VIPs who feel naked without a color picture of the (current) president on their office walls will soon get relief, thanks to the White House and the Republican National Committee. Private citizens who want a picture of Ronald Reagan also can request one.
In keeping with past practice (Nixon and Carter), the White House is having about 40,000 photos or lithographs printed. The majority will go to federal buildings and post offices for lobby display. Federal officials also can get pictures, to replace once-cherished photos of President Carter. The latter lost their allure last November. Things being the way they are, Carter pictures are as rare as portraits of Millard Fillmore.
The GOP national committee will pick up part of the cost of the pictures -- price still to be determined -- for government offices. The White House will, upon request, send black-and-white pictures to individual Americans as a "White House courtesy." Those costs come out of the executive mansion budget.
During the Johnson administration, 8-by-10-inch color photos were supplied to major post offices (more than 20,000 of them) and for display in the 10,000 plus federally owned or leased government buildings. Color photographs are much more expensive today, so high quality lithographs will be sent to most government offices. The lithographs have the advantage -- in addition to their lower cost -- of not fading like photographs, although few of the presidential pictures are used more than eight years, for obvious reasons.
If you want a picture of the president, write (do NOT telephone) the correspondence section of the White House, Attn: Mr. Anderson (that is Robert, not John). They already are overworked during this season of political redecorating, so write, do not call. Be the first VIP on your block to get an official photo.