January 21st, 2009
08:18 PM ET
3 months ago

A major Bush rule gets scrapped by Obama

What’s missing in this picture?
What’s missing in this picture?

(CNN) - It's the same Oval Office. The same desk. Even the same curtains. But President Obama has already made one major change: Go through eight years of White House photos, and you won't find one of former President Bush in the Oval Office without his jacket on.

It wasn't just a personal preference. In the Bush administration, it was a rule: Jackets in the Oval Office - and now, it seems, one of the first Bush-era regulations to get scrapped in the Obama White House.

– CNN's John King contributed to this report


Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (803 Responses)
  1. NotNowMooky

    I don't wear a jacket and don't know anyone who does at work. People like Bush get too tied up in meaningless dogma. It fogs their minds and then next thing you know they've killed thousands, spent billions and let the bullies run wild.

    January 21, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. Joe the Troll

    "Ronald Reagan never walked into the Oval Office without a coat on, but then Barrack is no Ronald Reagan"

    That's true- I doubt Barack will sell weapons to Iran like that traitor did.

    January 21, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. crazyNcali

    *BREAKING NEWS* ....there is the severe possibility that President Obama may be breaking another rule in the OVAL OFFICE. Now we ask this of the Commander and Chief, Boxers or Briefs sir?

    January 21, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. N Stone

    I could care less what he wears. The fact that he can speak in complete sentences, join those sentences together to form complete thoughts all the while enunciating the words properly is a breath of fresh air for me. We have a lot to recover from, it will take plenty of time and a team effort. Focusing on if/what coat President Obama is wearing is a distraction in the goal of improving our country and world.

    January 21, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  5. catherine

    wearing a jacket when being presented to the public doesn't mean the person is respected or should get respect; who the person is and what he/she does in life is the reason someone should get respect

    January 21, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. EW

    It isn't his office, it is the taxpayers office. He should show it the proper respect.

    January 21, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. Barb

    Oh, please, just let the man work. At least he brings his substantial intellect to the office.

    January 21, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. Bill In Arkansas

    I remember a time when we all took off our jackets, and dresses, and smoked cigars!

    January 21, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  9. Confused????

    I'm sure many rules will be broken or changed. I do have a question though.
    I thought Obama was "BI-RACIAL". Is he or isn't he? Black father, white mother....Isn't that bi-racial? Why is he the first BLACK President and not the first BI-RACIAL President???? Someone fill me in please.

    January 21, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  10. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Obama the working man! I luv 'im.

    January 21, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  11. Garry

    A person needs to be comfortably dressed while at work. Being too dressy will not enhance thinking process, work quality and ability to handle complex issues, which is rather required of a President.

    January 21, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  12. How about shirtless?

    A lot of professionals take their coats off when doing desk work because of the heat in their offices. At a formal business meeting, the coat goes back on. No big deal.

    If he fixes the economy and gets us out of Iraq Pres. Obama can go shirtless for all I care! Yum!

    January 21, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  13. 911willie

    Considering that Bill Clinton went pantless in the Oval Office, Obama going jacketless isn't very newsworthy

    January 21, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. shannon mn

    Oh I fear this is just a few of the many "Changes" to come. Change is coming alright, not necessarily for the better. The Reverend that spewed his racial hate at his inaguration states "where Brown can stick around, Where yellow can mellow, where the redman can get ahead man, and where White can embrace what is right?" well that statement pretty much took us all the way back to segregation times. How fabulous.... This is the man that has been Obama advisor for 20 years, he clearly hates White people. I say Get over it, and as a "Revernd" you should be ashaemd fo those comments, and shouldnt be holding on to "old ideals" this generation has nothing to do with those times. Obama smiled when those comments were said, which tells me he feels the same way. Now to me that isnt really trying to bring the world together as ONE like what was being reitterated in his speeches. WAY TO GO to all the people that voted him in... Thanks.

    January 21, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. D

    And how many of you that wear jacket's at your workplace, keep them on in your office? exactly, point made, and thankyou.

