It was no one’s strong suit.
It was tan. Or beige. It swallowed the conversation around President Obama’s press conference whole.
On the one hand, as some are now pointing out, this suit is not so bad. (You can tell that it is August because there is a backlash to the backlash to a SUIT.)
This kind of story is tailor-made for the slow summer months, when a little bit of needling the president’s threads can take our minds off the fact that the world is full of larger problems that need to be cut down to size.
If you collared me, I’d be pressed to avoid a suit libel.
My colleague Elahe Izadi got Robin Givhan to weigh in on this, and she derided the suit focus and said she was “appalled by the Twitter feeds.” She is right, of course. She also has a distinct advantage over me (and most Beltway Insiders) when it comes to such things as Knowing What Clothes Are Supposed To Look Like On People.
Givhan observes that this is a sign of the silly lockstep the Beltway Insiders have fallen into: flag pin goes here, suit is blue or black, unless you’re part of the Seersucker Gang, nobody has anything to say about your fashion choices unless you’re Jared Polis.
Still, one thing about it stands out sharply: It is not blue or black — or even grey. Obama told Vanity Fair in 2012 that he only wore blue or grey suits — adventurous enough in DC’s unvarying ocean of blue and black — so that he would not waste any of his decision-making energy. HOW MUCH ENERGY WENT INTO SELECTING THAT TAN SUIT, PRESIDENT OBAMA? The people deserve to know. Was that energy that could have been better spent elsewhere, say, picking out a strategy, or at the very minimum picking out words to say about the strategy that were not “We don’t have a strategy”?
But I think the suit actually spoke for itself. It will not bespoke for.
Perhaps the suit was actually a brilliant maneuver. It wasn’t all that loud, but it still spoke so much louder than the president’s words. We were so completely overcome by the suit that we failed to hear the president saying that “we don’t have a strategy” until hours later.
Some would say that this is a sign of the superficial knee-jerk group think that dominates the nattering classes. That fixations like this show that the emperor of the fourth estate has no clothes. That all we want to do is make suit puns on Twitter and joke about the Audacity of Taupe.
And they would be right, but — come on. When else are you going to be able to make this many suit puns?