Vice President Dick Cheney raised
eyebrows on Friday for wearing an olive-drab parka, hiking
boots and knit ski cap to represent the United States at a
solemn ceremony remembering the liberation of Auschwitz.
"Cheney stood out in a sea of black-coated world leaders because he was wearing an olive drab parka with a fur-trimmed hood. It is embroidered with his name. It reminded one of the way in which children's clothes are inscribed with their names before they are sent away to camp. And indeed, the vice president looked like an awkward boy amid the well-dressed adults.
Like other attendees, the vice president was wearing a hat. But it was not a fedora or a Stetson or a fur hat or any kind of hat that one might wear to a memorial service as the representative of one's country. Instead, it was a knit ski cap, embroidered with the words "Staff 2001." It was the kind of hat a conventioneer might find in a goodie bag.
It is also worth mentioning that Cheney was wearing hiking boots -- thick, brown, lace-up ones. Did he think he was going to have to hike the 44 miles from Krakow -- where he had made remarks earlier in the day -- to Auschwitz?"
(AP Photo/Herbert Knosowski)
Other leaders at the event in Poland on Thursday marking
the 60th anniversary of the death camp's liberation, such as
French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir
Putin, wore dark, formal overcoats and dress shoes or boots.
"The vice president, however, was dressed in the kind of
attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower," Robin
Givhan, The Washington Post's fashion writer, wrote in the
newspaper's Friday editions.
Between the somber, dark-coated leaders at the outdoor
ceremony sat Cheney, resplendent in a green parka embroidered
with his name and featuring a fur-trimmed hood, the laced brown
boots and a knit ski cap reading "Staff 2001."
"And, indeed, the vice president looked like an awkward boy
amid the well-dressed adults," Givhan wrote.
Britain's Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph newspapers also
both noted that Cheney had opted for casual attire.
The Post's Givhan said Cheney might have been hoping to
avoid the cold weather in Oswiecim, but noted he had worn a
dark overcoat and no hat at all at another recent winter
occasion -- his own swearing-in ceremony on Inauguration Day on
Jan. 20 in snow-dusted Washington.
"The vice president might have been warm in his parka, ski
cap and hiking boots," Givhan said. "But they had the
unfortunate effect of suggesting he was more concerned with his
own comfort than the reason for braving the cold at all."
Cheney's staff had no comment on the story.
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