Little things matter. Sometimes they actually define presidencies.
That is seldom the case for the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy. For Barack Obama however, it was a rainy day back in 2013 during a press conference at the White House Rose Garden, when he did a little thing that －for many－ defined his presidency afterwards.
Obama was holding the press conference jointly with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish strongman, when it started to rain. Instead of holding an umbrella for himself, he summoned a Marine do it for him.
The Telegraph, a british newspaper, pointed out back then, that Marines are usually forbidden to carry umbrellas. If the president wants Marines holding umbrellas though, he gets Marines holding umbrellas.
This “umbrella moment” was very telling for many people who doubted Obama. It was a faux pas that told a story about a man who perhaps had no respect for the military.
President Trump’s “umbrella moment” was quite different though. It occurred last Wednesday. He was leaving the house to board Marine One carrying his own umbrella.
According to PJ Media Trump was engaged with reporters at the time, discussing things like raising the debt ceiling. The umbrella wasn’t an issue for him. There were members of the Armed Forces close by, but he never felt for a moment he needed help with his umbrella.
Hardly the first time we’ve seen a difference in the way Obama and President Trump treat people around them, particularly members of the Armed Forces. No “Latte Salutes” or Marines holding umbrellas lately.