    Everyone can judge Obama in four year's time the same way they judged Bush and the GOP last year. Otherwise keep your thoughts to yourself and let he man/administration get to work.

    January 21, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Britney

    What a silly rule. That's like saying a person cannot do any serious work unless they are dressed "professionally." Who defines what is professional dress?

    Should we expect our troops to wear a suit and tie to work? No, because it's not practical and certainly not safe. He's working, he's comfortable, leave him alone and let him do his job! If it is more practical for him to not wear his coat, then so be it!

    He shouldn't be having to think about what stupid stuff is being covered on CNN, like what he is wearing to work. There are many more MUCH more important things on his mind.

    I'm sure he didn't EVEN think that he was "breaking a rule" that a FORMER president put into place. This was something STUPID to report on CNN.

    January 21, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. How about shirtless?

    A lot of professionals take their suit jackets off when doing desk work because of the heat in their offices. At a formal business meeting, the jacket goes back on. No big deal.

    If he fixes the economy and gets us out of Iraq Pres. Obama can go shirtless for all I care! (Oooh, yum!)

    January 21, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Nate

    A picture is worth a thousand words. I think this was a pose for the cammera. No press conferance today, which is why reporters have nothing to give. So what do we know? From the begining Oboma said "Change We Need". In the picture he appears to be focussed and working. If he does nothing else, giving the appearence of changeing something, on his first day, is changing something. Lets try and not be overly critical of him on his first days on his job. Anyone that has heard him speak knows this, that he is a proffesional. What his true motivation is, is yet to be seen. The next few months will speak volumes.

    January 21, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    If President Obama can get this country back on track after the mess he was left by GOP leadership, I could care LESS what he wears in the Oval Office. Some of you "haters" just will gripe about anything this man does. For a while it was even funny but it's really starting to get pathetic!

    January 21, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  20. Scott

    Really? A suit coat? I don't see how this is newsworthy or somehow turning political. Bush wanted people to wear suitcoats in the oval office, Obama doesn't. That's it. If your boss wanted you to wear a suit to his meetings, you would. If he said just dress casual you would. It's just personal preference. And those of you who say it's not the 50's anymore... who cares if someone wants to stick with tradition and have his staffers to look prefessional? Honestly, focus on something more important.

    January 21, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  21. sha

    I worked in the finance world for 13 years. Professional, business attire was REQUIRED. Everyday I would go to work in a suit. While I was working at my desk I would remove my jacket. When I met with clients I put the jacket on. Working at my desk = jacket off; meet with important people = jacket on. Simple. Grow up and get your priorities straight! Its not the packaging that counts its the content of the package...no wonder we've been going down the tubes the last 8 years. We've got real, scary issues to deal with and you're freaking out about a coat!

    January 21, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. Angie-OH

    bush had a lot to hide. his bullet proof vest, lies, murder,lies, bullet proof vest,job lost,lies, bullet proof vest, home foreclosures, lies, lies,lies,lies,lies,afraid of cheney,lies,lies and more lies.

    January 21, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. Aviate

    Good to see President Obama getting to work and cleaning up the mess W, Dick and the GOP have left us.

    Bush was all about dressing up and play-acting. The whole coat in the Oval Office thing seems to me no different than strutting around an aircraft carrier in a flight suit or lighting up Jackson Square after Katrina. All image, no substance. As President Obama (get used to it wingnuts) said so eloquently yesterday, it's time to put away childish things.

    Obama is all about doing the job & doing it right. And this job means he's gonna have to roll up his sleeves and work hard for all of us. And to do that, he needs to take off his coat.

    January 21, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. SensibleFella

    Just more of the same...style over substance. Thankfully we'll only have to put up with four years of this...and even that's too long.

    May a higher power help us as we wait this out.

    January 21, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  25. MA in Austin

    Is this policy one that he adopted from a restaurant in Texas, back when he was governor? (no jacket – no service, doesn't matter if it fits, just wear it). How often was he actually working in the White House and not on vacation anyway? Bush hardly comes to mind when I think of decorum, elegence, intelligence, and leadership.

    January 21, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
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