Obama’s latest scandal? Umbrella-gate


On the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Senate impeachment hearings that eventually brought down President Richard Nixon, the right-wing has found yet another “Watergate” to try to pin to Obama. Not the Benghazi attacks, or even the IRS targeting scandal–but it does involve water.

Republicans and right-wing talkers, gleefully embracing every bit of scandalous news they might be able to peg to the president, picked yet another issue to badger President Obama on Thursday.

His umbrella.

Specifically, his decision to have a Marine hold an umbrella for him while he spoke at a press conference alongside Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan Thursday.

Pundits like Sean Hannity and Eric Bolling used the moment as a metaphor to bash the president on Obama again. “Wouldn’t it be nice if he had them covered the way they have him covered?” Bolling asked. Hannity said, “They were protecting him and maybe in this case he should have been protecting them and the people in Libya.

Sarah Palin used the moment to talk more about the IRS.

Scandalous Hat TrickMr. President, when it rains it pours, but most Americans hold their own umbrellas. Today in… fb.me/zAZryzjj

— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) May 17, 2013

Most Americans do hold their own umbrellas, but Palin seems to have forgotten she’s leaned on others for help staying dry too.

Umbrella-gate has even been the subject of some quasi-serious journalism. The Daily Caller disclosed that the president had breached “Marine umbrella protocol,” and CNN talked to a Marine Corps spokesman to find out that seeing a “uniformed Marines holding umbrellas is ‘extremely rare’ and only happened because the president needed it.”

A quick Google image search for the phrase “Obama umbrella” quickly proves how the moment has lit up the right-wing corners of the Internet.

This particular scandal shouldn’t rise to the level of Congressional hearings–and the president’s critics keep glossing over one key point: he didn’t call for the umbrella for himself.

“I am going to go ahead and ask folks–why don’t we get a couple of Marines,” he said on Thursday. “Just because I’ve got a change of suits, but I don’t know about our [visiting Turkish] prime minister.  There we go. That’s good. You guys, I’m sorry about.”

Why paint the president as a gracious host when you can paint him as a lazy elitist instead?

Obama’s far from the only president to use an umbrella holder.