August 31st, 2010
08:55 AM ET

Oval Office setting is message behind the message

Xuan Thai
CNN White House Producer

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/08/31/oval.office/c1main.oval.jpg caption="President Obama will give an Oval Office address Tuesday night about the end of combat mission in Iraq." width=300 height=169]

Washington (CNN) - Before President Obama says a word during his Tuesday Oval Office address, the backdrop will make a statement for him: that he is the decider.

Obama is set to give his second Oval Office address, a speech meant to mark the end of combat missions in Iraq. But besides the remarks he will make, the setting of his speech will convey something, too.

"The Oval Office invokes the center of the presidential authority. That's the president's office, that's where he supposedly makes decisions, where he governs," says presidential historian Robert Dallek.

"[When] a talk to the nation is given from that office, [it] is underscoring his executive powers, his leadership."

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Filed under: Iraq • President Barack Obama
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