Bush and His Rug: "Optimistic" ... About What?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bush and His Rug: "Optimistic" ... About What?

According to the Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, ancient chroniclers once claimed that King Solomon had a green silk carpet that could fly and carry his throne wherever he commanded. Perhaps when you've watched your approval ratings slide (as Bush has over the past several months), you begin to look for strength or support in inanimate objects.

Does Bush think he has a magic carpet? I'm beginning to wonder after reading Peter Baker's article in today's 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.

... Bush [recently told an ABC News anchor]: "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.' "

... Lately he's been taking the story on the road, sharing it with workers at a moving company in Sterling on Jan. 19, then with students at Kansas State University on Jan. 23, and again with supporters at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry on Feb. 1.

"If you walk in that Oval Office," Bush said in Sterling, "I think you're going to say, just like you know it, 'This guy's optimistic.' "

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