obama and mies

Obama, of course, is Time’s Person of the Year. See here.

The piece begins…

You probably sat in a fancier conference room the last time you refinanced or heard a pitch about life insurance. There’s a table, some off-brand mesh office chairs, a bookcase that looks as if it had been put together with an Allen wrench and instructions in Swedish.

To reach this room, you pass through a cubicle farm lightly populated by quiet young people. Either they have just arrived or they are just leaving, because their desks are almost bare. The place has a vaguely familiar feel to it, this air of transient shabbiness and nondescriptitude. You can’t quite put your finger on it …

"It’s like the set of The Office," someone offers.

Bingo.

It is here that we find Barack Obama one soul-freezingly cold December day, mentally unpacking the crate of crushing problems — some old, some new, all ugly — that he is about to inherit as the 44th President of the United States. Most of his hours inside the presidential-transition office are spent in this bland and bare-bones room. You would think the President-elect — a guy who draws 100,000 people to a speech in St. Louis, Mo., who raises three-quarters of a billion dollars, who is facing the toughest first year since Franklin Roosevelt’s — might merit a leather chair. Maybe a credenza? A hutch?  

Now wait a second. Obama’s campaign headquarters is in the Kluczynski Federal Building in Chicago designed by Mies. So a federally-owned building likely is pretty bare-bones inside, but no mention of Mies? No mention of a man Time magazine called a "disciplinarian for a confused age"?

 

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