President Obama’s Dress Code Violation

Morning television shows, radio programs, blogs and newspapers are abuzz this morning over President Obama’s recent trip to Maine. The topic? Not the oil crisis, not the economy, not healthcare and not even the War on Terrorism, but rather… his choice of clothing while hiking with wife, Michelle, and daughters, Sasha and Malia.

A sitting President taking a vacation with his family will always be scrutinized, especially considering he could be using his time to draw attention to the defeated Gulf Coast region. But as a country, we chose to comment on his choice of khakis, dress shirt and footwear for a hike along the beautiful Cadillac Mountain in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Personally, it never occurred to me to critique Obama’s clothes. He would have looked more natural if he were wearing what is known as appropriate hiking gear – shorts, a tee-shirt and sneakers. That being said, if he can manage in the summer heat in pants and a button-up shirt…that’s fine. If his advisors said that the President is always supposed to look like “the President” (even while on vacation with his young children), then I think we are forgetting one very important fact…

When the people of the United States elected Barack Obama to represent the nation, he was supposed to represent more of the average “everyman.” During the 2008 election, we loved that Obama played basketball – just like we loved that President Clinton played the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show. Obama’s charisma, youthfulness and can-do attitude were a refreshing change in Washington.

Now that the luster has worn off, Obama is subject to the same criticisms that all past Presidents have had to endure. When you take the Presidential Oath, all actions whether public or private are fair game for the media. President George W. Bush’s twin daughter’s Jenna and Barbara made headlines when they were arrested twice in a five week span. President Clinton’s affair with intern Monica Lewinsky caused quite the scandal. So by the standards set by our most-recent Presidents, the issue of what is appropriate for the first family to wear while on vacation is not that bad.

However, the family has gone through this controversy once before. Last August, Obama and his family went to the Grand Canyon, one of the hottest, driest places in the country. Michelle Obama dared to wear shorts, while the President again chose khakis and a dress shirt. She was criticized for showing her legs; apparently it is not appropriate for the first Lady to wear shorts. Unfortunately, it is a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t type of world for the President and his family.

Rumor has it that the President and his family will return to Martha’s Vineyard for an extended vacation sometime next month. After this incident, it will be interesting to see how the Obama’s choose to pack…

Written by Rachel Licciardi.

 Note: This blog does not reflect any political affiliations or opinions from anyone at Nickerson PME, including the author’s.

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  • MSK  On July 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    He suited up, you cant blame the man for looking pro 🙂 its a way of life

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