Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 6, 2009

ANDY CARD'S FASHION PREOCCUPATION.... Last week, former Bush White House chief of staff Andrew Card began complaining publicly about President Obama failing to always wear a jacket in the Oval Office. It wasn't just a passing remark; Card can't seem to stop talking about this.

At least one prominent former Bush official has the following message for President Obama: I don't care if it's warm enough to grow orchids in the Oval Office. Put your suit jacket on.

In an interview scheduled to run Wednesday night, Andrew H. Card Jr. told the syndicated news show Inside Edition that "there should be a dress code of respect" in the White House and that he wished Mr. Obama "would wear a suit coat and tie." [...]

"The Oval Office symbolizes…the Constitution, the hopes and dreams, and I'm going to say democracy. And when you have a dress code in the Supreme Court and a dress code on the floor of the Senate, floor of the House, I think it's appropriate to have an expectation that there will be a dress code that respects the office of the President."

Mr. Card went on to add that, while he would not criticize Mr. Obama for his appearance, "I do expect him to send the message that people who are going to be in the Oval Office should treat the office with the respect that it has earned over history."

Let's unpack this a bit. The truth is, this president is not overly concerned about the formality of one's clothing. Obama was photographed at his desk wearing a shirt and tie, and some of the political establishment gasped because he was seen sans jacket. In the Oval Office, suits are common on weekdays, but the president issued an informal edict for "business casual" on weekends. That, apparently, means slacks and a buttoned-down shirt. This, Card believes, is insufficiently "respectful."

It's interesting to note, of course, that there are pictures of both Reagan and George W. Bush in the Oval Office without their jackets on. If Obama is violating some kind of "dress code that respects the office of the President," he's hardly the first.

But more importantly, to reiterate a point from Saturday, I still find it a little difficult to accept lectures from George W. Bush's staff about "respecting" the Constitution, the office of the presidency, and democracy itself.

Andy Card helped run a scandal-plagued White House that treated constitutional norms and the rule of law like a punch-line. Bush wore a suit jacket most of the time? How nice for him. While he was dressed appropriately, Bush also flouted the very laws he twice swore to faithfully execute.

Perhaps Card can spare us the moral righteousness that comes with his preoccupation with the president's fashion choices, and consider his own role in trashing "the Constitution, the hopes and dreams, and I'm going to say democracy."

One respects the office by honoring its place in a constitutional system, not by wearing a suit.

Steve Benen 11:15 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (82)

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Comments

"One respects the office by honoring its place in a constitutional system, not by wearing a suit."

That's just not how Republicans roll.

Posted by: phone's ringin', dude on February 6, 2009 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Bush officials will keep talking trash until they're aggressively confronted by interviewers.

Which will never happen.

Posted by: Chris S. on February 6, 2009 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

Andy Card IS a suit. Empty at that.

Posted by: Bill H. on February 6, 2009 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

In an interview scheduled to run Wednesday night, Andrew H. Card Jr. told the syndicated news show Inside Edition that "there should be a dress code of respect" in the White House and that he wished Mr. Obama "would wear a suit coat and tie." [...]

And I wish there had been a code of respect for the rule of law and the US Constitution in the Bush White House, but we can't have everything.

Fuck Card, that vain clothes-obsessed little prick. Eight years of degradation and disaster, and all he cares about is whether Obama is wearing a tie or not? If the Republicans hadn't been so obsessed with appearances and had actually rolled up their sleeves and done some honest to god work we wouldn't be in this mess right now.

Typical Republican -- they'd rather look good than do good.

Posted by: Stefan on February 6, 2009 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Fine. Card is right. Bring back the powdered wigs.

What an F***ing silly argument. And the media is biting on it.

Posted by: Tigershark on February 6, 2009 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

I think he wants Tim Gunn's job.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on February 6, 2009 at 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

Not many people know it, but the Decider was a great dancer. And respect for the office, ach! always a coat and tie on that man.....

Posted by: Stefan on February 6, 2009 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

I think it really bothers Card that Obama appears more presidential on a basketball court than W appeared sitting behind the desk in the oval office in a suit and tie.

