- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

With a few simple changes in their Senate offices, both presidential candidates could improve their health and relationships and maybe even get a few more votes, says Taylor Vance, a feng shui consultant.

John McCain’s Senate office is eclectic and cluttered.

Barack Obama’s is clean and modern.

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that examines how a person’s environment affects his life.

Modern feng shui practitioners focus on placing objects in locations that maximize chi, or energy.

“It’s really important to honor people’s style and their personal relationships,” Miss Vance says. “You can’t just pick a thing, put it there and say it’s feng shui.”

The first thing she would do to make Mr. McCain’s office more feng shui-friendly is get rid of the clutter.

“He’s barricaded in there with so many things,” Miss Vance says. “I got a feeling that he wasn’t really as available as he could be.”

Step two would be to unblock a set of large double doors. Doors are where energy enters and opportunities flow in, Miss Vance explains. However, these doors are unused and blocked by a plant and a chair.

“He may not be getting the advantage of all the opportunities that he might if he unbarricaded them,” she says.

However, Mr. McCain made a smart feng shui decision by putting his desk at the back of his office, giving him a long, expansive view that Miss Vance says will help him expand his thoughts.

And Mr. Obama?

Some may call his office decor minimalist. Miss Vance calls it accessible.

“It’s an uncomplicated image. What you see is what you get,” Miss Vance says.

What’s in the office is well-placed. To the left of the door, an area that represents knowledge, Mr. Obama has a photograph of former South African President Nelson Mandela and a portrait of former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

“That tells me he’s drawing on their wisdom,” Miss Vance says.

Yet Mr. Obama could enhance his office leadership by moving his desk so it doesn’t have a door behind it.

“Sometimes that can create a situation where you’re not as supported by the people in the office with you,” says Miss Vance, who recommends putting the desk in front of a solid wall.

There’s also one suggestion she thinks would benefit both candidates - adding a small fountain in the back left corner of their offices, the area that relates to money and opportunities.

“That would help bring in more campaign contributions,” Miss Vance says.

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