President Barack Obama is under fire today for wearing a controversial costume at a Halloween party last night.
According to a report in Politico, Obama made an appearance at the Federal Reserve's annual Monetary Madness ball dressed as "Barry Obama," complete with white facial makeup that made him appear Caucasian.
A spokesperson for the White House says the president was attempting to make a joke and meant no offense. Several Republican leaders, however, are appalled by his actions.
“If this is the president’s way of meeting House Republicans half way, it was in very poor taste,” House Leader John Boehner said. "I don't care if he's half-white or not, it's offensive to the American people. Republicans would never think to do something so racially insensitive. Is he out of his cotton-picking mind or something?"
Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi was also outraged by the costume. "You would think Obama of all people would understand the sensitivities of reverse racism towards white males over 40 in this country," he said.
"There is no one more oppressed in our land than Southern evangelical white men old enough to remember the good old days when we never had to sit at the back of the bus. It's shameful he would dress up like one of us. As if we were Indians or something!"
The Monetary Madness ball has been an annual tradition for the Washington, D.C. elite since the days of President Gerald Ford. Once a year politicians from both sides of the aisle put aside their differences and revel in the curious promiscuity of a holiday that once celebrated the dead saints of Catholicism.
In many ways this years event was little different from those that came before, with a detached debauchery only Washington could achieve. Reports confirm that Alan Greenspan dressed as Billy Joel, while Ruth Bader Ginsburg was getting in on the action in a "Slutty Sailor" costume.
"If you can't get laid on Halloween, you'll probably never get laid," says Kenichiro Sesae, Japan's ambassador to the United States, while eying the 80-year-old jurist.
But Obama's controversial makeup reportedly was the highlight of the night. One of the few people who seemed to agree with the choice was Vice President Joe Biden.
"I thought his costume was rad," he explains. "There was something about it ... not sure if I can put my finger on it. But he definitely looked cleaner and more articulate."