— By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor
A lot of talk today about the New York Times story this morning regarding the "new style" in the West Wing in the Obama Administration. Specifically: it was that early photo of President Obama in shirtsleeves that got tongues wagging in detail-obsessed Washington. He wasn't wearing a jacket.
Obama's counselor explains to the Times that the heat was cranked up in the Oval Office, and thus the President removed his jacket. It was considered news ... because of the stated Bush policy (not always followed) of jackets-only for men visiting the Oval Office. President Bush, it was said, occasionally stopped non-jacket-wearing visitors from entering the Oval.
I do recall that it was rather explicitly pointed out to reporters at the time that the Bush policy was a direct reaction to the discomfort they felt watching television news pictures of President Clinton in sweaty jogging clothes in the Oval Office.
While it is "the People's House," one person gets to decide the dress code. Folklore has it that President Hoover dressed in formal attire for dinner upstairs at the White House each night. Look where it got him.