Thanks to a reader.
Following up on Yesterday's "Mayor Bloomberg Hooks Home Air Conditioner On SUV" it appears there is quite a long history of politicians getting into the personal comfort arena.
From the Los Angeles Times, March 31, 2007:
Howard Bernard 'Reds' Arrington, 79; plumber kept White House flush
...Arrington, who was on call virtually around the clock, seven days a week, was chief plumbing foreman at the White House for 19 years. He retired in 1979, having served every president from Harry S. Truman to Jimmy Carter....
...The one president who took the plumbing far too seriously was Lyndon B. Johnson.No firehouse up the bum for Nixon, no sirree.
"President Johnson started right in about his shower when he moved into the White House. He said, 'I don't have any pressure, for one thing,' and that he wanted it just like the shower at his Georgetown home," Arrington said in the Life interview.
"So my assistant and I worked on his shower, and the president tried it and said, 'That was nothing.' Then he said he wanted body sprays all around, not just overhead. He wanted one on the floor, too. This wasn't for his feet -- he wanted it to hit up his rear," Arrington said.
When he was experiencing trouble adjusting the shower, he felt the full fury of Johnson's legendary temper in a three-minute phone call that concluded with the president slamming down the phone.
Normally, calls conveying the president's wishes came from the chief usher at the White House, but not this one, Margaret Arrington said.
"We have flunkies in Johnson City that can fix it, why can't you? I don't want any change in pressure when I go from the overhead to both. Bring in the engineers, anybody, but have that thing fixed by the time I get back from Texas," boomed the president, as recalled by Margaret Arrington.
To inspire Arrington, no doubt, the president added: "If I can move 10,000 troops in a day, you certainly can fix the shower."
"We ended up with four pumps, and then we had to increase the size of our water lines because other parts of the house were being sucked dry," Arrington said in the Life interview.
"One day the head usher tried out the shower. It pinned him right against the wall, and he looked like a lobster when he came out. 'I don't see how he can stand it,' " the usher said.
After five years of tinkering and fine-tuning the shower, it was President Nixon who ordered Arrington to "get rid of this stuff," after taking office in 1969....MORE