SLOW DEMONIZATION DAY, RUPERT?
There must not be much happening on the Obama-is-the-Antichrist beat today, because the New York Post is forced to fall back on "Democrat president desecrates office sartorially!!1!1!!" material:
On its inside pages, the Post devotes a whopping 29 paragraphs to this burning question:
Scooting around Hawaii last week, President Obama broke one more historic barrier by setting a new benchmark for the limits of presidential casual wear.
He was wearing flip-flops.
Historians agreed it was the first time they could remember seeing the leader of the free world snapped in a public setting, wearing nothing more than a flimsy strip of rubber on his feet.
While Ronald Reagan was famously snapped strutting on his way to Camp David in his cowboy boots and John F. Kennedy was no stranger to sailing in his deck shoes, the picture of Obama tooling around an ice-cream shop with his toes on full display seems be a first for the presidency.
"I can't say I've seen a president's toes before. This could be a very usual thing," said presidential historian Jane Hampton Cook....
You haven't, Jane? Funny, I have -- but then I labored heroically for, oh, about two and a half minutes on Google before turning up this and this:
(There's this as well, though I can't quite make out the footwear choice, or lack thereof.)
Ah, but Jane Hampton Cook, as far as I can tell, is the sort of "historian" whose works of "history" consist entirely of "inspiring stories" -- her most substantial works include The Faith of America's First Ladies ("Inspiring stories from the nation's first ladies and the first lady from a Jewish proverb, Proverbs 31") and Battlefields & Blessing, vol. 1 ("365 fascinating--many never before heard--devotional stories from America's quest for independence"). In addition, she's a Fox News columnist and a speechmaker -- sample topics: "Red, White, Blue & You" and "George Washington the Text Messager, Benjamin Franklin the Twitterer: Free Speech and Communication (Great for university students)" -- and she was George W. Bush's White House Web master, so that's gotta count for something, right?
But she's not the only "historian" who's never seen a president's feet:
Presidential historian Doug Wead concurred.
"In public, no. I haven't seen the president's toes," he deadpanned.
Wead is also both a Bushie and a highly acclaimed thinker:
Time magazine called Wead an insider in the Bush family orbit and "the man who coined the phrase 'Compassionate Conservative.'" ... George W. Bush first picked up the term “Compassionate Conservative” in 1987 from Wead.... In 1979, Wead gave a speech titled “The Compassionate Conservative” at the annual Charity Awards Dinner, and tapes of the speech were later sold across the country at corporate seminars....
Mark Victor Hansen, the author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, describes Doug Wead as "incredibly inspiring and unbelievably motivating."
Is it really appropriate for Bushies to be mocking what any other president does on or near a beach?
Oh, and there's also this from the Post:
Not everyone in the Beltway appreciated Obama's hang-loose approach to footwear.
"You don't think you're going to see [Russian Prime Minister] Vladimir Putin wearing flip-flops, do you?" said one DC observer.
Really? Haven't we seen him in just about every other conceivable stage of embarrassing dress (and undress)?
Oooh, and what do I see here?
HOLY CRAP! IT'S PUTIN'S TOES!
UPDATE: Wow -- somehow I missed this back in '07:
Crocs! With black ankle socks! Jesus wept. (Thank you, commenters.)