Posted by: Matt on February 6, 2009 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Honestly, this kind of criticism coming from the people who shredded the Constitution is absurd.

I don't care what Obama wears, he could wear Speedos and leg warmers if he wants ...

Why cant the Bushies just STFU! We had 8 yrs of them ... and guess what? The god damn suits did nothing for the country.

Posted by: Tang on February 6, 2009 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Obama should wear a dashiki just to piss those guys off more.

Posted by: g. powell on February 6, 2009 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Character counts: not wearing a jacket is a gateway transgression to having an affair with an intern.

Posted by: Uli Kunkel on February 6, 2009 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Not only is Ol' Dutch not wearing a suit coat and tie in that photo, but he's also, one can't help but notice, donning the gayest shirt ever.

Posted by: ed on February 6, 2009 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't it kind of disrespectful to tell someone how they ought to dress?

Posted by: Jim Naureckas on February 6, 2009 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

I've seen photos of Bush in the Oval Office with his feet on his desk. I suppose that was "respectful" of the office?

Posted by: JohnC on February 6, 2009 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

The Oval Office is a fucking "work from home" arrangement. It's a fucking ROOM in a big building, just like my OWN office! Judas Priest, someone strike Andee Card over the head with a blunt instrument. I'm begging here.

Posted by: Breezeblock on February 6, 2009 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Paging Jeff Gannon! Andy Card needs a good lay, stat.

Posted by: Tony on February 6, 2009 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

So the jacket is now the new "flag pin"?

Posted by: Symbol or Substance? on February 6, 2009 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

i just find it beyond hysterical that a man who could allow himself to be treated with such disdain has the audacity to lecture anybody on 'respect':

Former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill, in his memoir, "The Price of Loyalty," recounts an anecdote that begins with President-elect [George W.] Bush interrupting O'Neill's discussion of policy:

"'Where's lunch?'

They'd ordered cheeseburgers, but after fifteen minutes, they had not arrived.

'Go get me Andy Card,' Bush said to one of the Secret Service agents. [Card was] stolid and jovial, a man of solid, loyal character.

Bush looked impatiently at Card, hard-eyed. 'You're the chief of staff. You think you're up to getting us some cheeseburgers?' Card nodded. No one laughed. He all but raced out of the room."

Posted by: linda on February 6, 2009 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and note that this "business casual" is on Saturdays. When did W ever even *work* on a Saturday?

Posted by: Barbara on February 6, 2009 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

This is really a "go to the back of the bus" type of comments.

Something I've noticed about the media is that they are really focused on the process and not the substance.

In covering the stimulus it is the same thing: Obama and the Dems are going about this the wrong way, not following protocol. Obama is AWOL, etc.

If Obama says something of substance, what he said is analyzed for the political effect, not the truth/falsity of his statements. For instance, any criticism of the Republican attempts to discredit the bill are seen as Obama dropping his bipartisan pledge. Who cares if the criticism is correct, who cares if the Republicans have spent two weeks criticizing the bill as devoid of stimulus effect.

But bloggers and the media fall into the Republican traps every day. These petty attacks are designed to distract. Cheney took about 10 minutes out of each hour of every cable news show, time which could have been devoted to covering Jim DeMint'ed.

Or maybe a five minute discussion on the accepted formula for GDP:

GDP = Consumer + Industry + Govt + (Export - Imp)

If GDP is to remain close to last year the stuff on the right of = must add up to about the same...right?

So if Consumer and Industry is down, along with Exports - Imports at about the same balance, the only way to balance it out is for increased Government spending.

Posted by: tomj on February 6, 2009 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Card's one to talk! He must truly be blind to the disrespect shown by his former boss (and the entire executive of which he was Chief of Staff) toward the office of the president and the citizens whom they were supposed to serve.

After trampling our constitutional rights, decimating our economy, ruining our standing abroad, and fabricating an unnecessary and interminable war, all I can say is, thank goodness this isn't show businesses - otherwise, who knows what their encore would be?

