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by John Helmer, Moscow 

How they are hanging is not a question usually asked of the President of the United States in the Oval Office, unless you are an intimate friend of his, or an interior decorator on the make.

There are far fewer of the former than of the latter, so whenever a president changes, the decorators make sure their changes are displayed too.  

Some presidents like their office décor to show they have balls. The gold lamé curtains hung by Donald Trump behind the Resolute desk  mesmerized the editor of the Financial Times and his staff when they were granted their first interview with Trump in April 2017; the president issued a threat to attack North Korea.

From the point of view of the Kremlin, the presidents most susceptible to the idea of showing their balls by confronting the Russians were John Kennedy, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. Their colour selection for Oval Office drapes was red for the first two; gold for Trump. Lyndon Johnson (cream) preferred to show his to the Vietnamese; Jimmy Carter’s (red) to the Iranians. The outcome was ruinous for those two; gold lamé hasn’t been auspicious for Trump.   

John Kennedy

Lyndon Johnson

Richard Nixon

Barack Obama

Donald Trump

Joe Biden has chosen hand-me-down gold (lead image). His curtains have been taken out of basement storage from the Clinton time, as Biden has also done with his appointees for warfighting with Russia.

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