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Obama’s "Latte Salute" Attracts Jokes and Criticism

A video of President Obama saluting Marines with a coffee cup in his hand has given fuel to his many active and outspoken critics.

Obama was coming from his national address on airstrikes in Syria and was on his way to participate in a United Nations talk on Climate Change. As he stepped off Marine One, he saluted Marines—while he was holding a coffee cup in his hand.

When White House aides posted the video in Instagram, it was met with an influx of critical comments.

ABC dubbed the salute the “Latte Salute”; Washington Post ran a headline including the words “Semper Latte.”

A Daily Caller story cited the manual for Marine officer candidates, which states that the salute is “the most important of all military courtesies.”

“Dear POTUS. Place cup in left hand and salute with the right. Please. You are embarrassing us,” one commenter wrote on the White House’s Instagram account.

While Obama’s questionable salute has been met with some disgruntled reactions, he is hardly the first president to be caught in the midst of an awkward salute.

As the Military Times reports, then-President George W. Bush was infamously caught awkwardly saluting while holding his dog.

(Photo Sources:

Although the presidential salute is not required, it had become something of a protocol since the Reagan administration.

In an article for the New York Times, former Marine and retired editor of Smithsonian Magazine Carey Winfrey wrote that, “when it comes to salutes (and one or two other matters), presidents deserved to be cut some slack.”

The White House press department did not immediately respond to queries about Obama’s salute.

Sources: Military Times, Washington Times

Photo Sources: Military Times, Washington Times,


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