Those of you with good political memories might recall a time when President Obama was a strongman hell-bent on subverting democracy. A dictator. Well, that was way back in February. Now, Obama's critics point out that he is an untough wimp who, in the evocative words of Sarah Palin, "wears mom jeans."
Palin — who by definition also wears mom jeans — made the comments on Sean Hannity's Fox News program on Monday night. "People are looking at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil," she said as Politico reports. "They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates." This is the fashion-centric version of the great "toughness" debate which emerged in the wake of the crisis in Crimea. Multiple outlets and pundits criticized Obama for failing to be tough before and / or after Russia started moving military units into the contested region of Ukraine. Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers said Putin was "running circles" around Obama, probably because he is more mobile given that he's not wearing high-waisted jeans or a shirt.
At The Washington Post, Dana Milbank does a nice job exploring the distinction between Obama-the-Domestic-Ruler-with-an-Iron-Fist and Obama-the-International-Laughingstock. For example: "A month ago, the Heritage Foundation president, former senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), called Obama a 'playground bully' and an 'imperial president.' Now DeMint accuses him of making 'weak statements' that will 'only invite aggression.'" And so on.