At very least we know that, regardless of the depravity of their actions, they'll be well-dressed. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig!

Posted by: Eli on February 6, 2009 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

"the Decider was a Great Dancer" Ya, ya, und der Fuhrer was a Great Painter. Why, he could do a two bedroom apartment in four hours, two coats! Apologies to Mel B.

But, decorum changes - In the '50s blue buttoned down shirts were frowned upon. But, the buttoned down minds of Shrub and Card turned the Oval Office into the Offal Office - So happy to see President Obama turning it into the Oval Office, once again. However, since when are red Pendleton shirts, gay?

Posted by: berttheclock on February 6, 2009 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

But more importantly, to reiterate a point from Saturday, I still find it a little difficult to accept lectures from George W. Bush's staff about "respecting" the Constitution, the office of the presidency, and democracy itself.

Didn't you already say this a few posts ago? What's the matter, no real issues to comment on?

Posted by: red state mike on February 6, 2009 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

I guess it wasn't disrespectful of the office to use it as a setting for a stupid joke about searching for Iraqi WMD.

And, giving a press credential to a gay male prosititue and making sure he was called on at Whitehouse briefings was also done to show proper respect for the office.

Card should STFU.

Posted by: Winkandanod on February 6, 2009 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

I've always assumed the message was more important than the clothes. Maybe that's why I'm not a republican. A monkey can wear a suit and it won't make him a bit smarter.

Posted by: jhill on February 6, 2009 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

"Isn't it kind of disrespectful to tell someone how they ought to dress?"

Not if they're black!

This is most likely part of a coordinated p.r. campaign.

Posted by: grinning cat on February 6, 2009 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

in the panoply of archetypes, 'andy' card's got robert morley down tighter'n dick's hat band...

but in this day and age, card's more of a wad than a hat band...

Posted by: neill on February 6, 2009 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

What's the matter, no real issues to comment on?

Personally I am a bit gobsmacked by the idiots in the M$M who keep giving pixels, airwaves and print to the morons who wrecked everything.

As far as I am concerned, I will counter every idiotic assertion as it presents itself. As this is a second go-round, it's fair game.

Posted by: Blue Girl on February 6, 2009 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Andy Card is an ass.

Posted by: larry birnbaum on February 6, 2009 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

obama is being "plamed" -

a sustained personal attack on a person from multiple sources that fills the media narrative for hours, days, weeks and drives public opinion poll results negative

pure rovian play

we have seen it before

it was a favorite bush play

remember valerie plame/joe wilson

remember the campaign against sadamm hussein

the republicans in the house and senate are maintaining a constant drum-beat of complaint,

while mostly silly and non-sensical this repititive druming of disapproval has effects

cheney's armageddon remarks and "andy's" obama's "disrespectful" remark adds to the noise,

bill crystal and david brooks are drumming too

traditional political tactics

predictably public opinion polls on obama and the economic stimulus bill are showing the effect

Posted by: jamzo on February 6, 2009 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

is it really necessary to spend one nano second contemplating dress in the oval office, who the fuck cares, evidently other than andrew card, who had his head up his ass the entire six years he occupied an office in the w h, and consequently was not capable of visualizing what anybody wore.

Posted by: lawrence luey on February 6, 2009 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Look up some old pictures of Ford in the WH--he wore his pajamas and bathrobe to work. It's a home office, I don't give a rat's ass what the president wears as long as he's doing what we sent him there to do.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on February 6, 2009 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's probably necessary for Obama to take his suit jacket off in the Oval Office. It makes it easier to roll up his sleeves and get to work.

Posted by: Jane on February 6, 2009 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

So let's see, Bush was photographed with his feet up on the desk, the dirty soles of his shoes toward the camera, which is very rude in many cultures, especially those on which we're trying to impose our "enlightened democracy." He groped Angela Merkel's shoulders in public, on camera, to her obvious distress. He did a silly little tapdance for reporters while waiting for a news conference to begin. And we're supposed to regard him as a model of professional, dignified conduct? I think Bush's dress code and his insistence on exact punctuality, was more about bullying others, and impressing them with his own importance, than about upholding the dignity of his office.

