May 1, 2009

Obama strides forward to his press conference.

In this wacky pic from the White House Flickr stream:

40 comments:

PatCA said...

They either shoot him with a halo or against Lincoln. Media biased? Noooo.

David said...

Grandiosity on Parade.

Hoosier Daddy said...

They either shoot him with a halo or against Lincoln..

Which is really amusing for anyone who actually had read Lincoln and what his thoughts on blacks were.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Gag me with a spoon.

David said...

PatCA:

This is not a media photo, I'm sure. White House staff photographer. Your tax dollars at work.

Christy said...

Don't know about you, but I see George W. Bush opposite Lincoln, standing bigger than life, in a blue shirt, hands clasped casually together. Three presidents in a line.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It certainly isn't like the good old days when they used to play the Star Wars Imperial March theme when Bush and Cheney would stride out to the cameras.

NKVD said...

Lincoln has boogers bigger than Obama.

Marcia said...

To me Obama looks really small in this picture, like an 8-year-old kid, and almost like he's skipping.

Lincoln looks like he's scowling at Obama.

rhhardin said...

Great photostream, but where are the dogs?

Rich B said...

Love the fawning comments on Flickr!

martha said...

enchanting...

simply E N C H A N T I N G !!!!!

traditionalguy said...

This looks like a Byzantine Emperor's performance. Does anyone remember caesaropapism which kept the Eastern Roman Empire going strong for a 1000 years after Rome was overcome? The gifting of Obama maybe this performance ability.

HelenParr said...

Christy:
I looked at the photo in original size and I saw the profile of Lincoln's statue, the portrait of President Clinton and then Obama.

Three presidents, true, but not the same ones.

jayne_cobb said...

I suppose this was just after he read The Daily Dish

Lem said...

Another shoot ruined by a men’s room attendant ;)

goesh said...

somewhere staff are wagging their tongues at him in derision

veni vidi vici said...

"caesaropapism": Now, why are you bringing Cleopatra's chlamydia into this discussion?

paul a'barge said...

SWAGGA', baby. SWAGGA'

MadisonMan said...

The carpet looks pretty clean. And they claim to have a dog.

Bart DePalma said...

And I thought that Bill Clinton set the standard for presidential narcissism...

Bissage said...

It was Norman Mailer who said that a white man walks from the shoulders, like a bear, while a black man walks from the hips, like a cat.

That would make the miscegenated President of the United States a bearcat, if I’m not too far off the mark.

And I may very well be too far off the mark, as I can find no corroboration for my Mailer attribution, above.

But that’s okay, I’ve been jonesing to do some binturong linking for a good long while, now.

Done!

** strikes item from things-to-do list **

BJK said...

...are you sure he's not warming up for Riverdance?

That's what it looks like to me.

Beth said...

Althouse, nice juxtaposition of the two photos. Amusing reactions on both threads - and predictable.

Mark Daniels said...

As David pointed out, this is an official White House photograph, not one from the press. So, I think that we can lay off the media here, even though I do agree that, in many ways, Obama has been preferred by the media.

All official photographers tend to create dramatic presentations of their presidents. I can't imagine that the Obama photographer would be any different. (Remember the famous pic of JFK looking out the Oval Office window, both hands leaning against his credenza, slightly slumped? The unspoken caption might have been, "Burdened by Being Leader of the Free World." But he might as well have been thinking, "I think I'll have ham salad for lunch.")

By the way, as to Lincoln, anyone who has read the record will also know that while he was certainly no 21st-century person, Lincoln's attitudes about race underwent marked changes during his time in the White House. He underwent many changes in those four-plus years.

Mark Daniels

Beth said...

I'd like him better if he were reclining patriotically on a bear skin, doncha know. Ya know, just bein' regular folk.

srfwotb said...

The red and gold is kind of ridiculous - as it is with all Presidents, but I suppose you can't have the President walking through a hall with less pomp than a C-list celebrity.

If we had to have a celebrity President in my lifetime I would have preferred Steve Jobs - just to see the sleek aesthetic makeover he'd likely mastermind would be worth it on its own. I can't see him tolerating red and gold for long.

David said...

Mark--Yes, but why are we paying for official photographers in the first place? Imperial Presidency indeed.

Andrew said...

Isn't this just a photographer doing what photographers do. Not fawning, not wacky.

As a white house photographer you spend day in and day out shooting the same guy, in largely the same spaces. As was pointed out above, the holy grail is to shoot that "iconic" image, which would live on as the visual definition of an era. So you're always looking for some interesting angle or juxtaposition. You might look for scenes that have certain formal structures or a nicely balanced composition, or interesting textures or patterns.

Ann, you're a good amateur photographer (which is not damning with faint praise from me, because that's the most I would say about myself as well). Can't you imagine standing there waiting for the President to come by, thinking "how am I gonna shoot this in an interesting way", seeing that statue there and thinking, "Maybe I can use this to create something visually interesting."?

I certainly can.

Is there a political subtext to the choice of the statue? Probably. Especially if there are plenty of other statues in that same hallway that could have been used. If the photographer had done the same shot with a statue of Warren G. Harding, would we all be talking about it?

Mark Daniels said...

David:
I have zero problem with having White House photographers. It would be nice, for example, to have photographs from the Cabinet session at which Lincoln first read the Emancipation Proclamation. Or when Chester Alan Arthur let his former Stalwart allies he was going to back civil service reform. I'm glad that we have White House pictures from the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Yes, these photographers engage in a bit of aggrandizing of their primary subjects. And every president has been a narcissist. (They wouldn't have made it to the presidency if they weren't somewhat narcissistic. And by the way, I think that many bloggers, including me, suffer from a bit of narcissism.) That aside, I'm glad to have images of these narcissists as they go about their work.

But it simply is impossible to have more than a few folks around to record candid moments in the life of a presidential term. White House photographers aren't just letting us see White House events closely, they're creating an important record for history. Both of those aims seem like a good use of my tax dollars to me.

EDH said...

Not sure Obama "strides forward" in that photograph.

Looks more like the backward "Curly Shuffle" to me, where you kick your rear leg down to drag your front leg back.

An early precursor of the moon walk.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'd like him better if he were reclining patriotically on a bear skin, doncha know. Ya know, just bein' regular folk.

Geeze Beth, you missed your chance to be a snarky, snooty, snotty,**pretentious liberal in the Palin thread. It doesn't count here. Or maybe it does count because you guys just can't help yourselves.

**Doncha just love alliteration :-)

As for Obama walking. What a pain it must be to have everyone watching your every step......don't trip!!!!

Beth said...

But DBQ, you have your chance to be snarky and snooty and all that here, while you wail about the snarky, snooty liberals over there! Althouse is very generous.

Beth said...

don't trip!!!!Remember the good old days when Betty Ford (pre-sobriety) would trip Gerald, heading down the steps off Air Force One? We didn't know how good we had it!

Palladian said...

Hmm, the White House Flickr Photostream doesn't let their EXIF data visible. Where's the government transparency?

Anyway, holy 12mm lens, Batman!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

don't trip!!!!Remember the good old days when Betty Ford (pre-sobriety) would trip Gerald, heading down the steps off Air Force One? We didn't know how good we had it!


Well, that's what he gets for hiding the vodka.

SteveR said...

Don't call on Fox, Don't call on Fox, Don't call on Fox

Trooper York said...

I think it is cool that he was skipping in this photo.

It will help when his girls are playing hopscotch.

He seems like the kind of guy who was playing double dutch instead of fistball. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

rhhardin said...

Democracy on Spring Break.

PatCA said...

It is somehow sad that there is such a thing as the Flickr stream, and that people follow it.