January 21st, 2009
08:18 PM ET
10 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. leeky

    The President "of the people" should dress like "the People". He has a huge job ahead. I don't care if he does it in his pajamas if the issues get worked on.....We should all be proud to roll up our sleeves and help – our ancestors did. and that is why we have this great country to live in.

    January 21, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Andy

    I am a little bothered by this. I don't think President Obama was so hampered by his jacket that he couldn't get work done. I kind of appreciate the gesture that former President Bush was making by wearing his jacket in the Oval Office. Does President Obama mean to imply "getting down to business" or "business casual" by immediately abandoning that rule? It used to be that it was inappropriate to be seen without a jacket there. What will be inappropriate now? T-shirts? Flip-flops?

    January 21, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. Simpliticus

    It was a simple convention only. I still believe that Bush operated the White House as if he operated a college fraternity and the wearing of a suit coat, sports jacket, or whatever supported that paradigm of symbolic dress when conducting business. It is no more of a proper conduct than rolling up sleeves much as Bush himself did simply to look the part. The problem is Obama must also act the part due to the problems Bush has laid in front of him. One may as well simply take the jacket off to get to the real work ahead!

    January 21, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. frjimt

    whats next,
    staff meetings in shorts/sandals?

    January 21, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Casey

    President Obama portrays substance with style. Former President Bush will be a distant memory soon enough!

    January 21, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. mk

    Auzzievick

    The clothes do not make the man and a jacket will NEVER MAKE BUSH a good president or former president.

    January 21, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. Patrick Kenge

    This is just the most comfortable way to be when working, I never keep my jacket ON for easy moves!

    January 21, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. cocoa

    Obama wants thing different

    January 21, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. Peter Moore

    Just as long as they don't switch to business casual... That will be the end of life as we know it.

    January 21, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. clp5150

    I think the optional "pants rule" was put in place by Clinton. Dems, please, get your facts straight.

    January 21, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. Darth Vadik, CA

    BigBear,

    you're not a very bright man, are you?
    obviously my point went over your head, but it's nice to see average republicans trying to talk smarter than they actually really are.

    January 21, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  12. Concerned Citizen

    Lol. I love the coment about pants optional and no underwear! Hillarious

    January 21, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. ray

    Bush's "Pants Optional" Rule still stands though

    Did you mean Bill Clinton

    January 21, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Ken in Dallas

    I clearly need to rethink the way I define "major." Or John does.

    January 21, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    I'm so glad Bush took time out of his PRESIDENCY to make such a rule..

    January 21, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. SFSerg

    O will actually be working the phones and enacting policy when the photographs are taken, unlike W who carefully planned his photo ops. Which is really all the W administration was good at.

    January 21, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    I guess you only use the comments you think people should read. How like cnn Afraid to tell the truth about President Bush. No but you can lie about the one.

    January 21, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Donna

    Matt- I think that the 'Pants Optional" Rule was Clinton's.

    January 21, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    PRESIDENT OBAMA SHOULD CONTINUE THE WHITE HOUSE DRESS CODE. WHEN WEARING SHIRT WITHOUT TIE...REMINDS US OF THE LEADER OF IRAN, NEVER WEARS A TIE . A PRESIDENT SHOULD DRESS PROPERLY OUR PRESIDENT IS REPRESENTING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. WE MUST SET THE RIGHT EXAMPLE. IN EVERY WAY... ALWAYS!.

    January 21, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. Leslie Thom

    Fantastic! We can see that he's rolling up his sleeves and getting down to the hard work. I love it!

    January 21, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Susan from Scotts Valley, CA

    Has anyone that is insulting President Obama for taking his jacket off actually worked all day in a jacket? You won't find that in corporate America. You take your jacket off to work. You put your jacket on for meetings...but only some meetings.

    This is wear Obama works. I'd rather have him be comfortable and get things done than be worried about a freakin' jacket.

    January 21, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. AndyL

    Here we go, oversized sweatpants and bling bling and a baseball cap

    January 21, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Norah (Boston, MA)

    President Obama intends to really work! The Oval office isn't just a photo-op for him- he intends to get things done- and for that he has to roll up his sleeves- sans jacket.

    January 21, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. legal in nc

    I honestly believe that there is more pressing issue for this country than to worry if he's wearing his jacket in the oval office or not..

    Let's get to meaningful issues!

    January 21, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. JacklynD

    Obama: Get comfortable, dig in and let's get some work done.

    Bush: Straighten your tie, look like a decider (slight scowl) and people won't be able to tell that you are clueless.

    January 21, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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