Posted by: T-Rex on February 6, 2009 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, with pictures of Bush himself not wearing a jacket, this is officially the dumbest complaint ever. Oh, and I am positive that you can find even more casual pictures of Ford, and probably most of the rest as well. Reagan wasn't even wearing a tie! Somebody call the Post!

Posted by: Allan Snyder on February 6, 2009 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

You'd think that Card would have known to keep his mouth shut after shooting it off about this before. Instead, he's pressing the point repeatedly, as if he didn't already know he made a fool of himself before. Just another example of Republicans being too incompetent to recognize their own stupidity.

Posted by: Tyro on February 6, 2009 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure why this is a surprise. The Bush administration was always about image over substance.

Posted by: chrisbo on February 6, 2009 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

"[Ford] wore his pajamas and bathrobe to work."

I'd love to see Obama do that, with a shout-out to Hef. That would really get the right-wingers' panties in a wad.

Posted by: Marko on February 6, 2009 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't you already say this a few posts ago? What's the matter, no real issues to comment on?

That's right, Mike, there's nothing less important than the Constitution of the United States, which is probably why Bush treated it like a piece of toilet paper. What's really important is what the President wears in the Oval Office.

Thanks for reminding us how indifferent Republicans are to actual governing when they can spend all of their time obsessing about trivialities instead.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on February 6, 2009 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Andy! Pull my finger!

How "presidential" do you think all those fart jokes were?

Posted by: Marko on February 6, 2009 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Good points about dissing the President. It's been unprecedented, the amount of unsolicited and down-right mean-spirited 'advice' and accusations being tossed his way--Cheney, Limbaugh, Card, and so on...

I think Obama's youth, idealism, intellect, energy, calm skin color and ethnic back-ground all make him a ready target for disdain, distrust, disregard and dis-respect.

He's just SO different and that equals SO threatening to many a fragile egos who lack any true hope, imagination and vision.

Posted by: Obama sadly is easy target for tiny egos who readily harbor disdain and disregard on February 6, 2009 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Like undertakers who rip off the grieving, Republicans always "dress with respect" while wrecking the Constitution and the country.

How these pathetic fools get taken seriously by anyone is proof that Mencken was right when he said "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

Posted by: TCinLA on February 6, 2009 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Check Time magazine's retrospective of the Bush/Rove relationship--Bush in the Oval Office with his feet on the desk.

Posted by: impartial on February 6, 2009 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Douchebag.

Posted by: spud on February 6, 2009 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Andy Card brings new meaning to the term "empty suit".

Posted by: Bob C on February 6, 2009 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Bill H: Andy Card IS a suit. Empty at that.

Amen, brother! All these guys could manage to do successfully is dress themselves -- that is why this is so important to them....

Posted by: chuck dc on February 6, 2009 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for reminding us how indifferent Republicans are to actual governing when they can spend all of their time obsessing about trivialities instead.
Posted by: Mnemosyne

I think Benen is obsessing over Card. If I didn't visit this site, I'd have no idea that Card was commenting on what Obama was wearing. I continue to not care. Nary an article in the newspapers or other blogs I browse.

Steve, how about an article on Chris Dodd and his failure to come clean on Countrywide? Or Rangel's tax wrangling? That has a much greater impact on current events than some ex-chief of staff's commenting on the current President's threads. Of course, it clashes with your Repub=bad/Dem=good meme.

Posted by: red state mike on February 6, 2009 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: red state mike on February 6, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Oh, a troll wants us to spend more time bashing Democrats. Just turn on the news if you want that, and leave here. You can have your "Dems bad, Repubs good" meme as much as you want.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on February 6, 2009 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

RSM, when former Bush staffers stop taking to their airwaves with their anti-Obama filth and address real issues, maybe we'll stop calling them on their crap. For now, it's quite clear who the source of the problems is: it's the Republican party, and they need to be beaten into submission and punished for their petty, insulting behavior. Then maybe we'll CONSIDER their suggestions about what else needs to be done to help the country. But their behavior has been abhorrent and is clearly outing them as people seeking to be an impediment to the good of the nation. If the issues YOU address are so important, why aren't Card, Cheney, and DeMint bringing them up, and instead are focused on their brandishment of public vulgarity?

