September 4, 2009

The Presidency has an aging effect.



(Photo illustrating an article published yesterday in TNR.)

58 comments:

Laura(southernxyl) said...

You know, your body never stops aging until you're dead. I'm about to be 49 and it's kind of amazing how things are not what they were even last year - I have to say that some changes are kind of an improvement.

But nobody looks like they did four or especially eight years ago.

bearbee said...

Anyone frowning can look older than when smiling. It's possible he was gray before his election and chose to use hair coloring while campaigning.

fred said...

Age? shit happens
but I should be in as good a physical (health) shape as Obama sees to be at this point in his life.

traditionalguy said...

The stress in living out the Obama Lie after it is no longer believed, but being stuck inside it anyway, must be an unbearable energy draining time for Barak the Magic Super President. Is this where he finds a way out that still makes him a hero? What will it have to be? Smoking will help some. When Soros and Pelossi and allies no longer need him, what will his fate be at their hands?

MadisonMan said...

I recall some closeups on election night that showed grey.

Laura, I'm about (well, in a month) to turn 49 also! Yay us!

mccullough said...

Bush (43) and Clinton aged pretty quickly, too.

Reagan's the only one who seemed not to age much, but hew was old when he started.

Mom said...

The comments on the article at the link are remarkable. There are, right now, eight of them, and five of them mention skin color. Each of these five, in one way or another, accuses conservatives of racism as the explanation for criticizing the President (in this case, for that upcoming speech to schoolchildren, which could hardly appear to have anything to do with race except to those consumed by the subject.)

Only on liberal sites and only among liberal commenters on other sites do I see this obsession with skin color. (See, for example, Alpha Liberal on this site, who only the other day helpfully explained to the rest of us that we were racist if we thought the school speech might not be a good idea.) It is amazing to me that these people can't see how racist they reveal themselves to be or how transparently they are projecting their own preoccupations onto those they think they're criticizing.

bearbee said...

Even his eyebrows appear somewhat gray.

Some photoshop touch-ups?

rhhardin said...

I immediately thought of the Kliban cartoon, Simple Maze.

AllenS said...

Obama is taking a lot of vacations lately, so, it's only a matter of time before he's all rested up.

traditionalguy said...

The aging under the great responsability of that Job comes in years 6 thu 8. The Obama demeanor has hit bottom in months 6 thru 8. This is not normal, and it is a sign of a crack-up coming soon.

Sy said...

@Fred

Actually, contrary to all the media fawning, Obama is NOT in good health. He is a smoker after all.

Erotic Errata said...

The salt and pepper hair, the growing maturity in his expression. Yum Yum! I would let him sit on my face any day!

AJ Lynch said...

Obama is not accustomed to having a demanding job. He never had one prior to the presidency.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Obama is not accustomed to having a demanding job. He never had one prior to the presidency.

AJ wins the thread.

Hoosier Daddy said...

That reminds me of that scene in Ghostbusters when they got kicked off campus and Ray was lamenting having to find a job.

"You know what a patent clerk makes? You don't know what its like out there. The university gave us money and facilities, we didn't have to produce anything. I've worked in the private sector. They expect results"

AJ Lynch said...

"They expect results". Frigging hilarious and true Hoosier.

Paul said...

"The comments on the article at the link are remarkable. There are, right now, eight of them, and five of them mention skin color. Each of these five, in one way or another, accuses conservatives of racism as the explanation for criticizing the President (in this case, for that upcoming speech to schoolchildren, which could hardly appear to have anything to do with race except to those consumed by the subject.)

Only on liberal sites and only among liberal commenters on other sites do I see this obsession with skin color. (See, for example, Alpha Liberal on this site, who only the other day helpfully explained to the rest of us that we were racist if we thought the school speech might not be a good idea.) It is amazing to me that these people can't see how racist they reveal themselves to be or how transparently they are projecting their own preoccupations onto those they think they're criticizing."

We're long overdue for a "Godwin's Law" applying to those who reflexively play the race card.

Steph said...

The eyebrows being gray so quickly is actually weird, I'm a little suspect of this photo.

BarryD said...

Maybe that's just frost. Sure, the picture was taken in August, but with all this Climate Change going on, you never know any more.

JM Hanes said...

