Obama Doesn’t Sweat, But Wants You To

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Ryan Pacifico can't help that he has fine features and pouty lips.
Photo: Getty Images

Barack Obama famously doesn't sweat. But according to Sheryl Gay Stolberg's report today in the Times regarding the relaxed dress code in his White House, the new president hasn't made the task of staying dry easy for himself:

The capital flew into a bit of a tizzy when, on his first full day in the White House, President Obama was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit jacket. There was, however, a logical explanation: Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat. “He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”


It's funny — for a guy who is all about breaking down the old-fashioned, stuffy way of doing things, this is one of the most traditional intimidation tactics we can think of. Just imagine it: You're a Republican lawmaker on your way from a steak lunch, you show up in the Oval Office for a meeting on the stimulus plan you oppose, and before you know it you've oozed perspiration all the way through the armpit of your wool Brooks Brothers suit. And there's Obama, cool, calm, practically glowing in his pristine white shirt. Your forehead is beginning to drip over your bushy eyebrows, stinging your contact lenses. Your carefully fluffy GOP hair is even beginning to flatten. Does the man even have to use a dry cleaner? Okay, okay! Show you where to sign!

White House Unbuttons Formal Dress Code [NYT]