As we stare down North Korea and drop MOABs, President Trump and his VP Mike Pence — neither of whom ever served in the armed forces — might reconsider the military look they both seem to be cultivating. Trump looks like he’s signed up as a discount version for Bob Hope’s old USO tours.
Vice President Pence toured the South Korean DMZ, wore a leather flight jacket and gave a command performance managing to maintain a serious demeanor — gravitas worthy of a made for TeeVee action movie, or maybe his feet hurt.
Is the administration attempting to send some tough-guy image out to the world? Or are they both so insecure they feel the need to dress-up in bits of uniforms when around military personnel? A little of both perhaps. But not alone.
President George W. Bush , the Vietnam War-era Texas Air National Guard no-show strutted around for his White House-produced Iraq War photo op. After landing on an aircraft carrier in the co-pilot’s seat of a fighter (exterior freshly marked with “Navy 1” and “George W. Bush Commander in Chief” ) he posed wearing a flight suit under a very premature Mission Accomplished banner.
And Democrat Mike Dukakis (who was only running for president) did look a fool putting on a tank commander’s helmet and driving a tank during his 1998 campaign.
Maybe it is because I am old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. At the height of the international military crisis, after ordering a total blockade of Cuba Kennedy didn’t bluster or need to dress up in parts of a uniform or wear his medals to show toughness.
In 1964, President Kennedy — a real decorated veteran of WWII (the Navy Marine Corps Medal and a Purple Heart) — went on TV to address the world confident in his role as civilian President and commander of the US military.
So Donny and Mikey: stop it! Just stop it! Go back to suits and ties! Don’t make it so easy for the writers at SNL by looking like clowns.