August 31st, 2010
12:00 PM ET

The Oval Office gets a makeover

Washington (CNN) – It may not have been a design on a dime but the Oval Office underwent an extreme makeover and, just like the popular television program of the same name, the renovation was done while the First Family was away on vacation.

A design team swooped in and in less than 10 days, transformed the president's office from a traditional and somewhat formal setting to a more modern family-style room.

For photos and the complete story, go to CNN's Political Ticker.

Topics: The Visuals • White House
August 31st, 2010
02:42 AM ET

Oval Office setting is message behind the message

Washington (CNN) - Before President Obama says a word during his Tuesday Oval Office address, the backdrop will make a statement for him: that he is the decider.

Obama is set to give his second Oval Office address, a speech meant to mark the end of combat missions in Iraq. But besides the remarks he will make, the setting of his speech will convey something, too.

"The Oval Office invokes the center of the presidential authority. That's the president's office, that's where he supposedly makes decisions, where he governs," says presidential historian Robert Dallek.

"[When] a talk to the nation is given from that office, [it] is underscoring his executive powers, his leadership."

The Oval Office symbolizes power, command, and authority, Dallek said. It shows the president, "as George W. Bush put it, is the 'decider' " and that symbolism is important.

For example, former President George H.W. Bush announced the start of the first Gulf war from the Oval Office, telling Americans and the world that he was the commander in chief just by setting the scene in the Oval Office.


Topics: President Obama • The News • White House
August 25th, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Go on a presidential road trip

Washington (CNN) - Want to know what it's like to be a part of the White House press corps?  Join White House reporters and producers on a three-day trip to Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Columbus, and experience what it's like to cover President Obama on the road.

Edited by Jodi Marks and produced by Xuan Thai and Shawna Shepherd.

Topics: President Obama • The Buzz • The Visuals