Caymans Post

A world within. A state apart.
Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021

Inside Biden’s Oval Office: no more Trump ‘Diet Coke button’

Inside Biden’s Oval Office: no more Trump ‘Diet Coke button’

All presidents tweak the Oval Office decor at the start of their terms to reflect their personal tastes and to telegraph broader messages to the public.

A button former president Donald Trump used to order Diet Cokes while sitting at the Resolute Desk in the White House has apparently been moved since President Joe Biden took office.

Trump first showed off the wooden call box in 2017 interviews with the Associated Press and the Financial Times. He showed reporters that with a push of a red button, a White House butler would bring him a glass of soda in the Oval Office.

In the years after, Trump was pictured regularly with the rectangular wooden box on the desk, right next to his phones.


US President Joe Biden at the Resolute Desk.


The call button is not new and isn’t only used for ordering fizzy drinks – President Barack Obama was once pictured with it on a table during a lunch with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

But Biden appears to have moved the call button off his desk.

Instead, photos of his desk on Biden’s first day of office show two phones, a coffee cup, a set of pens. It’s unclear where the call button went.


Presidents almost always redesign the Oval Office upon taking office, and the call button wasn’t the only thing Biden changed.

Biden replaced a portrait of President Andrew Jackson with a portrait of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and opted to feature a number of progressives and activists through the room, including Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jnr, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, and labour leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

He also chose to display portraits of Benjamin Franklin, President Thomas Jefferson, and Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton.


A bust of Mexican-American labour leader Cesar Chavez with Biden family photos in the Oval Office.


The most visually striking change is Biden’s choice of a deep blue rug, with the presidential seal in the middle, that was last used by President Bill Clinton, to replace a light coloured rug laid down by Trump. Biden is also using Clinton’s deep gold draperies.

Biden is keeping the Resolute desk, so named because it was built using oak from the British Arctic exploration ship HMS Resolute.


Portraits in the Oval Office.


The White House maintains a vast collection of furniture, paintings and other artefacts that they can choose from. Presidents are also allowed to borrow items from the Smithsonian and other museums.

The White House curator oversees everything, and the makeover is carried out in the hours after the outgoing president leaves the mansion and before the new president arrives.

Biden also replaced a row of military service flags Trump used to decorate the office with a single American flag and a flag with the presidential seal, both positioned behind his desk.

He also chose a tufted, dark brown leather chair instead of keeping the reddish brown desk chair Trump used.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Caymans Post
×