Mitch McConnell was seen wearing a tan suit during a visit to the White House on Monday, leading many supporters of Barack Obama to remember how it was considered a “scandal” for a number of conservative media figures when the former president did the same.
McConnell was seen wearing the outfit in a picture shared by Reuters reporter Steve Holland, showing the Kentucky senator sitting in the Oval Office as Donald Trump spoke. The tweet relayed an announcement from Trump that he was planning to start coronavirus briefings after a long pause, but many people instead took note of McConnell’s choice of attire and noted the supposed hypocrisy of it.
President Trump says he is bringing back the coronavirus briefings, first one Tuesday ay 5pm pic.twitter.com/btQ7qGQY3h— Steve Holland (@steveholland1) July 20, 2020
Obama wore a tan suit to a White House briefing in August 2014, leading to some sharp criticism from media figures, and even some Republican politicians. New York Rep. Peter King saying in an interview with Newsmax that it was inappropriate for him to pick that color, given that the world was watching.
“There’s no way I don’t think any of us can excuse what the president did yesterday,” King said. “You have the whole world watching, you have a week, two weeks of anticipation of what the United States is going to do and then for him to walk out — I’m not trying to be trivial here — in a light suit, a light tan suit.”
King had not made any kind of statement after the Senate majority leader wore a nearly identical outfit during his visit to Trump in the Oval Office. Others who had criticized Obama for his wardrobe choice were also largely silent, though his supporters were vocal in pointing out what they saw as a double standard.
Today Mitch McConnell wore a tan suit in the Oval Office, which is nothing like the time Barack Obama wore a tan suit, the worst scandal in presidential history. pic.twitter.com/eRiQafhfv1— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) July 20, 2020
As Salon pointed out, McConnell has been known to wear such attire when speaking on the Senate floor and making public appearances. He did so at Senate hearings for circuit court judges in August 2018, leading many to blast the hypocrisy that McConnell’s tan suit garnered no such reaction from the same people who blasted Trump’s predecessor for wearing one.
Many of Obama’s supporters have long noted the hypocrisy of the “scandal” that erupted over his wardrobe, with many seeing it as the nation’s first Black president being held to a standard that his predecessors had not faced. Others saw it as an attempt for the media to fabricate a scandal for a White House that otherwise had steered clear of controversies.