At least one prominent former Bush official has the following message for President Obama: I don’t care if it’s warm enough to grow orchids in the Oval Office. Put your suit jacket on.
In an interview scheduled to run Wednesday night, Andrew H. Card Jr. told the syndicated news show Inside Edition that “there should be a dress code of respect” in the White House and that he wished Mr. Obama “would wear a suit coat and tie.”
Mr. Card, who was George W. Bush’s first chief of staff, becomes the first member of that famously buttoned-up administration to criticize the more relaxed Obama dress code.
According to Inside Edition’s Web site, Mr. Card also said:
“The Oval Office symbolizes…the Constitution, the hopes and dreams, and I’m going to say democracy. And when you have a dress code in the Supreme Court and a dress code on the floor of the Senate, floor of the House, I think it’s appropriate to have an expectation that there will be a dress code that respects the office of the President.”
Mr. Card went on to add that, while he would not criticize Mr. Obama for his appearance, “I do expect him to send the message that people who are going to be in the Oval Office should treat the office with the respect that it has earned over history.”As the Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg reported last week, Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush have, among other distinctions, drastically different views on White House dress codes.