Life

Was There Really a ‘Diet Coke Button’ in the Oval Office?

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When President Joe Biden moved into the Oval Office, one of the stories coming out of the White House involved a curious accessory: the so-called Diet Coke button.

When I want a soft drink, I almost always grab a Diet Coke. So you can imagine my surprise when I heard about the “Diet Coke button” in the Oval Office.

Then I heard that President Joe Biden had it removed.

Wait a second. First things first. You’re telling me there was an actual Diet Coke button on the president’s desk? How did that happen?

I think the obvious second question is even more important: How do I get one of those?

Food&Wine referred to it as the “famed Diet Coke button.” So it’s clear, if it were truly famed, that people must have known about it. Workers redecorated the Oval Office for the incoming president. They added photos of Biden’s family and arranged them in front a bust of Latino-American labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. They replaced a painting of Andrew Jackson with a portrait of Benjamin Franklin.

And they took away the button. The famed button.

Political commentator Todd Netwon Dunn posted photos of the button on the Resolute Desk from a 2019 interview as well as a photo of Biden behind the desk with the button out of site. During the interview, Dunn said, he and Tim Shipman “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,” he tweeted.

A Diet Coke. On a silver platter.

Hey, I love my Diet Coke as much as the next fan does. But the silver platter is overkill.

I want my own Diet Coke button. But I don’t need the silver platter bit. Just bring me a 20-ounce and I’ll be perfectly content. And if they can find me a 20-ounce lime Diet Coke, all the better!

Just to clarify, the Associated Press said it wasn’t just for Diet Coke. Presidents, it reported, have used the little red button for decades. It was designed to call for a butler or aide, but I suppose Trump used it when he wanted his favorite beverage. (Some reports claimed he drank up to a dozen of them a day.)

But the button isn’t actually gone, Politico reported. The White House clarified that there are two “usher buttons” — that’s what they actually call them. They did not clarify what Biden will actually use them for, but apparently, it won’t be Diet Coke.

I’ll still take a Diet Coke button anytime they want to send me one.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.