Posted by: Tyro on February 6, 2009 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, a troll wants us to spend more time bashing Democrats.
Posted by: Allan Snyder

No, I want you to hold them to the ethical standards you are espousing, or else you'll just look like hypocrits. Why are you giving Rangel a pass on his tax problems? Why are you giving Dodd a pass? Obama saw Daschle's tax dodging for what it was, why can't you do similar for Dodd and Rangel?

Oh, I know. It's not about ethics at all. It's just winning. Meet the new masters, same as the old masters, thanks to you and yours.

If the issues YOU address are so important, why aren't Card, Cheney, and DeMint bringing them up, and instead are focused on their brandishment of public vulgarity?
Posted by: Tyro

Uhhh, because they're not me? Stupid question.

Posted by: red state mike on February 6, 2009 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Fuck Card, that vain clothes-obsessed little prick.

Yeah. And while we're at it, I'll point out that Card's suits frankly weren't that good.

Posted by: shortstop on February 6, 2009 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

If I didn't visit this site, I'd have no idea that Card was commenting on what Obama was wearing. I continue to not care. Nary an article in the newspapers or other blogs I browse.

That's pretty revealing. You must not browse the NYT, which has had multiple articles about this, or USAToday which had an article on it today, or the Washington Post, or the LaTimes, and a few dozen major blogs and smaller newspapers.

No wonder you're so sadly misinformed on topical issues.

Posted by: trex on February 6, 2009 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Uhhh, because they're not me?

You're the arbiter of what's important? We all know what's important to Republicans, and it's not anything that is actually important. They're the ones in the way of fixing our problems, so those are the ones Benen is going to focus on. I'd say you should do the same RSM: these Republican jokers are bringing you guys down and harming the country. Unforunately, you deserve a fair amount of the blame, as you are one of their big fans and supporters, so it's not really reasonable to take you seriously, now, and maybe you'll have some moral credibility for us to take you seriously in the future.

You helped do a LOT of damage to this country by carrying water for jokers like Card and Cheney, and you cowardly sat by and did NOTHING while they acted with destructive force. What suddenly caused this onset of "bravery" to get angry at Dodd all of a sudden? You were a wimp and a coward before, and you're a coward now when the people you remain silent in the idiotic vulgarity of the Republican party today.

You spent the last 8 years as a fool and a coward. Don't get all high and mighty complaining about what politicians you think need to be dealt with now-- it's becoming clear that all the politicians you supported, like Bush and Card, were just the fools we always said they were.

Posted by: Tyro on February 6, 2009 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

What I'd like to know is why RDM is coming to this site expecting it to be a dem-bashing republican club? Rangel and Dodd aren't front page news, which may be the very obvious answer to you question. No one here is supporting their actions but only rethuglicans are obsessing about them now with everything else that is going on. It's quite pathetic, actually.

Quick, somebody call RSM a whaaaaambulance.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on February 6, 2009 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Shut up and go away Andy! Your opinion does not matter when for 8 years the Constitution was butchered and disrespected.

Posted by: abc44 on February 6, 2009 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

No, I want you to hold them to the ethical standards you are espousing, or else you'll just look like hypocrits. Why are you giving Rangel a pass on his tax problems? Why are you giving Dodd a pass? Obama saw Daschle's tax dodging for what it was, why can't you do similar for Dodd and Rangel?

Uh, because I don't work for the IRS, Congress, or the White House?
Why are you more concerned about scoring partisan political points than dealing with an economic crisis? That should be the real concern of moronic partisan Repub tools like you and Card.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on February 6, 2009 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

if this is all the gop has- that obama isn't showing proper respect- we're in for a tiresome 4 years. I suspect the next stage of this assault on obama's character will be that he's arrogant and uppity.
Do they really think it will help to attack obama in thisw way? Put the rovian attacks away, it might be a big part of why the gop lost so badly in november. It's time to turn the page already.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on February 6, 2009 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Andy Card and his meal ticket, the Bush/Cheney crime syndicate, don't recognize that stripping down to shirtsleeves is how many people go to work, inside the White House as well as out.

