The 46th U.S. president appears to have booted a conspicuous red button from the Resolute Desk, which his predecessor reportedly used to summon Diet Coke at will.
President Joe Biden wasted little time in making the White House his own. Within hours of his taking office, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW featured a new staff, a new set of policies, and a drastically less gaudy taste in interior decorating as it ushered in a new era in American history. A number of these dramatic and subtle changes became apparent when the press got its first glimpse of President Biden's Oval Office — including one that has stirred up chatter on social media. The 46th U.S. president appears to have booted a conspicuous red button from the Resolute Desk, which his predecessor reportedly used to summon Diet Coke at will.
The real conversation piece might be the moon rock Biden has on loan from NASA to recognize the ambitions of earlier generation https://t.co/vexV3GBPm9— Forbes Europe (@ForbesEurope) January 22, 2021
Trump — a Diet Coke fanatic — is said to have consumed around 12 of the sodas a day during his time in the White House and seemingly took great pleasure in showing off his special button to reporters. Associated Press reporter Julie Pace wrote about her introduction to the red button in 2017, recounting how midway through their interview, Trump reached over and pressed the button that could easily be mistaken for a nuclear detonator. "It didn't trigger a nuclear launch or send advisers scurrying into the room. Instead, a White House butler walked in with a single glass of Diet Coke on a silver tray for the commander in chief," she wrote.
Fortunately, the notorious Coke-summoning fixture is no more. Times Radio chief political correspondent Tom Newton Dunn pointed this out in a tweet Thursday, juxtaposing the Oval Office desks of both Trump and Biden, to highlight the differences between the two. "President Biden has removed the Diet Coke button," tweeted Dunn. "When [Tim Shipman] and I interviewed Donald Trump in 2019, we became fascinated by what the little red button did. Eventually, Trump pressed it, and a butler swiftly brought in a Diet Coke on a silver platter. It's gone now."
President Biden has removed the Diet Coke button. When @ShippersUnbound and I interviewed Donald Trump in 2019, we became fascinated by what the little red button did. Eventually Trump pressed it, and a butler swiftly brought in a Diet Coke on a silver platter. It's gone now. pic.twitter.com/rFzhPaHYjk— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) January 21, 2021
According to TIME, the Financial Times' Demetri Sevastopulo also had an encounter with the red button and jokingly asked Trump if it was the nuclear button. "No no, everyone thinks it is," Sevastopulo said Trump replied before using it to summon himself a Diet Coke. "Everyone does get a little nervous when I press that button," the former president is said to have added. Dunn's tweet immediately went viral, with a number of flabbergasted Twitter users — who had previously been unaware of the existence of a Diet Coke button — expressing relief that the Oval Office is now significantly less absurd.
I prefer Presidents who can jog to get a drink themselves pic.twitter.com/Ksjkj0vRzg— WEAR A MASK Lisa (@Lisa_Battleaxe) January 21, 2021
We dodged a bullet. pic.twitter.com/vPYwMyMfE2— Jack Straw *END THE FILIBUSTER* (@qwosl) January 21, 2021
FAMILY GUY WASNT JOKING ABOUT THE "DIET COKE BUTTON"? pic.twitter.com/RvHtwyqWK8— shoopdahoop25 (@shoopdahoop25) January 21, 2021
Biden also replaced a portrait of Andrew Jackson, to the left of the seat at the Resolute Desk, with a portrait of Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis, reports CNN. A bronze bust of Latino civil rights leader Cesar Chavez was also placed on the credenza behind his desk alongside photographs of the Biden family. The White House collection painting "Avenue in the Rain" has returned to the Oval Office while busts of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy flank a fireplace in the office.
I would've paid so much money to get to be in the room for the conversation that I imagine went like:— Emmy Bengtson (@EmmyA2) January 21, 2021
BIDEN: ok what's next
STAFFER: setting up the Oval. Photos are all done. Do you want to keep the Diet Coke button?
BIDEN: the what in god's name button https://t.co/cDhkmqzjr5
Overheard at Mar-a-Lago this morning: Get your own damn Diet Coke.— Just Bill (@WilliamAder) January 21, 2021
TRUMP'S LETTER TO BIDEN LEFT IN THE DESK: "Joe: The Red Button Is for BigMac and Fries; Yellow Button Is For Diet Coke; Blue Button turns on FOX; Black Button Launches the Nukes...or Maybe Black Is for Big Mac and Fries and Red Launches the Nukes."— Jeff Greenfield (@greenfield64) January 19, 2021
Parts of the office now feature paintings of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton and a bust of Daniel Webster, a former senator who defended the Union while a bust of Winston Churchill has been removed from display. The Bidens have selected at least two Clinton-era furnishings to replace Trump's selections — a blue Oval Office rug with floral trim and darker gold curtains. Meanwhile, Trump's thick, reddish-brown executive seat has been replaced with a tufted, dark brown leather chair.
Diet Coke button?— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) January 21, 2021
There’s room under that resolute desk for a mini fridge so long as no little Kennedys are still hiding under there
Biden should've kept this but instead of summoning a Diet Coke the button would call a random Trump family member and make a sad trombone sound https://t.co/HONMR24PQN— shauna (@goldengateblond) January 21, 2021
this is not the change we voted for— Robert Evans (The Only Robert Evans) (@IwriteOK) January 21, 2021
if you elect me president in 2024, there will be a Diet Coke button in every home, and butler's will show up every hour on the hour to force Diet Cokes into your hand whether you want one or not
I will drown this nation in aspartame https://t.co/240Ys6gwud