Obama to Reporters in Mideast: Don’t Wear Green

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Barack Obama is afraid.

When he or his wife give speeches in the United States, the staff makes sure there are plenty of white people visible, because he’s scared of creating the impression that only black people support him.

He prevents Muslim women wearing headscarves from sitting behind him, though, because he’s scared American voters will think he’s a Muslim.

He has refused requests for interviews from foreign media, because he’s afraid of being asked questions a teleprompter can’t answer.

And while in the Middle East, he’s banned reporters from wearing the color green—because he’s scared of being linked to Hamas: Obama ban: What not to wear where?

AMMAN, Jordan—An Obama campaign ban on green clothing during the candidate’s visits to Israel and Jordan has created wide puzzlement among observers of the Middle East.

In a memo to reporters, described as “a few guidelines we sent staff before departure to the Middle East,” Obama advance staffer Peter Newell laid out rules on attire for Jordan and Israel.

First among them: “Do not wear green.”

An Obama aide explained to reporters that green is the color associated with the militant Palestinian group Hamas. But while the color does appear on Hamas banners, there is no particular symbolism to wearing green clothes, experts said.

Moreover, green is more generally seen as a symbol of Islam. “A ban on wearing green seems bizarre,” said Richard Bulliet, a professor of Middle Eastern history at Columbia University, who said the color is associated with the family of the Prophet Mohammed.

All of these desperate attempts to control his image by controlling the people around him are an indication of how much these subjects frighten Barack Obama. He’s living in fear, and practicing identity politics writ large.

(Hat tip: Tom Gross.)

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