Obamas style set to turn `Bushs stiff White House warm!January 29th, 2009 - 5:56 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Jan.29 (ANI): Compared to President Bush, his successor Barack Obama has a style of his own, one that is relaxed and warm, and not at all stiff.
As a first step, Obama, who hates the cold, cranked up the thermostat in the Oval Office, and preferred to take off his coat and work.
Hes from Hawaii, O.K.? said Obamas senior adviser, David Axelrod, adding: He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.
The coat and tie iron clad rule in the Bush Oval Office has fallen by the wayside.
A more informal culture is growing in the White House under a new management.
Although his presidency is barely a week old, some of Obamas work habits are already becoming clear.
He shows up at the Oval Office shortly before 9 in the morning, roughly two hours later than his early-to-bed, early-to-rise predecessor.
Obama likes to have his workout weights and cardio first thing in the morning, at 6:45. (Bush slipped away to exercise midday.)
He reads several papers, eats breakfast with his family and helps pack his daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, off to school before making the 30-second commute downstairs a definite perk for a man trying to balance work and family life.
He eats dinner with his family, then often returns to work; aides have seen him in the Oval Office as late as 10 p.m., reading briefing papers for the next day, reports The New York Post.
Even as he is sober about these challenges, I have never seen him happier, Axelrod said.
The chance to be under the same roof with his kids, essentially to live over the store, to be able to see them whenever he wants, to wake up with them, have breakfast and dinner with them that has made him a very happy man, he adds.
In the West Wing, Obama is a bit of a wanderer. When Bush wanted to see a member of his staff, the aide was summoned to the Oval Office.
Obama tends to roam the halls; one day last week, he turned up in the office of his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, who was in the unfortunate position of having his feet up on the desk when the boss walked in.
Wow, Gibbs, the press secretary recalls the president saying. Just got here and you already have your feet up.
Gibbs scrambled to stand up, surprising Obama, who is not yet accustomed to having people rise when he enters a room.
Under Bush, punctuality was a virtue. Meetings started early the former president once locked Secretary of State Colin L. Powell out of the Cabinet Room when Powell showed up a few minutes late and ended on time.
In the Obama White House, meetings start on time and often finish late.
When the president invited Congressional leaders to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue last week to talk about his economic stimulus package, the session ran so long that Obama wound up apologizing to the lawmakers even as he kept them talking, engaging them in the details of the legislation far more than was customary for Mr. Bush.
He was concerned that he was keeping us, said Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the Republican whip.
He said, I know we need to get you all out of here at a certain time. But we continued the discussion. What are you going to say? Its the president.
If Obamas clock is looser than Bushs, so too are his sartorial standards. Over the weekend, Obamas first in office, his aides did not quite know how to dress. Some showed up in jeans (another no-no under Bush), some in coats and ties. So the president issued an informal edict for business casual on weekends and set his own example. He showed up Saturday for a briefing with his chief economic adviser, Lawrence H. Summers, dressed in slacks and a gray sweater over a white buttoned-down shirt.
Veterans of the Bush White House are shocked.
Ill never forget going to work on a Saturday morning, getting called down to the Oval Office because there was something he was mad about, said Dan Bartlett, who was counselor to Bush.
I had on khakis and a buttoned-down shirt, and I had to stand by the door and get chewed out for about 15 minutes. He wouldnt even let me cross the threshold, Bush said.
Obamas daily schedule seems flexible. Bush began each day, Monday through Saturday, with a top-secret intelligence briefing on security threats against the United States.
Obama gets the presidents daily brief on Sundays as well, though unlike his predecessor, he does not necessarily put it first on his agenda.
Sometimes Obamas economic briefing, a new addition to the presidential schedule, comes first.
Obama has also maintained the longstanding presidential tradition of weekly lunches with his vice president. For Obama, lunch generally means a cheeseburger, chicken or fish in his small dining room off the Oval Office.
There is also a new addition to White House cuisine: the refrigerators are stocked with the presidents favorite organic brew, Honest Tea, in Obamas preferred flavors of Black Forest Berry and Green Dragon.
If there is one thing Obama has not gotten around to changing, it is the Oval Office decor.
When Bush moved in, he exercised his presidential decorating prerogatives and asked his wife, Laura, to supervise the design of a new rug.
Bush loved to regale visitors with the story of the rug, whose sunburst design, he liked to say, was intended to evoke a feeling of optimism.
The rug is still there, as are the presidential portraits Bush selected one of Washington, one of Lincoln and a collection of decorative green and white plates.
During a meeting last week with retired military officials, before he signed an executive order shutting down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Obama surveyed his new environs with a critical eye.
He looked around, said one of his guests, retired Rear Adm. John D. Hutson, and said, Ive got to do something about these plates. Im not really a plates kind of guy. (ANI)
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