By MEGAN BARRETO
As President Obama arrived in New York for the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, he was seen in video footage saluting two Marines while holding a coffee cup upon making his exit from the presidential helicopter, Marine One. The video was uploaded by administration officials to the White House Instagram account moments later and it sparked an immediate and strong reaction online as some critics said he 'too casually' saluted the Marines.
By Wednesday morning, the brief clip had generated so much buzz on Twitter that it earned the hashtag #lattesalute. Much of the remarks on Twitter blasted the president, The Huffington Post notes, detailing a number of people who issued scathing criticism.
According to the Daily Caller, a U.S. Marine Corps manual titled 'Customs and Courtesies' states that the act of saluting officers is 'the most important of all military courtesies.' And CNN points out that it has become tradition for presidents to salute the military officers he encounters when boarding the official helicopter, a custom that is widely believed to have been begun by Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Not all of the reaction was critical, though. According to ABC News, one Obama supporter commented that 'hopefully it was just a slip by this President.'
The Washington Times struck a humorous note, predicting that the Obama salute will be remembered as 'Semper Latte.' And Snopes.com pointed out that Obama is not the only president to catch flack for over a salute -- President Bush was criticized for saluting Marines while holding his dog, Barney.
Obama is no stranger to being criticized for striking a casual tone -- just one year ago, the president came under fire by Republicans for putting his foot on the desk in the Oval Office. That photo was taken by official White House photographer Pete Souza.
Tell us what you think -- did President Obama disrespect the military by saluting with a coffee cup in his hand? Or is the 'latte salute' much ado about nothing?
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