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The G-8 Goes Obama Casual

In the latest sign of the decline of the West, the G-8 leaders meeting in Northern Ireland this week decided to remove their ties and dress down in the manner of President Obama, who can frequently been seen in gym clothes, a golf shirt or whatever milling about the Oval Office.

Because why be so stuck up, right? They’re just a bunch of casual dudes and a gal workin’ in low-key fashion to make lives better for other regular peeps like themselves.

G-8 tieless

Are these people playing scrabble or discussing the future of the planet? I think Putin’s got a seven-letter word.

Only German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who perhaps not uncoincidentally may be the most successful leader of the bunch, has the sense to wear reasonably appropriate attire. Her usual getup, at least.

You think I’m kidding about all this, right?

Listen, I’m not a great dresser, believe me. And I just love, in the fashion of a blogger, to spend half the day wearing the most comfortable things possible. I’ll leave it at that.

Unless I have to be somewhere. And then I force myself to look like I know I should.

Because I do understand that casual dress inspires casual thinking. Like the kind of thinking this generation thinks.

My dad never walked around the house in jeans or shorts and a baseball cap. He wore slacks. At work, he wore a tie. Ronald Reagan rarely set foot in the Oval Office without a jacket and tie, and once ensconced there, never took it off.

Today’s American men and their European counterparts have infantilized themselves beyond repair: negotiating with their children instead of telling them what to do; playing video games with other grown men on the Internet; and wearing reversed baseball caps with the emblems of their favorite sports teams like teenagers just out of their acne faces.

If you think men today are irresponsible, self indulgent children who let the door close in women’s faces, then look no further than their sartorial ineptitude to figure out why.

Obama, like Bill Clinton before him, shows all the signs of sloppy thinking and arrested development. And his policies, disastrous on both the foreign and domestic fronts, reflect it. His main agenda item every week seems to be to get out on the golf course with his regular crew of twenty and thirty something junior White House staffers and wisecrack his way through 18 holes.

He even got Chinese President Xi Jinping to go Obama Casual at their recent meetings in California.

Obama Xi Jinping

Looks like it really broke the ice.

I assure you, the Chinese president was just humoring our guy. The moment Xi got back on his plane he strapped on his tie and got back to work on plans to kick our Western butts.

Here’s another photo of the guardians of Western culture.

G-8 tieless 2There they are, led by Obama, waving goodbye to their hegemony. Because you can’t run the world dressed like it’s causal Friday.

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68 Responses to The G-8 Goes Obama Casual

  1. Well, he’s doing better this time ~ at least he didn’t put his waving hand in front of the face of Angela Merkel like he did at a previous G-8 Summit.

  2. Let’s not Blame this all on our President.
    I mean, Putin goes topless whenever possible.

    And the only reason he doesn’t go fully naked is that its hard to pocket someone else’s superbowl ring when you have no pockets.

    • Yet Merkel (at least from the waist up) appears to still be “in uniform”. Is Obama outsourcing his White House policy of treating women as of lesser value across the pond?

      Is “The One” instigating a World Wide War on Women?

        • Aside from Hillary the self-proclaimed “pantsuit aficianado”, I’m uncertain as to standard attire for women at such events. Thus the stated limitation. The tie for men is standard. Waist down for women, I’m not so sure.

          Judging by Google images, Merkel has worn essentially the same outfit every year, so there’s no change for her. OTOH, the men also went without ties last year.

          • I generally have no problem with what Clinton wears. It’s been a heckuva’ struggle for women to stand up for their right to dress how they please instead of being forced to show their legs.

            Man, I feel an epic rant coming on. I gotta’ take some deep breaths and go to my happy place for a while.

          • Mandy:

            I don’t think women need to dress up and show skin to appeal to men. I think it would be very amusing to see the roles reversed for a year. (I’d also like to see women try being themselves for a while, instead of trying to look like some artificially enhanced model designed to extract money from their pockets).

            Meanwhile, back at the ranch…it turns out that Merkel, wearing what she wears each year, was the only one who didn’t “go casual” — same as last year.

