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Home Decorating With the Obamas: they are paying for it themselves

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posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 08:34 AM

Home Decorating With the Obamas: they are paying for it themselves

At a time when people are having trouble holding on to their houses, Barack and Michelle Obama have sensibly decided not to use taxpayers’ money to renovate theirs. New presidents are allotted $100,000 to overhaul the White House residence and the Oval Office, and the Obamas hired Hollywood decorator Michael S. Smith (known, per his site, for mixing “Old World classicism with very contemporary settings”). But the First Couple isn’t spending that money. They “are not using public funds or accepting donations of goods for redecorating their private quarters,” says Camille Johnston, director of communications for the First Lady. Nor is the couple, who reported $4.2 million in household income in 2007 tax returns, using money from the White House Historical Association, a privately funded foundation that paid for a $74,000 set of china shortly before Laura Bush left town.

But does this mean they’re going to spend more than $100,000 or less? Though Michelle Obama has talked up Pottery Barn, Smith’s client list includes cost-is-no-object types like Rupert Murdoch, Steven Spielberg, and former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain—for whom he procured that $87,783 rug. “There’s no question that he’ll get it done in the way that it’s supposed to be done,” says Smith client and Democratic donor Katherine Chez. “But how, I don’t know.” The White House declined to disclose the budget, saying that all expenses would remain private as a result of the Obamas’ decision to absorb the cost.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 08:34 AM
It is things like this that make me like these people.

It would be so easy to ask for private donations or use the public account set aside for this... but no...

... they are footing the bill themselves.

You would think even their opponents would like that though I am sure I will hear trash talk about it none the less.

Ya just can't please some people unless they have their own way.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 08:37 AM
reply to post by grover

They may be footing the bill themselves but Obama approach to the economic crisis is far from gentle to the tax payer in the nation.

Sorry but this is nothing more than a very nice move to keep the Obama image appealing to the nation hopefuls

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 08:41 AM
Perhaps... still they could have done it the traditional way and no one would have even noticed or said a word.

Its certainly a gesture... but a far more decent gesture than some have made...

And real. Remember when bush minor threw out the first teather ball at the While House?

There's no pitcher in teather ball.

Still the media reported it with a straight face.

[edit on 30-3-2009 by grover]

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 08:46 AM
Grover are you getting soft on Obama now?

I have become harder, he losing his luster when it comes to what he has accomplish as a president in just 3 months.

For all the people that are now unemployed and those living in tent cities and those about to lose their homes and jobs, I don't think that they care what the Obama's family are doing with the white house and how they are able to afford their house decorating that happens to be nothing more and nothing less than the house where many Americans will never be able to live in their life time.

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 09:06 AM
I agree Marg. Who cares if he is using his own money? While this is the kind of change several people voted for... we're in the middle of an economic crisis and he wants to redecorate his own home. It's like how in the Soviet Union the government was so prosperous when everyone else suffered so much.

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 09:24 AM
Who knows, maybe President Obama will next reduce his annual salary to $1, like some corporate execs. That would be an even more welcome gesture. The Obamas will be well paid after office, so, why not?

Anyway, I look forward to President Obama's progress report after 18 months. It's much too early now to get an accurate picture of his effectiveness. Mainly because of all the lingering residue of the previous presidency. Sure he has to clean it up, but it also makes a difference how we perceive the job he is doing. After a year and a half, we should have a much clearer perspective, I think.

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 09:25 AM
reply to post by Frankidealist35

Well, typically just like any country with a government-it would be embarassing to have a President that would lead a completely spartan lifestyle like it seems some people suggest they should be (What do you want them to do? Serve ramen at state dinners?).
We could all agree you need to cut the personal spending somewhere, and regardless of what you think of Obama's fiscal policy, I think we all can agree from the campaign onward the whole family has been more than frugal when it comes to spending money for their own personal expenses.
It is tradition to redecorate the White House when you move in. Using their own money, whether they actually wanted to or chose that for solely political reasons, you really cannot knock.

I think many ATSers just simply want to bash Obama for any and everything he does, whether it is good or bad, out of their general anger with the economic situation. It gets a little boring when they become so predictable....

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 09:27 AM
It's a publicity stunt just like the veggie garden. If Obama really wanted to save taxpayer money he wouldn't have flown Mrs. Obama to Chicago for a three day weekend - on Air Force One - for Valentines Day.

