Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Real Oval Office

Besides being a photography fan, I'm also a political junkie. While I don't enjoy the barbs and ugliness of political discourse these days in the United States, I am a lover of the theory of the democratic process and the practice of American politics done well.

As such, some of my favorite books, films and television shows are set in the world of politics. "The West Wing" is my favorite TV show of all time, which is saying a lot since I'm a avid television watcher and have collected several favorite shows over the years.

My love of "The West Wing" is due to two reasons:

  1. I'm a devotee of its creator and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and his commitment to forcing his characters to "walk-and-talk" smart, thought-provoking dialogue; and
  2. I wish Martin Sheen's character on the program, President Josiah Bartlet, was a real U.S. president, so I could vote for him.
(NOTE: A close third reason is that I wish Josh Lyman was also real person, because I would date him, but that's another story for another blog post.)

After watching (and re-watching) seven seasons of "The West Wing," I feel very familiar with the President's Oval Office. The show actually created a replica of the real Oval Office in a sound stage in Los Angeles as a set.

During those "The West Wing" marathons, I never imagined that I would one day be standing this close to the real Oval Office. You can see the exterior of the Oval Office in today's photograph. Just down this path and to the left is the door the President uses to enter and leave his executive office. From this position, you can see the curvature of the room that makes its oval shape.

While President Obama was at Camp David during my visit, a co-worker who visited the day before just missed seeing him enter the Oval Office during her White House garden tour. To be only steps away from such an important room is very humbling and awe-inspiring.

Once home following the White House garden tour, I felt compelled to watch another "The West Wing" episode and hear that soaring theme song one more time.

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