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President Obama Returns Salute with Cup in Right Hand

Video that showed President Obama stepping off of Marine One and returning the salute of U.S. Marines while holding a drink in his right hand. Determination: Real.

The video is from an official White House feed that was posted on Instagram by the political website Washington Free Beacon.

Shortly after the incident there was a frenzy from both professional news and social media.

The tradition of the presidential return salute is fairly new in the United States. It began shortly after Ronald Reagan started his term in the Oval Office.

Some took offence to President Obama's casual attitude to the military custom. On the September 24, 2014, former U.S. Marine Lt. Colonel Oliver North was interviewed about the incident on the Fox News Sean Hannity program.

North said, "Here’s the real problem - he doesn’t give a damn. The reality of it is any president, any commander-in-chief, even Lyndon Johnson would find out from his military aides what the proper pronunciation of things is. This is a president who can go out on a golf course and high-five people minutes after he has been on the phone with a correspondent’s parents who is dead. I mean this is the kind of person who truly does not get it.” In his leading question, Hannity had also brought up another serious Obama error, the mispronunciation of “Corpsman.” The President on more than one occasion pronounced it like "corpse man." It is possible that nobody in his administration had bothered to tell the President that the "PS" was silent.

Some did not take offense to the Latte Salute. On his cable program Bill Maher and General Anthony Zinni discussed the matter which Maher had called "latte-gate." Maher perceived it as ridiculous, rather than scandalous and said, "Let me just say, if this offends you that much, you should marry your teddy bear." 

On September 27, 2014 the Navy Times released an editorial suggesting, "Let's chill on the latte salute silliness." The editor pointed out some of that silliness when Republicans began using "Semper Latte" in messages to raise campaign funds. The Navy Times reported that the Democrats launched a retaliation by releasing a photo of President George W. Bush returning a salute while awkwardly holding his dog, Barney.

Shortly after the incident, the Washington Post release an article by Ed Rogers, who worked in both the Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush administrations. Hinting at the possibility that our nation is being run by a narcissist, the Rogers said, "Perhaps the president meant it as an insult; perhaps not.  But we know the president is vain – after all, he has already written two books about himself – and he’s also very stage-aware. He knew what he was doing.  President Obama was striking a pose." Rogers went on to say, " President Obama has a problem with the military and military culture.  So to do something as belittling and insulting as this 'latte salute' is not trivial; it suggests and reinforces something larger at a time when the president is expecting the military to take action, in part to compensate for his past failures."

Breitbart reported that former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin even took a jab and saluted President Obama with a coffee cup at a Values Voter Summit. The gesture "brought the house down." Palin then told the audience ""He still hasn't learned how to salute."



Posted 10/01/14

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