President Obama's choice of suit is more important than Ukraine, Isis and the Middle East (apparently)

It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...

Kiran Moodley
Friday 29 August 2014 14:55 BST
US President Barack Obama holds a press conference in the Press Briefing Room at the White House on August 28, 2014
US President Barack Obama holds a press conference in the Press Briefing Room at the White House on August 28, 2014 (Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images)

Russia invades Ukraine, Isis rampages through the Middle East.

President Barack Obama had a lot to comment on as his international policy of "reflection then action" came under fire once more as Vladimir Putin continued to ignore US warnings and as Islamic State militants killed over 150 troops captured in Syria.

However, as Obama entered the White House briefing room on Thursday, his choice of suit - opting for a tan colour rather than the usual blue or black number - became the key talking point. Well, for Twitter that is.

Instantly, Obama's book titles and political slogans became ripe for suit puns. "The audacity of taupe" was popular, a play on Obama's book The Audacity of Hope, while "Yes we tan" did the rounds as the president's famous 2008 catchphrase came back to haunt him. It even spawned several parody Twitter accounts.

Others noted that the attention on Obama's tan threads gave him a taste of what Hillary Clinton had to go through during the 2008 Democratic primaries, when her trouser suits were frequently commented on more than her policies.

The humour derived from Obama's choice of attire almost threatened to overshadow the news that the president did not have a developed strategy yet on how to deal with Isis militants, months after their advances in Iraq and Syria and following the execution of US journalist James Foley.

Back in February, Business magazine Fast Company highlighted a 2012 Vanity Fair interview with Obama: “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” he (Obama) said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”

Does that raise the possibility that Obama's decision-making briefly went askew and he over-thought his choice of suit rather than deciding on what course of action to take with regard to Isis? Most probably not, but Obama's beige suit did offer some light relief.

Anyway, it is not the first time a US politician has had the audacity to venture out into the fashionable wilderness and where a lighter shade of suit.

Congressman John Dingell, a Democrat representing Michigan's 12th district, tweeted a picture of himself wearing a taupe suit to defend the Commander in Chief.

While PBS NewsHour's senior producer Domenico Montanaro asked the important question of who wore it better: Obama or Clinton?

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