President Barack Obama created a brief twist Thursday to the Marine Corps’ legendary rifle creed at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden with the Turkish prime minister when a light rain fell and a Twitter storm erupted.
Obama requested two Marines hold umbrellas over himself and the Turkish prime minister to protect the world leaders from the rain. Viewers of the press conference quickly took to Twitter to comment on the odd sight of a Marine holding an umbrella.
“This is my umbrella. There are many like it but this one is mine. Without me, my umbrella is useless. Without my umbrella, I am useless,” Politico defense editor Phil Ewing tweeted after the event.
Marines typically don’t hold umbrellas in uniform. As CNN made sure to quickly point out, holding an umbrella would restrict a Marine’s ability to salute. But if the commander-in-chief asks a Marine to hold an umbrella. He or she is going to hold an umbrella.
Minutes after the press conference was held, the Twitter handle @UmbrellaMarine was created with this description: “The Few. The Proud. The Umbrella holder. Hey President Obama, you can stand under my umbrella…ella ella, ay ay ay.” He has 52 followers thus far.
NBC News correspondent Luke Russert took notice and assumed protocol existed for holding an umbrella. He wrote on Twitter saying: “The #Marines holding the umbrellas at this presser are unbelievably cool, had no idea there’s military protocol for umbrella holding.”
Howard Kurtz, host of CNN’s Reliable Sources, wrote that the umbrella might have a greater meaning with the recent scandals involving the IRS and Associated Press.
“OK, Obama standing under an umbrella held by a military aide opens the metaphor floodgates for an administration in a downpour,” Kurtz wrote on Twitter.
The director of communications for the University of Virginia Center for Politics felt like it was a bad look for the president.
“Standard press flack rules – don’t let the boss where a funny hat! – need to be updated to include ‘hold you own umbrella!’ Kyle D. Kondik wrote on Twitter.