Video of the Day: An Oval Office Obsessive

By David A. Graham

A Texas man manifests his hobby with a nearly full-size replica of the president's office.

People do crazy things to get the Oval Office. They spend $69 million of their own money, like Steve Forbes. They trade a once-promising political career for a name synonymous with "perennial candidate," like Harold Stassen. They profess a belief in UFOs during a nationally televised debate, like Dennis Kucinich. In that light, the $250,000 Ron Wade spent looks -- well, if not exactly sane, then somewhat more reasonable.

The Texan, who has been fascinated by the presidency since his youth, owns thousands of items of memorabilia, and drives a car used by John F. Kennedy while he was in the White House, built an addition onto his house a few years ago that is a painstaking replica of the Oval Office. He was featured on TLC's aptly named My Crazy Obsession Wednesday night. It's tough to tell what's weirder: the fact that he reluctantly allows his family into the room but insists that they not move anything ("We have to be really careful in the Oval Office," his daughter says with what seems to be a mixture of resignation and puzzlement) or the fact that he went through all that trouble only to reproduce the executive suite at 80 percent? Would it have been so crazy to just go for full size?

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/03/video-of-the-day-an-oval-office-obsessive/254532/