People who aren't working may be more comfortable in suits and ties--no rush, no sweat, no heavy lifting. People who do work may place priority on the job rather than the costume. Sounds like change I can believe in: more work, less primping and posing.

If George, Andy, and Dick could just see themselves in mirrors, maybe they wouldn't be so troubles about how their betters comport themselves while cleaning up after them.

Posted by: Boolaboola on February 6, 2009 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

That's pretty revealing. You must not browse the NYT, which has had multiple articles about this...
Posted by: trex

I read the NYTimes on line daily, but I guess I must lump articles about what Obama is wearing with articles about Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and I don't follow the link.

Tyro, you aren't the slightest bit better than everyone who "carried the water" for Bush/Cheney, etc., you're just doing it for your guys. Go ahead and give them a pass. But it will result in the downfall of the Dems sooner rather than later. They already have a rep for only allowing one tax cheat in the cabinet at a time, for hiring lobbyists and influence peddlers.

If Daschle hadn't been busted for cheating on taxes he'd have been a cabinet secretary who made over $5M in a couple of years from a law firm even though he's not a lawyer. What was he selling other than influence and a rolodex? Why did it take a tax scandal to make him off limits?

I thought Obama was going to change the fundamentals. Looks like nothing has changed at all.

What I'd like to know is why RDM is coming to this site expecting it to be a dem-bashing republican club?
Posted by: zoe kentucky

I expect you to hold your own to the high ethical standards you purportedly espouse, so you don't look like hypocrits.

Quick, somebody call RSM a whaaaaambulance.
Posted by: zoe kentucky

No need, they're here.

Waaahh! Somebody doesn't like the way my President dresses! Wahhhh! Coat and tie! Waaaahhh!

Posted by: red state mike on February 6, 2009 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Two words never more appropriate for Card and his ilk: Empty Suits.

Posted by: Elroy on February 6, 2009 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, I think Card's just playing his part in the overall plan: Repeat the GOP MO of the Clinton years, which is to have a lot of voices simultaneously claiming that the president deserves no respect because he "doesn't respect the office."

These fools don't realize that with an economy in implosion, a planet in peril, a couple of insane wars going on and everything else on people's minds, the average voter's response to "He should keep his jacket on!" is "WTF are you talking about? I'm trying to keep my job/house/healthcare/sanity and you idiots who made the mess are complaining about the cleanup crew's uniforms?" And even if this were a peaceful and prosperous time, the fact is that this president connects with people on a level that makes carping about Oval Office dress sound petty and spiteful.

How much farther out of touch can these people get? God, I hope they keep this up. Give them even bigger shovels. They'll use 'em.

Posted by: shortstop on February 6, 2009 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Andy Card, the perfect Republican: nice suit, but full of hot air.

Posted by: SRW1 on February 6, 2009 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Andy card is a form-over-function guy?
Quelle surprise.

Posted by: kenga on February 6, 2009 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Shows you just how stupid the GOP can be!
H--l it was the suits that got us into this mess, I do not care if the man wears a jogging suit as long as he has America's interest at the top of his list.

Posted by: jc on February 6, 2009 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

I believe Mr. Card has hit on something here. This is BIG and I'll tell you why: This could become the central platform of the Republican party. In 2012, the Palin/Plumber ticket will run on a campaign of restoring the White House dress code. I only hope we can head this off in time to stop them!

Posted by: Capt Kirk on February 6, 2009 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

I read the NYTimes on line daily, but I guess I must lump articles about what Obama is wearing with articles about Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and I don't follow the link.

Thanks for your admission that your original claim that Steve was obsessing on an issue the
media was ignoring was false. It's priceless that your excuse is that you just weren't paying attention. Keep moving those goalposts.

I thought Obama was going to change the fundamentals. Looks like nothing has changed at all.

