By now you’ve seen headlines like “Biden Removes Trump’s Diet Coke Button from Oval Office.” As the story goes, Trump had a red button mounted in a wooden box sitting on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. Pressing it signaled a servant to bring in a Diet Coke, reportedly Trump’s favorite drink, on a silver tray. (Trump also joked to guests that it was the button, the one that can start World War 3.)
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In new photos of the Oval Office, as redecorated by President Biden’s staff, the red button is gone.
However, turns out the red button wasn’t original to Trump:
So what’s the story? According to an excerpt from Richard Branson’s autobiography, Obama explained the button to Branson during a meeting in the Oval Office: “They used to be there for emergencies, but now I use them for ordering tea for my guests.”
It’s not clear why Biden has had the button removed. And the fact that a Presidential drink-ordering button has made national news perhaps signifies less panicky political news coverage for the time being.
By the bye, expect knock-offs of these buttons to appear on Etsy soon. It’s just a matter of time before some enterprising craftsperson cashes in.