The petty controversy: A photo of President Obama wearing flip-flops at a Hawaii ice cream shop made the front page of Wednesday's New York Post, paired with the incredulous headline: "Should the leader of the free world dress like this — even on vacation?" A public display of flip-flops may be a presidential first, the Post reports, and some think the adoption of such "wimpy footwear" should be a presidential last, too. "You don't think you're going to see Vladimir Putin wearing flip-flops, do you?" griped one unidentified Washington commentator quoted in the Post.
The reaction:
The Post really thinks it's front-page news that the off-duty president wore flip-flops to buy his daughters ice cream, "in effing Hawaii"? asks Justin Fenner in Styleite. There is "no grand tradition of presidential footwear," and it shouldn't even have to be said that "cheap-looking black flip-flops" in no way spell "the end of formal government decorum as we know it." Look, "I am far more outraged that George W. Bush wore Crocs," says Brian Moylan in Gawker. But let's face it, flip-flops "are disgusting, uncouth, and unattractive." The only reason Obama gets a pass, this time, is that "he was on vacation. When you are not at work you don't have to answer to anyone."