White House Staff Is In Preparations For Inauguration Moving Day And Will Have Only Six Hours To Move The Obamas Out And The Trumps In.
White House staff are preparing for the whirlwind moving day where they will have just six hours to move out the Obamas and move in the new First Family.
While president-elect Donald Trump delivers his inauguration speech on January 20, nearly 100 staffers will be frantically making the 132-room mansion ready for the Trumps.
From 10.30am, staff will begin moving the Obamas belongings into waiting trucks on the South Lawn, and moving the Trump family’s items inside.
‘It’s more like organized chaos,’ Chief White House usher Stephen Rochon admitted to CNN. ‘We have one truck at the South Lawn that belongs to the outgoing president and first family facing south, and the incoming truck facing north toward the White House is on the east side of the south grounds.’
Incoming presidents, and their families, are free to make any changes they like to the private floors of the White House, on the second and third floors.
Some had raised concerns that The Donald, who is renowned for his gaudy, bombastic style – as exhibited in his many buildings including the gold-leafed, blingy Trump Tower in New York.
But the president-elect has promised he has not plans to impose his opulent style on the White House.
While Trump has no plans to make major changes during his time in the White House, past presidents have all left their mark on the historic building.
One of Obama’s main requests upon moving in was for a special shower head.
One thing that we were very aware of is the new president wanted a special shower head,’ Stephen Rochon, the White House chief usher told CNN on Sunday. ‘And so we had to scramble to make sure we had the perfect rain shower head for President Obama.’
Rochon, who – among the other White House staff will remain when the Obamas leave on January 20 – admits that he was ‘nearly in tears’ as he prepared for the big move day, ‘because you really do grow to love the family that you’re with.’
Michelle Obama has also spoken about finding herself overcome with emotion at the idea of leaving the house where they had raised their kids.
‘We’ve had so many amazing experiences. We have a phenomenal staff. We live in a house with people who love us, and we’re going to be walking away from that.’
Since moving in, the Obamas have also changed the White House’s tennis court to be able to play basketball on the court.
Barack Obama isn’t the only incoming president to have been concerned with the shower.
Lyndon B. Johnson was also very particular about his shower. The 36th president demanded a team of plumbers assemble a new shower with several nozzles that shot out water with ‘needle-like intensity’ and had water pressure ‘the equivalent of a fire hose’, the Business Insider reports.
One nozzle was purportedly positioned to shoot at the president’s rear while another shower head, that he nicknamed Jumbo, was aimed directly at his privates. He also wanted to be able to instantly switch the water from hot to cold water, rather than having a comfortably warm shower.
The lengthy project cost tens of thousand of dollars to complete, using secret funds.
When Richard Nixon won the election and moved in, he ripped out the complicated set up.
Other unusual additions include Bill Clinton’s hot tub, Nixon’s bowling alley and Jimmy Carter’s controversial solar panels – ripped out by Ronald Reagan and reinstalled by Barack Obama.
If the president’s family wants to change one of the public spaces, first floors or historic guest suites, such as the Lincoln Bedroom, they must consult the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.
Most presidents still choose to sit behind the desk presented by Queen Victoria to Rutherford B. Hayes made the timbers of the HMSResolute, according to Slate.
FDR commissioned a modification for the desk, which sits in the Oval Office, in 1944 to hide his wheelchair. Reagan raised it a couple of inches to allow his own chair.
The Donald will get to choose how he wants to have the Oval Office after his inauguration. Traditionally, presidents choose portraits of their predecessors for the walls, and design their own rug with the presidential seal.
He can also choose from a huge collection of White House furniture and art which has been bestowed on the First Families over the years.
The original White House furnishings were destroyed in a British-set fire in 1814.
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By Hannah Parry For Dailymail.com