President Bush admires of the Oval Office rug and points it out to all Oval Office visitors. So what. The Washington Post saw this as an opportunity to make President Bush look simple.
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.’ “
Mary Katharine Ham of Hugh Hewitt sees Bush’s admiration of the rug as a window into his optimistic character, which it is. Too bad the Post missed an opportunity to write something of substance rather than frivolousness.
Update: A picture of said rug…