Even the attention-whores of the media caught on that this act was more than protest, but outright disrespect. It seems that the sole of the shoe especially is considered quite unclean and profane by some Muslims.
Still, its not every day that dignitaries like the US president have articles of clothing hurled in their direction. Or is it? I think the reaction today was more chuckles and less sock, I mean, shock. Apologies. I suppose I would expect no less at this point in history. It's fairly obvious these days that our president and the national image he represents are far from the reknowned reputations of yore.
Perhaps this discussion is moot, for a lame-duck can only expect a reputation as such. But, I think this is some baggage that the next administration will have to deal with. Obama will not start with a new slate, but rather some sort of corroding, eroded, malformed semblence of a slate. Obama is no Christ either, he cannot conjure up some heroic and instantaneous reconstruction.
It's going to take a while to leave the shoes of Bush behind and clear a new path.