The Washington Post

Last week’s biggest coverup

(Jason Reed/Reuters) (Jason Reed/Reuters)

The runaway reader comment winner over the weekend was the photograph and May 17 article of President Obama summoning umbrellas from the Marines to shield himself and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan from the rain and drizzle that was dampening them and their joint news conference.

As Rachel Weiner reported,  “… in a week of Benghazi e-mails, Justice Department subpoenas and Internal Revenue Service targeting, some of the administration’s critics saw another example of overreach.”  Marines are not supposed to carry umbrellas, but as one their officers noted, this situation was an extenuating circumstance.

Our Readers Who Comment have weighed in almost 4,000 times on this event and some of what they write appears to be partisan in nature.  Some defend Obama’s action.  Some regard holding umbrellas as a clear misuse of the Marines.

We’ll start with ted, who wrote, “In other news, President Obama took a breath, and exhaled. Conservatives lambasted the president and called for an inquiry and possible impeachment.”

swaintico2012 asked, “Why is there no awning there that can be quickly deployed to keep one and all dry? Or has that been put beyond our reach by the sequester? Those young Marines have been in the rain before, maybe not in their dress blues. But serving in the rain is not insulting to them. He asked nicely. Finally, the visiting Prime Minister of an allied nation should not be expected to drip dry, really.”

melonheadx13 said, “Well, call me stupid, but I spent 20 minutes reading the comments before realizing that the only thing really going on was a courtesy extended to the Prime Minister of Turkey. I fell into the obama mania too.”

The Floridian wrote, “It would be more proper for the President of the United States when boarding the White House helicopter to look the marine straight in the eye at the bottom of the staircase and salute PROPERLY rather than the half-hearted ‘back of hand. entries captured millions of times by news cameras that has indeed irked many Americans.

To which bew795 replied, “Floridian, I’m a retired 24 yr US Army veteran and I can assure you President Obama gives a better salute than did his predecessor. The Marines job is to stand their post without being obtrusive…they are NOT the main act, rather the President is regardless of who the President happens to be and whether you like it or not.”

Saraalan said, “If you look at pictures now circulating on the internet, this is standard practice. Pictures of both Bushes show soldiers holding umbrellas. I don’t recall anyone back then asking why.”

We’ll close with donzapper, who said, “The umbrella incident serves as an apt metaphor in that Obama is engaged in multiple cover-ups. Serious coverups.”



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Doug Feaver · April 23, 2013