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Sitting Tall

January 11, 2017

The desk in the Oval Office, although obviously better than most, was too low for the new President.  He was taller than his predecessor, but that was not the problem.  His chair was just too high.

The barrel chair was something he brought from home, and it was so high that the President could not put his knees under the desk.  After seven months his executive assistant asked why the President always sat slightly sideways.  The answer: he didn’t want to make a fuss.

Not making a fuss regarding his own prerogatives was typical of this President.  One individual who met with him daily wrote: “Not once did I ever hear him refer to himself as the ‘president.’  In fact, be couldn’t even bring himself to use the word ‘I’ in referring to the office of the presidency.  When it came to issues and policies, it was ‘we,’ ‘our,’ ‘we believe’ or ‘we are working to’ or ‘it is our sense.’”  That’s what Jim Kuhn reported on pages 82 and 83 of his book entitled Ronald Reagan in Private.

By the way, Ronald Reagan did not sit sideways for eight years.  The desk was raised two inches in August 1981, but this was not done until the President was on vacation.  That way there was no fuss.

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