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Explainer: How Twitter went into meltdown over Obama's choice of suit

#TanSuitGate

Obama Source: AP/Press Association Images

BARACK OBAMA APPEARED in the press briefing room in the White House yesterday to discuss the economy, Iraq and Ukraine before meeting with his national security team to talk about the militant threat in Syria and Iraq.

Oh, he also wore a tan coloured suit.

And that’s all anyone could talk about.

According to the Washington Post ‘political Twitter had a mini meltdown over the suit’, with thousand of tweets about the sartorial choice lighting up timelines. Before long #tansuit and #YesWeTan were trending.

Twitter analytics gizmo Topsy presents a fairly clear view of the jump in interest in tweets about ‘Obama suit’ yesterday. Of the 21,000 odd tweets sent in the past month containing the words ‘obama’ and ‘suit’,  around 18,000 were sent in the past day. 

siot Source: Topsy

More than 4,000 tweets about the suit were sent during the press conference alone.

USA Today’s Washington Bureau Chief even got an official line on it from a White House official:

yes

Before long a different hashtag began to emerge… #TanSuitGate, as backlash over the coverage of an interest in Obama’s choice of clothes rather than the serious issues at hand began.

If you’re wondering what Obama was talking about while wearing the tan suit, he said of Ukraine:

We are not taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem. Ukraine is not a member of NATO. But a number of those states that are close by are. And we take our Article Five commitments to defend each other very seriously.

And of ISIS in Syria:

I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. We don’t have a strategy yet…

Obama told reporters, explaining that the US did not “have to choose” between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Islamic State jihadist fighters.

The full press conference is here:

Source: The White House/YouTube

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About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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