I'm officially calling the Prez on hair coloring. He was regularly rebounding from the gray before he took office.

Dan Collins said...

Unfortunately, aging and growing up are often two distinct phenomena among liberals.

jacksonianlawyer said...

Dan - indeed; they appear to be mutually exclusive with the left.

Richard Dolan said...

Perhaps that's what life in the fast lane does to you, especially when you have to start weaving though heavy traffic at speeds faster than you can handle.

edutcher said...

A guess, mind you, but I think a lot of this is the result of fear. He's hit with all these problems and he really has no idea what to do; the result of not having any real legislative, administrative, or executive experience (I know, beating the dead horse).

As I say, a guess, but I'll bet there have been a lot of deer-in-the-headlights moments until Axelrod or Rahmbo tell him what the plan is.

smitty1e said...

Dan Collins wins the thread.

Dave said...

I first noticed a serious aging effect with Carter. Boy, did his photos vary from Inauguration to election loss. Since then, all but Reagan showed the same thing, I think. (Of course, Reagan's hair did turn "prematurely orange" [to quote someone whose name I now forget].)

Perhaps the job really has gotten harder in general.

Of course, it can't help Obama that it looks like he may be tanking.

WV "diise" -- a serious dissing.

John Lynch said...

Pretty soon he'll be Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact.

JAL said...

Racist version of Godwin's on this website ... mmmm.....

"AL's Law?"

"Alpha's Law?"

"Gessu, that's an Alpha Liberal."

wv = gessu
Gessu think Obama's lookin' bad?

David said...

Off his meds?

Just why has he never released a detailed health history?

There is something they don't want us to know.

JAL said...

Check out the photo on Drudge right now and you'll see it in {oh darn, I was about to make an Alpha slip} [so just insert some word which means a lot of whatever you are looking for].

If you're allergic to Drudge click here

wv = holsera
palin?

Scott M said...

I noticed this effect when I was still a teenager. It's quite shocking on all of them.

Chip Ahoy said...

Furrowed brow imparts such gravitas.

Speaking of birthdays -- we are speaking of birthdays aren't we? -- I'm hosting a party tonight. A guest politely informed me via RSVP that another guest has an upcoming birthday. So I made a cake.

rhhardin said...

Blair's law explains more than Godwin's law.

"the ongoing process by which the world's multiple idiocies are becoming one giant, useless force."

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

He is absorbing all the ugliness in the word for the rest of us. This if proof that even super powers can have bad side effects.

Grapp said...

Hey, whatever happened to his cool, thoughtful, professorial, pragmatic, tingle up Chris Matthews' leg look? Working's a bitch, ain't it Barry me boy. Obama looks not grave, serious, loaded with gravitas or any other of the media crapola. He just looks seriously pissed. Likely he's pissed at the idea he'd have to work, that people would dare question his push to take America communist, that people won't shut up while he tells them what to do, that community organizing and "writing" two autobiographies didn't prepare him for a demanding executive position involving complex decision making, that phoning it in won't cut it.

knox said...

It's possible he was gray before his election and chose to use hair coloring while campaigning.

More likely he's adding grey now, in a last-ditch effort to make us take him seriously.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Why isn't he dyeing his hair?

Vanity perhaps, but it is misplaced. Obama was supposed to change the country, the country wasn't supposed to change him.

Think of all the people who will look at Obama and say, "That's not the man I voted for."

traditionalguy said...

Momma told Barry that there would be days like this when Bourgeosie forces who cling to their guns and their religion and their private property will not be eliminated as fast as he wants. What's a good Marxist boy supposed to do when a counter-revolution arises? Why, go over their heads and speak to their children, that's what. Is this his shared Michael Jackson fantasy, or will an adult develop before our eyes?

Freeman Hunt said...

I thought there had been pictures of him both gray and not gray for a while now. I thought he was going back and force to fit the circumstances.

Gray means seasoned and serious. Not-gray means young and vital.

bearbee said...

Reagan's hair did turn "prematurely orange"...

Hahahaha

Jason (the commenter) said...

Freeman Hunt: I thought he was going back and force to fit the circumstances.

Gray means seasoned and serious. Not-gray means young and vital.

And flip-flopping between the two means he's a flip-flopper?

blake said...