No, it looks like you're just trolling, because the evidence points to the opposite conclusion.

Do lets begin making a list of the ethical standards and improvements under President Obama:

Daschle was dropped as a nominee because he didn't meet ethical standards. The process worked. Look to see that the remaining nominees properly divest themselves of assets. Paul O'Neill and Karl Rove did not when they entered office, and took advantage of their influence over certain industries so that they made the tidy sums $63 million and $2 million on their investments respectively.

Blagovich: gone. Piled on, castigated, humiliated, out.

President Obama has reversed the Bush/Cheney administration policy of secrecy by demanding compliance with FOIA requests instead of the stonewalling and outright refusals that have been common practice.

President Obama has changed the lobbying rules so that lobbyists can't fill government positions for industries for which they have lobbied in the past two years. You may recall Bush placing a timber industry lobbyist in charge of forest management, among many other egregious examples of nakedly ceding public treasures to business interests.

Rather than claim a privilege of being a so-called "Unitary Executive" that cloaks even the most mundane decisions in complete secrecy, President Obama has demanded that the American people hold him accountable. He has already had work started on using the web as a medium to make government information more transparent and accessible. Documents from meeting with outside organizations -- like say, Secret Energy Meetings with Oil Companies -- will be posted for the public to review.

And that's only after two weeks in office.

Posted by: trex on February 6, 2009 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

You can bet that this is Jr talking through Andrew. Andrew Card is pretty much a Bush family vassal. One of the few people left on the planet that The Decider can still order around. You can bet he threw a hissy fit and order Andy to go out there on the TV and make an ass out of himself bitching about the President's clothes while he's trying to clean up the steaming pile of shit that Bush left to him.

This was a fetish of Jr's. Because really he is such a fucking empty suit that if it weren't for the coat, there wouldn't have been any evidence that he was in the office at all.

Posted by: SW on February 6, 2009 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

I think I can sum up red state moron's argument--it's better not to set ethical standards so then you can be like George W. Bush and staff your whole administration with corrupt, incompetent criminals.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on February 6, 2009 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe if George Bush's chief of staff had spent a little less time telling people to worry about their clothes and a little more time telling them to worry about the economy, maybe then millions of Americans wouldn't have lost our shirts.

Posted by: anonymiss on February 6, 2009 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like this issue got prime news coverage on both MSNBC and CNN as well.

[Chris] Matthews noted a few "smart decisions" Bush administration officials made while "smartly dressed."

"Starting a war over a baseless argument," Matthews noted. "Bringing a government in surplus into adding more national debt than all the previous presidents put together. Oh, yeah. Letting an economic boom under Clinton become an economic catastrophe. If that's dressing for success, I'd prefer shirt sleeves."

And CNN:

"Perhaps Card did not see this picture -- oh, yeah, of President Bush taken two days after his inauguration. It clearly shows Bush in the Oval Office there, but not wearing a coat. Perhaps Card is also unaware Presidents Ford, Carter and Clinton were photographed in the Oval Office without wearing a jacket. In fact, Clinton was photographed wearing a short-sleeved shirt and a flannel shirt in another shot," said CNN's Kiran Chetry.
Posted by: trex on February 6, 2009 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Typical of the modern Republican. Focusing on the irrelevant (flag pins, bumper stickers, etc.) to distract the interviewer the fact that you have nothing substantive to add to the conversation.

Posted by: ET on February 6, 2009 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

"I thought Obama was going to change the fundamentals. Looks like nothing has changed at all." - Red State Mike

In addition to what trex said, let's compare the fundamentals in the "accountability" dept:

In two weeks, Obama has admitted a major mistake. "I screwed up [in selecting Tom Daschle]"

In two terms, Bush has admitted: "I wish the intelligence was correct [in justifying a war in Iraq'"

(accountability = "I should have demanded better intelligence before starting a war.")

Posted by: Marko on February 6, 2009 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm, I'm getting censored by the immoderator. Have to argue another day.

