceremony, protocol and the pomp associated with the historic Oval Office seems to be lost on MrO.

    PresNixon was prone to put his feet on the antique desk marring the surface, too. He said something like….he wanted to leave his mark in the office.
    PresClinton is/was a notorious skirt-chaser and not much of a leader. His current popularity seems to have risen in a direct proportion with the number of Dem voters now suffering from senile dementia.

  5. Subtle contempt for the people’s house–and the people? That’d be my guess. Those desks are historic–don’t know which one he has–but they are museum pieces. Maybe it’s subconscious, but I wonder.

    • Star, he’s got the John-John and Caroline one that Kennedy had. Every prez since Carter except HW has used it. Was gift from Queen Victoria to Rutherford Hayes, made from Arctic explorer ship Resolute. It’s probably the most important piece of furniture in the United States.

  6. Obama has no respect for the Oval Office because it’s just a place where the greatness of Obama resides for the moment. He’s made it clear to me, at least, that being President is just a painful and embarrassing necessity on his way to whatever he sees his ultimate role to be. It’s rather like the boss’s son working as a fry cook for a day in order to prove his understanding of the importance of the small people. Obama’s disregard for these relics of our American past communicate to his constitutencies, whether they be racist AfAms or career agitators that He is still one with them and has not been absorbed into mainstream American history.