US President Barack Obama holds a press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, August 28, 2014. Obama said Thursday it was plain for the world to see that Russian forces were fighting in Ukraine. Obama said in a press briefing he planned to host Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the White House in September to discuss the escalating crisis. AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN

Simpler times.

While President Trump is currently trying his best to defend his administration’s choice to leave many essential government positions empty, we’re looking back at a time when the President wearing a tan suit was the biggest controversy of the day. Now, Barack Obama had his fair share of legitimate mess-ups in office, but in terms of the kind of non-stories the media grabbed ahold of, the “tan suit scandal” was perhaps the silliest. (Rivaled only by the time Sean Hannity tried to claim Obama was an elitist for putting dijon mustard on his burger.) Remember? Then-President Obama wore a tan suit and people were…mad? That it wasn’t suitably presidential, or something?

Let’s be clear that we at GQ do not, and did not, endorse Obama’s tan suit. But critiquing suits is also kind of our thing, and no President is above a style lesson, which is why we gave President Trump a much-needed fictional style revamp earlier this year. Barack Obama’s suit was bad! We call it like we see it—and while a tan suit is always in the cards come summertime, this one was a miss. But the hubbub from non-style quarters about the suit? That was…a bit much.

The folks over at Now This! made a video to commemorate the anniversary, compiling all of the Fox News and Fox News-adjacent (we see you, CNN) talking points about Barry O’s beige jacket and trousers. Classic lines from goofy talking heads like “This proves he’s a Marxist” and “That’s an impeachable offense right there” invoke a more innocent (if perhaps naive) America—when ill-fitting suits, not possible collusion with foreign governments or pardoning racist police chiefs, were the kind of headlines you could expect to be caused by the President. What a three years it’s been.

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