Posted by Peter Krouse/Plain Dealer Reporter
CLEVELAND -- Portraits of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney that hang in federal buildings across the land will come down about noon Tuesday, which is when the outgoing administration officially comes to an end.
"We're going to try to get it as close to noon as possible," said Kathy Lease, supervisory property manager for the General Services Administration in Cleveland.
Once removed, the portraits will be destroyed.
Meanwhile, replacement pictures of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who take their oaths of office at noon, have yet to be printed.
"We were told the Government Printing Office will likely have them done the first week in March," said Lease, who handles the Carl B. Stokes and Howard M. Metzenbaum courthouses.
In all, the printing office expects to produce portraits for 9,000 federal installations, including hospitals and military bases. The public can buy prints of the official presidential portraits by going to bookstore.gpo.gov and clicking on Inaugural 2009. An 8-by-10 is $9 and an 11-by-14 is $12.
But don't bother placing dibs on the Bush or Cheney pictures being removed from the federal buildings. That includes people looking for a keepsake to treasure and those who might want to accentuate the portraits with a moustache or goatee, or worse.
All pictures of the president and vice president are to be "respectfully disposed of," Lease said. The government suggests shredding or recycling.
"They don't want them laying around so people can use them for improper things," Lease said.
The frames can be reused.