Obama’s sartorial subtext

President Obama may be accused of waffling over his agenda by liberals and Republicans alike, and may find himself with his back against the wall as the mid-term elections loom and been forced into today’s press conference in order to defend himself against all that.

But in one respect at least he has demonstrated inarguable and admirable consistency: his clothes. Pretty much any time he has to make an important public appearance – and the September 10 event, only his second live press conference in 15 months, certainly qualifies – he appears in a dark blue suit (complete with that little ‘yes-I’m-a-patriot-but-I’m-aware-of-others-and-don’t-want-to-rub-it-in-your-face’ American flag pin), white shirt and blue tie.

It’s a smart tactic. His mouth may be saying one thing and it may not be the same thing it said a few months ago, but his image says “steadfast reliability”. The question is, which is more powerful when it comes to the electorate: the eyes or the ears?