There was a brief moment where some conservative were trying to make a scandal out of the President's moment in the rain on Thursday. But unfortunately that scandal died before it could really take off. During his Thursday press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, a Marine corporal held an umbrella over the President's head to protect him from the rain. There were many problems with this, according to a select group of people.
It all started, as these things do, with a Daily Caller post on Friday. They correctly pointed out that according to Marine Corps uniform regulations umbrellas are strictly off limits for male Marines. Female marines are allowed to carry umbrellas under some very strict guidelines, but male Marines are taught from the beginning that they are not, under any circumstances, to be caught carrying an umbrella. "Obama expects our troops to hold damn umbrellas rather than go inside: It's disrespectful, inconsiderate, classless," Lou Dobbs added over Twitter. "Mr. President, when it rains it pours, but most Americans hold their own umbrellas," Sarah Palin said at the beginning of a long Facebook post.
Yes, the Marines are often forced to get wet while standing outside the White House because they cannot hold an umbrella. Yes, the Marine Corps uniform regulations state a Marine cannot hold an umbrella. But Marine spokesman Capt. Eric Flanagan explained to the Washington Post that, according to Title 10 of the U.S. Code, Marines must "perform such other duties as the President may direct." So when the President asks you to hold an umbrella over his head, you hold an umbrella over his head.
It didn't matter that there's a long history of Marines and Secret Service members holding umbrellas for the President, no matter which side of the aisle they represent. It also didn't matter that there are easily discoverable pictures of Sarah Palin having an umbrella held for her. They wanted to add more headaches to the President's very bad week. But, oh well. So much for Umbrellagate. It had a nice ring to it, too.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.