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Republican Fashionistas Can’t Stop Evaluating the President’s Clothing

President Obama is a bit of a nerd. Not a huge nerd, but occasionally a little nerdish. No need to stop the presses because this isn’t news, nor is it at all consequential in terms of the president’s toughness or how he leads the free world. For example, ask Anwar Al-Awlaki or Osama Bin Laden whether the president is a feckless wimp.

Nevertheless, one of the most superficial and nonsensical Republican hobby horses, generally falling within the same category of ludicrousness as teleprompters and Hawaii vacations, is how the president dresses himself. Yes, too many Republicans tend to behave like Joan Rivers or a poncy E! host on the red carpet before an awards show, laser-focused on the president’s clothing and accessories. This is a thing because, well, flailing and misplaced anger, for one. It’s also about painting a silly boardwalk caricature of the president as an impotent waif.

obama_bike_slacksWe’ll absolutely circle back to this, but yesterday on Sean Hannity’s radio show, Hannity went off on a rant about a photo of the president riding a bicycle while — gasp! — wearing a helmet. His guest said that this photo has been circulating in Russia to illustrate the president’s alleged weakness.

Here’s Hannity:

Didn’t they show a picture of, like, Putin with his shirt off riding horseback, and then they have a picture of Obama with his — on his bicycle with his, uh, goofy helmet of his? [...] I mean, it’s embarrassing. I mean the picture of him on that bicycle with that goofy hat on — heh, look, I’m gonna be honest as a parent, did I make my kids when they were learning to ride a bike wear that goofy helmet? Yeah. But when I grew up, all I did was ride my bike. I never wore a helmet. Ever. Not once. Not one time. Guess what? I had newspapers. And guess what? I went over the handle bars. My friends pushed me into cars, we pushed each other into cars. We survived. I mean, it just looks — it’s embarrassing.

Before we rip this apart, here’s a photo of the president riding a bike Hannity-style: no helmet.

But what the guest didn’t mention was that the contrasting Putin/Obama photos were obviously part of a government-led pro-Putin propaganda effort. So, it’s something to be taken at face value, right? Whatever Moscow says, must be true, right? It’s quite telling how in the midst of a crisis in Ukraine, Hannity is seriously accepting and repeating what’s likely an example of anti-U.S. propaganda out of Moscow. Interesting, especially from someone who once said… [READ MORE]