Obama Gave Out White Coats for Doctor Photo Op

Snafu gives fodder to critics who say event was all-show

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 6, 2009 3:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – It seems Barack Obama’s address before 150 supportive doctors yesterday was just a wee bit contrived for the cameras’ benefit. The White House had asked the physicians to show up in their iconic white coats, just to be sure the viewers at home got the message: Doctors support health care reform. The only problem? Several doctors missed the memo or just plain forgot, and showed up in suits or dresses, the New York Post reports.

Undeterred, the White House scrambled around for extra whites, which the physicians hurriedly donned over their formal wear. The address hit its message heavily—“I think what's most telling is that some of the people who are most supportive of reform are the very medical professionals who know the health-care system best,” Obama said—but broke no new ground, so Republicans derided it as a pure photo shoot.

President Barack Obama addresses doctors from across the country, Monday, Oct. 5, 2009, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.
President Barack Obama addresses doctors from across the country, Monday, Oct. 5, 2009, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Barack Obama is applauded in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 5, 2009, during an address to doctors on the health care reform.
President Barack Obama is applauded in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 5, 2009, during an address to doctors on the health care reform.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Doctors, wearing lab coats, who were audience members, take photos in the Rose Garden of the White House, Oct. 5, 2009, prior to President Barack Obama making remarks on health care reform.
Doctors, wearing lab coats, who were audience members, take photos in the Rose Garden of the White House, Oct. 5, 2009, prior to President Barack Obama making remarks on health care reform.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
President Barack Obama arrives in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 5, 2009, to address doctors from across the country.
President Barack Obama arrives in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 5, 2009, to address doctors from across the country.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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