ABC News' Ann Compton reports:
On the President’s first day back in the office from vacation, facing a deteriorating economic horizon, one Internet site is claiming he has returned to a newly redecorated Oval Office, complete with new carpets and drapes.
A White House spokesman tells ABC News the administration will have no immediate comment on the Drudge Report that “workers have been busy installing new carpets, drapes, painting, etc. in Oval Office.” But mediamatters.org, a progressive media watchdog site, has pounced, defending the Obama administration.
Under the headline “BREAKING: President Bush redecorated the White House,” mediamatters.org pre-buts any suggestion that a cosmetic face-lift would be what it calls “some sort of shocking waste of tax dollars.” It recalls the Bush administration upgrades including an expensive sunburst carpet designed by then-First Lady Laura Bush.
When the Obamas first arrived last year, the President declared he liked the carpet and saw no need for immediate redecorating.
The President has a prime time address scheduled Tuesday evening from the Oval Office on the end of combat operations in Iraq, but under traditional White House protocol, the network television camera will be allowed to focus only on the President at his desk, without wider angle views of the office drapes and furniture.
-- Ann Compton