Posted by: red state mikke on February 6, 2009 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

What's the matter with the serial killer mike? It's probably just that the next eight years aren't shaping up to include a lot more chances for him to cheer on the murders of innocents and so he's hoping for at least some intra-party sniping. It's not as much fun for him as an innocent woman and child being murdered by bombs from the air, but at least it's something.

Posted by: the on February 6, 2009 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

> Bush wore a suit jacket most of the time?

Yeah. Remember that first debate when the prompting box/radio controller wasn't working? The guy was inarticulate and off the wall.

Remember the other debates, when you could see the outline of the box under his jacket?

It's VERY reassuring to see Obana can take off his suit jacket and still talk and think clearly, eh?

Posted by: me on February 6, 2009 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

There's a picture of Ford and Johnson as well on google images. Try "oval office johnson", or "oval office ford" and there are images for both.

Posted by: Patrick Bradish on February 6, 2009 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

If Daschle hadn't been busted for cheating on taxes he'd have been a cabinet secretary who made over $5M in a couple of years from a law firm even though he's not a lawyer. What was he selling other than influence and a rolodex? Why did it take a tax scandal to make him off limits?

And even THOUGH John McCain was busted for not paying taxes on his condo and his credit cards were in arrears you STILL voted for him for president.

Why didn't a tax scandal make him off limits?

Posted by: trex on February 6, 2009 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

And even THOUGH John McCain was busted for not paying taxes on his condo and his credit cards were in arrears you STILL voted for him for president.
Posted by: trex

No, I voted for Obama.

Posted by: red state mike on February 6, 2009 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

No, I voted for Obama.

Excellent, then that brings us full circle:

"Mike, how about a comment on John McCain and his failure to pay taxes on his property? Or how he is a multi-millionaire who is tens of thousands of dollars in arrears on credit cards? Or on constitutional violations by Bush and cronyism and enabling of war profiteering and bank ripoffs by Republicans?

Of course, it clashes with your 'all politicians are equally corrupt but conservatism is better' meme."

The importance of the Card issue is that it highlights the style-over-substance game that Republicans played over the last eight years. They traded on the authority of their office without actually governing. They browbeat their opponents with threats of terrorist attacks and accusations of treason when their agenda was challenged. They failed and even obstructed oversight, causing trillions in wealth and millions of jobs to evaporate.

And they pretended it was all above board because they wore suits and saluted the flag and invoked the memory of fallen soldiers.

Posted by: trex on February 6, 2009 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Give Barack Obama a peace of mind. Let the man does his work as the President of United States of America. He does not need the coat to make decision; there are better things to go under the microscope other than the dress code!! Leave the President alone and let him be comfortable whilst making big decisions!!! and if the Oval Office is too warm, for godsake, switch on the air-cond for him!!!

Posted by: zie on February 6, 2009 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

I'm pretty sure it was the Bush Machine, during that speech of his where they blew a couple hundred thousand or more on lights and a floating barge so the Statue of Liberty would appear luminously behind him during the speech, that insisted the men in front who would be in the camera arcs remove their suit jackets and ties and roll up their shirtsleeves, so they would look more like "workin' folk".

Not to mention the photo taken of Bush, Cheney et al in which the caption suggested they were copying Ahmedinijiad, because they were wearing suit jackets with no ties and their top shirt buttons open.

Bush the Walking Colon was always trying "new looks" in an attempt to reinvent himself, like an alien jumping from body to body as the one before is revealed as a brainless tool. Andy Card is a consummate assclown who can't stop shilling for the Dear Leader even when he's a nobody. People should be screaming for the Republicans' blood with all their obstructionism, and now this petty drivel. What's wrong with Americans? Why are the Republicans allowed to continue behaving this way, with no repercussions?

Posted by: Mark on February 6, 2009 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently, Card is a fan of Thomas Edison... "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration"

(Note to Card: the sweat is supposed to be a METAPHOR for hard work. Ask a trusted friend to explain metaphors to you. I understand conservatives aren't clear on this concept.)

Either that or he owns serious stock in "Right Guard" and he's planning a major pump-n'-dump.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on February 7, 2009 at 5:51 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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