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
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)
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(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. (Read more health care reform stories.)