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 09:37 AM
Regardless of the littler publicity stunts when his time comes to answer to the people, he is going to have a hard time trying to sell to the already stress tax payer and the unemployed how he manage to add 6 more trillion dollars to the nations debt in only 3 months of his presidency, while Bush time he manage 4 trillions.

I think that by the time Obama will come to terms to that he will have a hard time finding words to express the disappointment of choosing everything else over the people that vote for his time of "change".

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 09:44 AM
The real reason they are using their own money is that they can have complete control. When using a foundation or taxpayer money, all your choices are up to scrutiny.

I saw an interview with the designer on TV the week of the inauguration and he said they will no longer want to keep the White House as a museum the way Jacqueline Kennedy proposed. It will be returned to a residence and a showcase for new design. He said the staid use of 18th and 17th century furnishings is a great way to go...but they are going to make it more modern. Michelle and he determined there is no need for it to be so past focused. Before the Kennedy's this is how it was always done. Each president brought his own style. Since the Kennedy's the furnishings in public rooms have been curated.

So when we see lucite tables and abstract art on the walls of the White House, we can not complain because Michelle paid for it herself.

The OP post said it was only for the private quarters, but the TV interview I saw said they would modernize public rooms too, with a mix of historical. So I do not know which is true.

I report from memory and paraphrased.

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 09:45 AM
Well, its not a bad thing, these "publicity stunts".

They do not harm, they only help.

But like I said in my last post, most of you are far too angry to acknowledge it as that. And thats OK....

Just make sure to keep an open mind.

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 09:50 AM
Sorry to brake this to Mrs. Obama but the white house is a museum, while she likes it or not, and as the house where all presidents has lived since the humble historical beginnings of our nation, it should be respected and never defaced just because now the time of change is to be focused on the nations white house.

What a whole bunck of BS.

[edit on 30-3-2009 by marg6043]

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 09:59 AM

Trifling as it may appear, the politics of White House decorating is never trivial, as Nancy Reagan discovered upon ordering $209,508 worth of red Lenox china even though the purchase was privately financed.

"The redecoration of the White House has always been a flash point," said Lewis Gould, a historian on the Presidency at the University of Texas at Austin. "Whatever you do in the White House you are likely to offend somebody."

So true...
It is tradition for every first lady to redecorate, whether or not you like that tradition I'm sure it will stay for many, many generations of First Ladies to come...

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 10:02 AM

Originally posted by FlyersFan
It's a publicity stunt just like the veggie garden. If Obama really wanted to save taxpayer money he wouldn't have flown Mrs. Obama to Chicago for a three day weekend - on Air Force One - for Valentines Day.


posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 10:10 AM
reply to post by Hari Seldon

Actually that would be problematic since they have to pay for anything that is not head of state related... meals etc.

And no Marg I have not gotten "soft" on him... I consider this newsworthy simply because they didn't have to and if they didn't no one would have known.

As for the veggie garden... a national group headed by Alice Waters pushed for that.

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 10:14 AM

The White House declined to disclose the budget, saying that all expenses would remain private as a result of the Obamas’ decision to absorb the cost.

You can take this one of two ways... Either the Obama's didn't want to rub it in the face of all of those who have lost their jobs and means of survival OR they don't want the nation to know how much they will be spending on decorating when others are scraping to pay the bills.

[edit on 30/3/2009 by Iamonlyhuman]

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 10:15 AM
reply to post by marg6043

Actually every first family has been allowed to do with it what they wanted... Truman added the balcony and Teddy Roseavelt added the west wing etc. That is what the allotment is for.

AND it wasn't set up as a museum until Jackie Kennedy suggested it.

The important thing is that it is not a static relic but a living, vibrant constantly changing reflection of America.

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 10:19 AM
except that if they had used the money. all the anti-obma maniacs would be here yelling how dare they refurbish the white house with tax payer money when so many are losing homes.

So when they don't, they are just trying to furbish their image.

You see Grover... your not gonna win.

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 10:24 AM
Decorating aside, I'm shocked they're raking in over $ 4 million a year.

$4.2 million???? Politics sure is lucrative.

[edit on 30-3-2009 by gottago]

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