We’re not seriously going to have this conversation again, are we?
On Saturday, the President spoke with Putin for 90 minutes after Russian troops entered the Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, but many detractors took to social media to rebuke his informal attire. […]Casual attire for Obama and his staff has become the norm, especially for weekend work, but one staffer from the Bush era can’t help but chide the succeeding administration for disrespect.
Ron Christie, a former Bush/Cheney adviser, told the New York Daily News, “Talking with the President of Russia about an invasion in a button-down shirt and jeans is not up to the task.”
He added that it “irks” him that casual attire in common in the Oval Office on weekends, but Christie said the president’s informal wear over the weekend failed to send the “right message” about the foreign-policy crisis.
Of all the things for Republicans to be concerned about right now, this seems pretty silly.
For one thing, there are plenty of photos of other modern presidents, including Ronald Reagan, conducting business while wearing casual attire in the Oval Office. The republic survived. It wasn’t a big deal.
There’s nothing wrong with holding presidents to high standards, but there’s no reason to hold this president to a different standard than his predecessors.
For another, even raising the concerns is an example of literally putting style over substance. If Obama’s detractors want to assess his foreign policy, great. If they want to talk about how best to address the crisis in Ukraine, no problem.
But when members of the Bush/Cheney team are reduced to giving the president fashion tips in the midst of a serious foreign policy challenge, it suggests they may have too much time on their hands.
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