New U.S. President Joe Biden immediately made some changes after moving into the Oval Office on Wednesday, including removing one of ex-president Donald Trump‘s unique creature comforts: the Diet Coke button.
The wood-encased, brick-sized button sat on the Resolute desk throughout Trump’s presidency, and would immediately summon a butler with a cold can of Diet Coke at a moment’s notice.
The button was emblematic of the former president’s well-documented love for fast food. He famously welcomed Clemson University’s championship football team to the White House with a junk-food feast in early 2019, which included “McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King with some pizza,” he said at the time.
According to reports during the presidency, Trump also enjoyed eating McDonald’s cheeseburger for an impromptu meal.
Trump also reportedly loved to grab McDonald’s cheeseburgers for an impromptu meal, according to multiple reports during his presidency.
Biden has retained a few features from the Trump presidency, including the desk known as the Resolute desk and the golden curtains hanging behind it. Such curtains were also used during Bill Clinton’s tenure.
Most of Biden’s changes amount to tinkering around the edges, such as swapping out the carpet for a slightly darker blue one, The Guardian reports.
Several family photographs now sit behind the president on a table, where Trump once arranged a row of military service flags. The photo collection includes a picture of Biden’s late son, Beau, who died of cancer in 2015.
The photos are accompanied by a bust of Cesar Chavez, the Latino American civil rights and labour leader.
Chavez’s son, Paul, told the Associated Press that he agreed to loan the bust to Biden, but he was shocked to see it placed in such a prominent position.
Biden removed a bust of former U.K. Prime Minister Winston Churchill and a painting of former President Andrew Jackson, a white nationalist, that hung on the wall beside Trump’s desk. He replaced the Jackson painting with one of Benjamin Franklin and set a bust of former president Harry S. Truman on a table below it.
Biden decorated the rest of the room with paintings by former presidents Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and Founder Father Alexander Hamilton, former treasury secretary.
Biden’s Oval Office also features busts of Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Rosa Parks and Eleanor Roosevelt, the Washington Post reported.
Most of the busts and paintings belong to the White House, the Smithsonian or other museums. A White House curator typically selects the artwork based on the president’s preferences and political priorities.
Biden highlighted themes of solidarity, inclusion, and racial justice during his election campaign and in his inaugural address.
Biden seems to be trying to convey that through a series of quick décor changes he has made to the world’s most powerful office, says Paul Chavez.
Trump did not attend Biden’s inauguration or welcome him into the White House before Wednesday’s handover of power, in a break from tradition
However, Trump has followed tradition by leaving a message for Biden on the Resolute desk when he left.
Biden described the note as “very generous” on Wednesday, but declined to share it with the public.
“It’s private,” said Mr. Biden.
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