I am not sure when it started, but I am sure it should be ended.
I am referring the President of the United States signing autographs on the floor of the Congress as he exits the chamber. It defines the word “tacky.”
Certainly, it makes the President and the event look bad. There has been significant notice of the fact that the State of the Union speech has become more of a political pep rally than a presidential report. In signing autographs on his way out, the President makes the entire event look like a campaign appearance. It is just not, as they say, presidential.
Even worse, though, is the gaggle of legislators begging for his signature on their souvenir programs. These are supposed to be serious minded legislators, contemplating the great issues of the day. Instead, they behave like teenie-boppers at a rock concert.
Some legislators even handed the President a stack of programs. And one fellow appeared to have an unrelated photograph for the President to sign. Has he no sense of propriety and dignity? At least the President was not suckered into that gambit. He refused to sign the photo.
Personally, I think the President should have made – and let us hope all future presidents will – a hasty, albeit dignified, retreat from the chamber with minimal glad-handing and autographing.