The White House Rose Garden borders the Oval Office and the West Wing. The term “Rose Garden strategy” (or “Rose Garden campaign") was popularized in September 1976, when President Gerald Ford spent time in the White House to look presidential, rather than to appear on the campaign trail. Ford signed legislation and gave speeches from the Rose Garden. The strategy was deemed necessary, especially for Ford (who assumed the presidency after the resignation of Richard Nixon and who had been elected neither president nor vice president).
Other presidents have used a “Rose Garden strategy,” but most presidents prefer to actively campaign.
Wikipedia: White House Rose Garden
The White House Rose Garden is a garden bordering the Oval Office and the West Wing of the White House. The garden is approximately 125 feet long and 60 feet wide (38 meters by 18 meters). The garden balances the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden on the east side of the White House Complex.
Design and horticulture
The White House Rose Garden was established in 1913 by Ellen Loise Axson Wilson, wife of Woodrow Wilson, on the site of a previous colonial garden established by First lady Edith Roosevelt (wife of Theodore Roosevelt) in 1902. Prior to 1902, there were extensive stables, housing horses and coaches, located on the grounds of the present-day Oval Office, Cabinet Room, and Rose Garden
Official and informal use
The phrase “Rose Garden strategy” (such as a re-election strategy) refers to staying inside or on the grounds of the White House as opposed to traveling throughout the country. For example, Jimmy Carter’s initial efforts to end the Iran hostage crisis (1979–1981) were a Rose Garden strategy because he mostly held discussions with his close advisers in the White House. On July 25, 1994 a declaration of peace between Israel and Jordan was signed in the Rose Garden.
Although the Rose Garden is used frequently to greet distinguished visitors and for special ceremonies and public statements, the contemplative setting is often a very personal and private place for the President. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt commissioned Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. to redesign the gardens, and he installed cast iron furniture pieces.
4 April 1976, Anderson (IN) Herald, “In Washington” by Ron Hendren, pg. 4, col. 5:
FORD’S ROSE-GARDEN STRATEGY
Google News Archive
10 September 1976, Modesto (CA) Bee, pg. A3, col. 5:
Carter, in Plains, criticizes the
Ford “Rose Garden” campaign
By The Associated Press
For the first time in a week Jimmy Carter was home Saturday and sighing about how tough it is sometimes to fake exuberance on the campaign trail. And GeraldFord, who didn’t leave home, said a president should be president first, candidate second.
12 September 1976, Boston (MA) Globe, “Ford follows his strategy; Stay home, be presidential” by Saul Friedman, pg. 1:
For these reasons among others the President and his campaign aides seemed happy with their Rose Garden strategy, especially after near-disastrous primary
Google News Archive
18 October 1976, Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette, pg. 27, col. 1:
Rose Garden Strategy Fails
WASHINGTON—Everyone is asking what happened to President Ford and how he suddenly lost his momentum. I think I can tell you.
Campaign for President:
The managers look at ‘76
Edited by Jonathan Moore and Janet Fraser
Cambridge, MA: Ballinger Pub. Co.
So this was the basis for the campaign strategy in the general election, the Rose Garden strategy. The president simply did better in communicating with the voters when he was perceived as the president, not as a candidate for president.
Running for President, 1976:
The Carter campaign
By Martin Schram
New York, NY: Stein and Day
After ending his Rose Garden campaign according to plan in October, Ford had hit twenty-five cities in twenty-two days, an exhaustive schedule by his standards, although in the same twenty-two-day period Jimmy Carter had been to forty-two cities.
Google News Archive
12 July 1979, Pittsburgh (PA) Press, “Carter Charging Ahead From Retreat” by Ted Knap (Scripps-Howard Staff Writer), pg. A7, cols. 2-3:
Such a “Camp Davidstrategy” reminds Washington observers of formerPresident Gerald R. Ford’s efforts in 1976 to pull out of a slump in the polls.
Almost daily, he had a bill signing or an awards ceremony in the White House rose garden, using the full trappings of his office to appear “more presidential.” It became known as the “Rose Garden strategy.”
New York City • Government/Law/Military/Religion /Health • (1) Comments • Tuesday, August 16, 2011 • Permalink