          • I have no problem with pants; in fact I prefer them to dresses. The original point is that Merkel is the only one who didn’t “dress down”. The topic here was the attendees going casual. The men got to do so by dropping the ties. Merkel looks to be wearing what she wears every year.

          • Then why did you say she was in uniform at least from the waist up? This is not really important and I usually enjoy your posts, but it seems to me you are trying to have it both ways. She looked fine and groomed, they looked awkward and unfnished.

  3. I agree with the intent of your comment. But, I grew up on a ranch in Wyoming, so jeans were what you wore to work.

    After college, I never left the house without slacks and a collared long-sleeve shirt … and never went to work without a tie. The jacket becomes semi-optional in July/August because … well: hot; humid and subways packed like sardine cans.

    Austin, Texas and Silicon Valley felt weird (techie here) in a tie or suit. But we would *never* visit Perot Systems / EDS in Dallas without a pressed white shirt, suit and *very* shiny shoes. When visiting customers (SV tech partners) in, especially NYC and Boston … Always a suit. The shirts may or may not have been Ross Perot’s favorite white starched … depended on the customer.

    To your point about doors, now that I am back in the South … Here, almost everyone holds the doors for everyone. I think the only complaint I have ever received has been from some sort of self-styled feminist who informed me that she could get the door for herself!

    So: I agree with your general point … but context and culture matter. And the picture above ignores all of those. Infantile…

    • That’s a very good point, William. A rancher would look as inappropriate in a suit and tie as an attorney would showing up for work in his pajamas. A scientist would wear a jacket and tie, but he might well have a lab coat over it. And if someone came to paint my house in a suit and tie, I’d be suspicious something really weird is going on. It’s definitely about context. And in the context of world politics, our leaders shouldn’t be looking like they showed up for a card game instead of a summit.

  4. Obviously photos are those moments in time frozen, with that said I found the bottom image to be very telling how there is a distance kept between BO and Cameron by the others. Unlike the previous years when you could barely find any space between the others and BO.

  5. “Looks like it really broke the ice.” I saw another photo of the two of them, and it looked like Xi was trying to avoid shaking Obama’s hand.

  6. Interesting. We wouldn’t know what MrO wears in the WhiteHouse if you hadn’t told us.
    Let’s not let MrsO off the hook here; she treats the WhiteHouse as if it were just another office building.
    We don’t; to us it’s THE White House, our historic and revered symbol of America.

    Most of us have given up hope that MrsO would realize that she’s not the opening act for Beyonce, or a substitute gym teacher and dress appropriately. The photos of MrsO and her daughters in Ireland show all three of them dressed in sloppy, ill-fitting outfits.

    The O’s just don’t feel the gravitas, the historic pride that the rest of us do for the icons that identify our beloved country.

    • Those horrible SWEATSHIRTS the girls are wearing on their official diplomatic trip to Dublin! I’m horrified they were allowed to show up looking like that.

      • I’m all for letting kids dress themselves once they hit a certain age, but there is no way I’d allow my son to wear a sweatshirt on such an occasion. It shows an extreme lack of respect for both us and the Irish.

    • Because they are not icons for our country. They think bigger than. They are WORLD leaders.All the people are “their little people.” As demonstrated in Michelle’s speech in Ireland. She is so happy and considers all of us her minions.

    • Neither Obama nor Biden know what gravitas is. Biden would mistake it for a Mexican beer, and Obama would get it confused with a slang golf term for 3 under par.

    • Speaking of BeyoncĂ©, we should ask her and Jay-Z to , by all means, to give us a public Coarse of Action Analysis on Syria since both have been in the Situation Room.
      I’m sure they both have a razor-keen grasp of the subject.

      (that’d be hilarious)

  7. I agree. They are world leaders, they should look like it. Instead they look like a group of aunts & uncles playing scrabble at a family reunion.

  8. “Obama casual”. So, when and IF he finally leaves office, will he and Michelle start their own clothing line?