Perhaps it's just selection bias en masse.

There's been such a (peer) pressure to present this guy in angelic, divine imagery, that any photos that showed what he really looked like tended to get suppressed.

Now that the ugly reality is settling in on all of us, there is more an inclination to surface some of these more human looking photos.

wv: soduckh

A good plan.

Jib said...

He is aging, but I think it is exacerbated in this photo because of what looks to be a high ISO and some unflattering lighting.

Lexington Green said...

Presidents age in dog years.

He wanted it.

He got it.

No pity.

sydney said...

He so rarely smiles.

avwh said...

"He is aging, but I think it is exacerbated in this photo because of what looks to be a high ISO and some unflattering lighting."

Agreed- that's definitely a high-ISO image - you can see all the noise in the background.

He sure looks pissed off, doesn't he? Like maybe this POTUS stuff is waaay beyond his pay grade....

jaed said...

Wikipedia notes: "A 1996 British Medical Journal study conducted by J.G. Mosley, MD found that tobacco smoking may cause premature graying. Smokers were found to be four times more likely to begin graying prematurely, compared to nonsmokers." which has me wondering whether he might be smoking more these days. The Presidency is stressful, and stressed smokers tend to smoke more.

Or it might just be coincidence. He's at about the usual age to start graying, and some people go gray faster than others.

daubiere said...

not hi ISO, it looks instead like a picture taken with a long focal length lens, a cropped telephoto snapshot, also its slightly out of focus indicating that the subject was moving

daubiere said...

not hi ISO, it looks instead like a picture taken with a long focal length lens, a cropped telephoto snapshot, also its slightly out of focus indicating that the subject was moving

Pat El said...

I think it is the stress of having his very first real job. He's never been responsible for any real decision making, he's never had to actually accomplish anything and on top of that he's getting National Security briefings detailing who knows what.

I went through a really stressful event at age 30 and got a ton of gray/white hair overnight (I have long hair so at first it was just white roots). As it grew out, the line between my old hair color and new white hair was so well-defined it looked like I had decided to quit coloring my hair. So I think it's certainly possible that the past 8 months are really starting to show up on him (skin too - my skin really aged when I was stressed and now 15 years later it actually looks better). I think it's the cortisol and smoking can't help.

Dr.T said...

FRED: but I should be in as good a physical (health) shape as Obama sees to be at this point in his life.

Well, Fred, I believe that you probably ARE is as good a physical shape as BHO given that he is an unrepentent SMOKER and is surely looking so old so quickly due to the carbon monoxide and KRYPTONITE flowing daily nto his lungs and blood.

No matter. Once health care REFORM is passed, his final days will be comfortably paid for by your taxes.

PatCA said...

Aw, we gotta stop being so mean to him!

kentuckyliz said...

I'll let him take my online stress management class for free.

Hey, there's a man in a dark suit knocking at my door...that was quick.

srfwotb said...

That's a bad photo, but it is an extreme change for only 9 months.

My favorite is "you're racist if you don't support health care." I seem to recall health care being shot down when it was proposed by the high pink Clintons.

They're purposely pushing everything through the filter of the birther movement (which it can be more fairly argued has xenophobic overtones) in an effort to discredit the participants.

Jim Treacher said...

But nobody looks like they did four or especially eight years ago.

He doesn't look like he did four months ago.

Maybe somebody put a spell on him so that every time he tells a lie, he ages a week. I don't have my calculator, so I don't know how many years that is so far.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Well, I was talking about presidents in general, really, and how people talk about how they've aged during their time in office; like the rest of us spent that time treading water.

But as to this picture, you could take pix of a person throughout the day from morning till night and see an "aging" process as that person simply tires normally, especially if it's a stressful day and he doesn't feel good.

Hi, MM! It'll be October for me too, and then I'll be one year shy of half a century old. Approaching my halfway point, I reckon, what an odd feeling.
: )

wv: I have no quara with you.

Papa Ray said...

Hey, a pretty bride doesn't make a good wife. Plus you know Michelle is giving him hell every chance she gets.

And don't forget he is trying to cut back on the smokes. That in of itself is enough to age you and make you pissed off all the time.

I say we give him a break we deserve. Lets impeach him and get him out of his misery.

Papa Ray
West Texas