President Barack Obama saluted a pair of United States Marines on Tuesday while holding what appeared to be a cup in his saluting hand, a breach of military regulations that won’t win him fans among veterans and servicemen. Obama is known for drinking tea, not coffee, when he travels, especially before delivering speeches. His quasi-saluting gesture was an instant embarrassment for the White House, and not because his environmentally taboo drinkware clashed with the green-policy speech he was on his way to deliver at a UN Climate Summit.
It’s customary for a commander-in-chief to salute uniformed servicemen and women who salute him first as a sign of respect. President Ronald Reagan reportedly began the tradition and future presidents, both Republicans and Democrats, followed suit.
Big deal or not?