Obama: Three Men and No Tie

In an opening salvo from the mainstream press in the 2008 Democratic primary race last month, the first strike against Barack Obama was on the first-grade-level, where someone’s name is compared to a homophone with bad associations (deduct points if you laughed when you read the word “homophone”). It quickly progressed to the point where fashion-sensitive children begin to make fun of the wardrobe of their chosen targets.

So it was last month, when CNN’s senior dick analyst Jeff Greenfield appeared on “Teh Situation Room” to spend two-and-a-half minutes talking about Obama’s clothes. If you didn’t see it, he mentioned Obama’s appearances before Christmas wearing “a jacket, a collared shirt, but no tie.” He calls it a “striking contrast” with the John Kerry look of 2004 — which looks pretty much the same to me in the video — but which Greenfield says is a “blazer, the kind of casual wear you see at country clubs, and lawn parties in the Hamptons.”

I should say at this point that I’ve made it through 45 years of life without having to know the difference between a “jacket” (presumably a sports jacket) and a “blazer.” But then I’m not the fashion plate Greenfield is.

Greenfield then shows George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan in jacket-less mode talking about their “rancher” look, before moving on to wonder who else on the world stage doesn’t wear a tie with their jacket. Of course, he comes up with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Much kerfuffle was made.

But that was last month. This week, though, I saw a different politician on TV, with a jacket (or maybe a blazer) and no tie. But I haven’t heard any snide remarks about it from Greenfield or anyone else. The guy’s name is George W. Bush. He was on CBS’s “60 Minutes”. Maybe it was a blazer.