President Reagan, who has worked nearly eight years in an oval-shaped office near the Potomac River, is looking forward to settling down in a rectangular one with a view of the Pacific Ocean.
Reagan, on the fifth day of a two-week California vacation, paid his first visit Tuesday to the office he will use after his term ends Jan. 20. The office, not yet fully furnished, is on the top floor of a 34-story building about five minutes by car from where the Reagans will live.Reporters were not allowed to accompany the president into the building, but assistant White House press secretary Mark Weinberg quoted him as saying, "It's a beautiful office with a spectacular view and it even has four corners. I'm looking forward to spending time there."
The president's right hand was scratched while unpacking a box of books in the office, Weinberg said after reporters noticed two small bandages on his fingers as he waved to them while leaving.
Reagan spent about 45 minutes in the office.
Weinberg said the president made decisions about the office several months ago and the purpose of Tuesday's visit was to see that the arrangements were made as he wished.
The office is down the hall from the office of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, which is overseeing construction of the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley northwest of Los Angeles. On the same floor are offices for first lady Nancy Reagan and for the Secret Service.
Expenses for former presidents are paid out of a budget provided by Congress.
The Reagans will fly to Palm Springs on Thursday and see the new year in as usual at the home of publisher Walter Annenberg.