White house carpet obsession

For me, taking pictures of casino carpet and posting them on this site has been a mixed blessing. On one hand, I’ve gotten to share something I find oddly humorous with thousands of people I’ve never met. On the other, I keep getting calls from people who want to actually buy the carpet. (I wonder if people who post pictures of porn have the same problem?) Anyway, it turns out that I’m not the only one who’s spent some time thinking about the symbolism of carpet. From the Washington Post:

Nothing says power like the Oval Office. The paintings of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The bust of Dwight D. Eisenhower. The desk used by both Roosevelts.

And then there’s the rug. Don’t forget the rug. President Bush never does.

For whatever reason, Bush seems fixated on his rug. Virtually all visitors to the Oval Office find him regaling them about how it was chosen and what it represents. Turns out, he always says, the first decision any president makes is what carpet he wants in his office. As a take-charge leader, he then explains, he of course made a command decision — he delegated the decision to Laura Bush, who chose a yellow sunbeam design.

Elizabeth Vargas, the ABC News anchor, was the latest to get the treatment. She went by last week to interview Bush before his trip to Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. Sure enough, she wasn’t in the room but a minute or two before he started telling her about the carpet.

“You know an interesting story about the rug?” he asked. “Laura designed the rug.”

“She did?” Vargas said.

“Yeah, she did. Presidents are able to pick their own rugs or design their own rugs.”

Bush went on: “The interesting thing about this rug and why I like it in here is ’cause I told Laura one thing. I said, ‘Look, I can’t pick the colors and all that. But make it say ‘optimistic person.’ ”

Bush Weaves Rug Story Into Many an Occasion

Apparently, Russian pres Vladimir Putin really liked the rug, too, and Bush talks about it. I wonder if casino CFOs do that when they make presentation to investors.

if any White House staffers or interns want to send me a shot of the Oval Office carpet, I’ll definitely post it here. I think people are curious.

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