WASHINGTON — When President Barack Obama addresses the nation on Iraq Tuesday night, his Oval Office setting will be sporting a new look — and one that pays homage to Martin Luther King Jr. and four previous presidents.
While the president and his family were away on vacation in Martha's Vineyard, workers installed new wallpaper, a new rug, new sofas, lamps and a coffee table. Officials gave photographers a look hours before the speech was to be delivered at 8 p.m. EST.
The rug — an oval-shaped wheat, cream and blue carpet woven by the Scott Group of Grand Rapids, Mich. — was made with 25 percent recycled wool, the White House said. Officials said it was donated by the manufacturer, which also made Bill Clinton's Oval Office rug.
The excerpts on the rug include some of the most famous words ever spoken by Americans:
— "GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE" - From Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, among the most famous words ever spoken by a president.
— "NO PROBLEM OF HUMAN DESTINY IS BEYOND HUMAN BEINGS" - From JFK's American University speech June 10, 1963.
— "THE WELFARE OF EACH OF US IS DEPENDENT FUNDAMENTALLY ON THE WELFARE OF ALL OF US" - From a speech Teddy Roosevelt gave at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, N.Y., on Sept. 7, 1903.