Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

The audacity of taupe: Obama's suit switch surprises

President Barack Obama speaks in the White House press room Aug. 28 ... in a tan suit?
President Barack Obama speaks in the White House press room Aug. 28 ... in a tan suit?

President Barack Obama came to the podium Thursday to address a serious topic: Russia and Ukraine, an issue on which we’ve published quite a few fact-checks.

But in an age in which everything is scrutinized, Twitter got silly poking fun at Obama’s suit color.

Was this the latest in the new Obama, one who takes trips to Chipotle, strolls around D.C. and apparently wears light-colored suits? "The audacity of taupe," tweeted The Atlantic political reporter Molly Ball. "Yes we tan," offered New York Times reporter Nick Confessore in a post. PBS Newshour producer Domenico Montanaro sent out a picture of former President Bill Clinton wearing a tan suit, perhaps so his followers could opine, "Who wore it best?"

The frenzy was on par with baby panda fever at the National Zoo.

But an astute Twitter follower noted the suit may have triggered warning sirens — not from the fashion police, but the Flip-O-Meter.

Scott Ritter of New York City sent us a link to Michael Lewis’ 2012 profile of Obama in Vanity Fair magazine. The venerable writer had almost unfettered access to the president for the pre-election story that provided many anecdotes from the inner workings of Obama’s White House and Air Force One, as well as his philosophies and habits.

That included how Obama dresses.

"You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits," he 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."

So in the lead-up to the presidential election, Obama said he only wears gray or blue suits. On Thursday, Aug. 28, he veered far from that policy and donned a beige-colored jacket and a gray, striped tie.

Maybe someone just forgot to pick up the White House dry cleaning. But this one seems pretty black and white, er, tan. We won’t put it on his permanent Flip-O-Meter record, but let there be no doubt about the change: When it comes to suit color, this is a Full Flop.