    I can see a line of golf shirts, slacks and other assorted outfits for the course all emblazoned with the Obama seal. A line of athletic wear, suitable for office and the b-ball court. Dress shirts and suits with Velcro along the sides so as to make the transition from business to casual easier.

    Michelle will have a line of sleeveless tops, shorts, and low cut gowns that will show off all of a woman’s attributes, no matter the size or shape. A line of designer wigs, with and without bangs. And a complete line of over sized handbags that will have enough compartments to store all of the varied items that one might need for a day and night on the town.

    The personal hygiene line will be inclusive, much like the administration, with featured items such as the transparency mask, created to lift the dirt off of whoever applies it. Toothpaste and mouthwash specially created to get the nasty taste of lying out of one’s mouth. A high potency line of deodorant, no B.O. for B.O. And of course a line of vitamins and supplements to offset that hungry feeling one gets from eating undersized, government regulated portions.

    All of these items of course will be made in sweatshops in China, imported to the US by Obama’s various donors, and will exempt from any tariffs or taxes due to special executive orders that will be signed just before he leaves office.

    • Please may I add the FLINO’s Industrial Weight Containment System?
      Oh, and then the o’s pantyhose, which make his trousers stick to his leg?

    • ObamaCasual shoes have soft neoprene pads on the heel for gripping the surfaces of polished furniture.
      They come licked to a high gloss as well.

      Order now

    • I’ve seen Wal-Mart shoppers that look better. How disrespectful for them to represent our country when they are traveling around the world on our millions of dollars.

      • Isn’t there a fake PSA video going around about “bitchy face” ? That’s what it reminded me of. ;)

        You’d think by now Michelle would know where and when the cameras are rolling. Her people have strong controls over the media and known to confiscate camera phones at some events. MO needs to work on keeping the corners of her mouth in a semi-smile to remove her “oscar the grouch” natural look.

  9. “Because I do understand that casual dress inspires casual thinking. ”

    I completely agree-it shows disrespect as well for the people they are supposed to represent.

  10. fantastic piece Keith

    no wonder men look like imbeciles in commercials and tv shows – maybe it’s because most of them are!

    don’t forget the backwards baseball hats for that extra doofus touch!

  11. So powerful is President Obama’s casual sartorial look that it influenced the attire at the 2004 G8 Summit on Sea Island Georgia, almost five years before he was sworn into office!

    http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Multimedia.jsp?id=m-8457

    And once again we see his influence in this image of the G8 members in 2007, this time in Germany.

    http://www.g-8.de/Webs/G8/EN/Media/FotoDownload/2DayTwooftheSummit/SeaBridge/blaettern3853.html?page=3&sortString=-dateOfIssue

    Have to say though that my favorite looks for any of these economic summits are when they all don tradition garments of the host country and pose for a photo.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/15773863/ns/world_news-asia_pacific/t/bush-seeks-chinese-help-north-korea-trade/#.UcEAduuE7Tg

    • Sorry, not quite. These are “casual stroll” photo ops. While I think there may also have been rare plenary sessions held in casual attire, this is the first time that an entire summit and each of its plenary sessions have been staged in casual dress.

  12. It is a different world.

    My father, born in 1907, actually would wear a tie when he watched TV! Even I think that’s over the edge.

    He owned a delicatessen and yes, he did wear a tie while he worked in his store.

    Remember Gomer Pyle? I remember the shows when the Sarge and Gomer had to go to the Captain’s house in the evening to get out of some mess or another. The Captain showed up at the front door, newspaper in hand, still dressed in his uniform (with tie of course).

    Different time. However, I’m not sure that this thoroughly modern present day is better than those “neanderthals” of the past.

  13. Spot on article, Keith. Wonder who the three amigos are waving at? Did Preezy bring some sycophants along to cheer him on at every stop?

  14. Perhaps it went like this…all six men said, “Obama doesn’t know how to dress for a summit, so let’s not embarrass him We’ll dress down – no tie would be a good start…”

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