Obama Hates Neckties, America

President Obama no necktie photo

John Derbyshire has a touching ode to the necktie, which he notes “was a key item in gents’ attire all through the 20th century, having condensed out of a more varied menu of cravats & neckwear in the 19th” but seems to be passing out of fashion.  (See Jon Stronger’s “The Why of the Tie” for an argument for why this can’t come fast enough.)

This, naturally, prompts Andy McCarthy to chime in: “I’ve noticed that President Obama frequently forgoes the necktie — lately, even in public appearances. That reminded me — I have no idea why — that the Iranian regime has shunned the necktie ever since Khomeini pronounced it a symbol of Western decadence.”

QED: Obama hates America.

(Either that or he’s adopting the faux populism long common among presidents and other politicians of both parties, especially in outdoor events in hot weather.)

via Conor Clarke

Update (Alex Knapp):

Amanda Merkel points out that there is a bipartisan consensus for ditching the tie.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Joey Buzz says:

    We should probably be slightly more concerned about his utilization of a phrase like “wee weed” considering words have meaning, distractions and all that.

  2. ggr says:

    Well, considering a tie is really just a slip knot worn around the neck, maybe that’s not a bad thing.

  3. Eneils Bailey says:

    …Khomeini pronounced it a symbol of Western decadence.

    I agree, neckties do nothing for the civilized world.

    Walking around smelling like a goat and waiting for the 12th imam to crawl out of a well are two game changers that will push civilization to new heights.

  4. rodney dill says:

    so he has one redeeming quality

  5. mpw280 says:

    I hate them too, but if the situation I am in calls for one, I wear it. Since he is President and that situation tends to call for one as a matter of decorum and prestige then wouldn’t it warrant him wearing one? Maybe he is bigger than the office, maybe he is bringing the office down to him, either way if you want a casual president he seems to be your guy. mpw

  6. kth says:

    I vote for ascots: stylish and practical for the tropical/desert climate lots of Americans live in.

  7. triumph says:

    It has long been known that Muslims hate neckties–in fact if you make a list of contemporary evildoers, the necktie is never worn: Ahmedi-nejad, Castro, Subcommander Marcos, Barry Bonds, Kim Jong-Il, Hilary Clinton, Kadahhfi.

    Obama is the latest in the line of no-tie freedom-hating liberals.

  8. rodney dill says:

    It has long been known that Muslims hate neckties

    I hear Saddam really really didn’t like them… especially there at the last.

  9. Wayne says:

    Just to be ornery. He is President so isn’t he showing disrespect for dressing down just like those in town hall meetings were for wearing casual clothing?

  10. James Joyner says:

    @wayne: I don’t think anyone is arguing that people should wear suits for informal rallies out in the heat. Or, for that matter, even to attend indoor town halls. But flip flops and t-shirts is overdoing comfortable just a mite!

  11. Wayne says:

    Actually some in a former blog argue that those showing up to town hall meetings should wear their Sundays best. I know people who own only T-shirts or have one or two dress shirts or even wealthy intelligent Cowboys type who idea of dressing up is shine boots and clean new blue jeans. To belittle these people and think of them as underneath us who are better off or hang in different social circles is repugnant to me.

    Personally I don’t care if they or the President wear t-shirts or suits. However the President should be held to a good deal higher standard. Bashing the Protestor for under dressing and not the President who definitely has a choice is being a hypocrite.

  12. Wayne says:

    I meant hypocrite and\or elitist.

  13. mpw280 says:

    Give me a break, when Dem sponsored “protesters” showed up with bags of piss it was ok. So as far as tea party protesters to show up in any clothes they want is OK. Lets get rid of the DEM double standard otherwise let the protesters throw bags of piss like the astroturf dem protesters. If this isn’t ok shut up and suck up the type of protest that Dems made and can now ride. mpw

  14. An Interested Party says:

    …when Dem sponsored “protesters” showed up with bags of piss it was ok.

    Umm, where is the evidence to back up that claim…

  15. G.A.Phillips says:

    But flip flops and t-shirts is overdoing comfortable just a mite!

    I think we should only were a t-shirt and flip flops and turn around and ask questions with our asses like the pet detective…

    Untill they ******* answear one!!!!

  16. G.A.Phillips says:
  17. Mike P says:

    Really? Bush did quite a few rallies/events with no tie. This is a worthless waste of time issue.

  18. Wayne says:

    Unless I miss a post, I don’t think anyone said that it was wrong for Obama to dress down by not wearing a jacket or a nick tie. The point is the hypocrisy of those who think it is OK for the President but not for Joe citizen to dress casual when they show up to see their representatives.

    Granted what is casual and dressing down depends a good deal on what groups you hang out with but aren’t we taught to be culturally tolerant or is that just for some pet cultures.

  19. whatever72 says:

    The demise of the necktie is long overdue. School ties suggest a wink of fraternal camaraderie that smacks of elitism. If you’re a “worker”, you know that wearing a necktie around machinery can be fatal.

    But if all you do in this life is sign legal documents and checks, then by all means, wear your damn necktie.