#LatteGate 2014 – Tracking a “PR” Scandal

President Obama recently came under fire for #LatteGate 2014. After deplaning from Air Force one, the President was greeted my members of the military, at attention, saluting him.

Perhaps President Obama was not anticipating this; perhaps it had been a long, weary flight; perhaps it was a long, weary flight followed by a long, weary evening. He is President, after all. Whatever the reason (or perhaps there was no real “reason”), he got off the plane with a Latte in hand. As the military saluted him, Obama offered a salute back – but with the Latte in hand. #CueConservativesBashingObama.

Fox News and right-wing media took this moment as an opportunity to call the President un-American, improper, callous – you name it.

Fox News Discussing Obama's Coffee Cup SaluteIf I was advising the President – and let me be the first to say, I am grossly under-qualified to advise him, now or probably ever – but lets just say I was advising him, I would tell him to send out a simple tweet, maybe something like “Long Night. Needed the Caffeine. My sincere apologies to any military I may have offended.”

In this day and age, there is not a single MOMENT that is isn’t captured on camera. And if you’re the President of the United States – those moments are magnified and scrutinized more than anyone else in the world.

The President is a man – he’s not perfect, and he makes mistakes. The worst you can call #LatteGate is a momentary lapse in judgment, a moment where his mind was obviously focused on something else (presumably, on something much more important).

BUT- with the 24/7 news cycle – one has to anticipate this is something the media would pick up. That’s why a) the President should address it, but b) he should address it in a way that reaches the masses, and c) keeps the gravity of the incident in check – this isn’t launching the Syrian airstrike. It’s saluting with a latte in hand. Mr. President, show the world that you’re human, infallible and then move on. You have much more important things to focus on.

Written By: Annie Scranton

Pace Public Relations

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