OBAMA AND BIDEN: Analyze the body language. From the White House Flickr page.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Joseph Gautier writes: “If I really wanted to set my dad off, all I’d have to do is send him this photo. The amazing thing is, that it is found on the WH’s flickr page. Proving that they don’t see what we see.” It’s interesting to read the comments, where what people see is very different depending on who’s posting. Well, Obama did say that he had cultivated the ability to be a blank screen onto which people could project things. . . .
MORE: It’s bad PR: “Personally, as a photographer this shot would have been in my discard pile. The reduced size image makes Obama look sleepy or worse yet, tipsy (Obama’s eyes are open in high resolution version below). Sleepy or tipsy looking images of the president should be an automatic red flag to discard the image for any photographer. Even the high resolution version leaves much to be desired. Obama looks like he has contempt for Biden (given the Joe ‘The Gaff Machine’ Biden’s performance this year, that maybe a possibility). This again reminds me of how this administration seems to have become oblivious to the images they project to the public.” Yeah.
I’m sure that all is well between the two, and that this is just a fluke of photography. After all, what has Biden done that could have irritated his boss? Er, for that matter, what exactly has Biden done at all? Could Obama be annoyed that Biden has yet to do anything for Obama, or is the President just “messing with Joe”?
I dunno, he always looks like that, sort of like a teenager with some tude. He either thinks it makes him look cool, or more charitably he has some kind of neck problem, some calcification in there or a chronic pinched nerve that forces him to stick his nose in the air. Maybe in this case he just thinks, like much of America, that Joe Biden is a dork, and like much of America, he still isn’t sure exactly why he’s saddled with him. But maybe he thinks he’s morally superior to everyone around him, or more like it, wants them to think he is. Whatever. What I find more interesting is that he felt like he had to mess up that sharp-looking tux by sticking an American flag pin through its lapel.
People who like Obama are blinded to the way other people see him. This picture strongly says cool to people who love him, but it doesn’t read that way to others… including the many, many people who don’t even want a cool President.
What’s he thinking now? Oh, my God, I’m only one-quarter through this thing. And they’re going to expect me to campaign again too? Bleh!
Prediction (longshot): Obama will not run for reelection. How can he do it? He can be all…
… I should not permit the Presidency to become involved in the partisan divisions that are developing… With America’s sons in the fields far away, with America’s future under challenge right here at home, with our hopes and the world’s hopes for peace in the balance every day, I do not believe that I should devote an hour or a day of my time to any personal partisan causes or to any duties other than the awesome duties of this office — the Presidency of your country. Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President.
It can happen. It’s happened. The man is tired and it’s a way to get above it all. And that’s the other thing I see in that face: He’s tired and he’s floating above it all.
Mike Potemra at The Corner:
A picture of Obama and Biden going around on the Internet is attracting some negative comments, but I haven’t yet seen any real explanation of how the photo is actually unflattering. To me, the president looks like a tired man with a tough job, having to go to a formal event at the end of the day when he’d rather be at home relaxing, and the James Bond-style crossed legs show he’s trying to make the best of his lot. I’d appreciate it someone could explain to me what’s so bad about the picture; until then, I will suspect that this is a case of the wish being father to the thought.