Obama's Salute With Coffee Cup Causes Outrage

Obama is getting heat over what some are calling 'unpresidential' gesture
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2014 11:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – Many of us have probably disembarked from a long flight clutching a cup of joe—but we're not all the president of the United States saluting members of our armed forces. President Obama is on the receiving end of criticism and coffee-themed jokes for stepping off the Marine One helicopter in New York yesterday while holding a coffee cup in his right hand, then casually saluting the Marines surrounding the aircraft with cup still in hand, USA Today reports. The White House posted the video to its Instagram account, and the comments quickly started piling up.

In addition to the somewhat obvious puns and clever headlines and labels—including the Washington Times' "Semper Latte" and ABC News' "Latte Salute"—the president's seemingly casual gesture is also inciting outrage and eye-rolling. Some think the hubbub is overblown, especially since a civilian president isn't actually required to return a military member's salute and the issue itself is somewhat controversial, notes Reuters. One Twitter user posts, "[W]ho cares. I'm a vet with multiple tours over seas. He was trying. I'm sure it wasn't his intention to be disrespectful." But a manual for Marine Corps officers cited by the Times says the salute is "the most important of all military courtesies" and that if you're going to do it, "do not salute when … carrying articles with both hands or being otherwise so occupied as to make saluting impractical." (This wounded soldier's touching salute became known as the "salute seen around the world.")

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