Friday, April 20, 2007

It really ties the room together

Interview of the President by Trevor Kavanagh of "The Sun"
The Oval Office
November 14, 2003

9:31 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Have you ever been in the Oval Office before?

Q Once, just once --

THE PRESIDENT: Okay. The rug was designed by my wife. Every President gets to design his own rug. You probably didn't know that.

Q Fabulous.

THE PRESIDENT: I wanted mine -- mine was designed by my wife, Laura. And I wanted people to have a sense of optimism when they came in here, that this is a guy who kind of sees a better world, not a worse world. Sometimes the Oval can be foreboding, and I wanted it to be cheery. So I hope you felt that.

President Discusses Global War on Terror at Kansas State University
Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kansas

January 23, 2006
11:51 A.M. CST

In order to make good decisions, you've got to rely upon the judgment of people you trust. I'll never forget the first decision I had to make as the President. I wasn't even sworn in yet, and a fellow called me on the phone and he said, what color rug do you want to have in the Oval Office? (Laughter.) You've got to be kidding me, man. (Laughter.) He said, no, what color rug would you like to have in the Oval Office? I said, I don't know. He said, well, it turns out that Presidents -- you've just got to know Presidents design their rugs. I said, well, to be honest with you, I don't know much about designing rugs.

So I called, I delegated -- that's one of the things you do in decision-making. (Laughter.) I said, Laura, how about helping design the rug? (Laughter.) Part of being a decision-maker, though, is you've got to help -- you've got to think strategically. And so I said to her -- she said, what color do you want? I said, make it say this: optimistic person comes here to work every single day. You can't lead the nation, you can't make good decisions unless you're optimistic about the future.

President Discusses 2006 Agenda
Grand Ole Opry House
Nashville, Tennessee
12:01 P.M. CST February 1, 2006

And so that's what's on my mind, and it took me an hour to tell you. (Laughter.) I hope you get the sense of my optimism about the country. I told you mine is a decision-making job. I first learned that when the guy called me -- I was getting ready to give my inaugural address, right before the swearing-in of the first term. And a guy called me and said, "What color rug do you want in the Oval Office?" I said, man, this is a decision-making job. (Laughter.) What color rug do I want? The second thing about decision-making is you've got to know when it's time to delegate. So not knowing much about rug designing, I said, "Laura, give me a hand." (Laughter.)

Interview of the President by Kai Diekmann of BILD
The Oval Office
May 5, 2006

1:55 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Have you ever been in the Oval Office before?

Q Once, a long time ago --

THE PRESIDENT: I'll give you a quick tour before our interview. So, the first thing that a President does, which I didn't realize, was pick a rug. I have no idea about rugs. And so in this job you've got to delegate. The American President is in a position where there's just unbelievable complexities to the job -- Darfur, Iran -- a whole lot of issues. So I delegated the decision about the rug to my wife.

The second thing a President has got to do is have a strategic mind. In order to be successful, in my judgment, as the President, you've got to constantly think strategically. And so I said to her, you pick out the colors, you be the tactical person, but I want it to say "optimistic person." That's all I wanted it to say. Here is the result. Isn't it beautiful?

President Bush Discusses the Global War on Terror in Tipp City, Ohio
Tipp City High School
Tipp City, Ohio
1:05 P.M. EDT April 19, 2007

My job is a job to make decisions. I'm a decision -- if the job description were, what do you do -- it's decision-maker. And I make a lot of big ones, and I make a lot of little ones. Interestingly enough, the first decision I made happened right before I got sworn in as President. I was at the Blair House, which is across the street from the White House, getting ready to give my inaugural address. And the phone rang, and the head usher at the White House said, "President-elect Bush." I said, "Yes." He said, "What color rug do you want in the Oval Office?" (Laughter.) I said, this is going to be a decision-making experience. (Laughter.)

The first lesson about decision-making is, if you're short on a subject, ask for help. So if you're a student listening and you're not very good at math, ask for help. Don't be afraid to admit that you need help when it comes to life. I wasn't afraid to admit I wasn't sure how to design a rug, so I called Laura. (Laughter.) I said, they've asked me to design a rug in the Oval Office; I don't know anything about rug designing; will you help me? She said, of course. But I said, I want it to say something -- the President has got to be a strategic thinker and I said to her, make sure the rug says "optimistic person comes to work." Because you can't make decisions unless you're optimistic that the decisions you make will lead to a better tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

'Because you can't make decisions unless you're optimistic that the decisions you make will lead to a better tomorrow.'

So the rug in the oval office has blinders on it! Who could have anticipated ....

from Ruth

Eli said...

"See that rug there? It reminds me what to lie like."

spocko said...

I asked a teacher for a recommendation once. He said.

"I'll lie like a carpet for you Mr. Spocko!"