Looking at the first newswire photos of Obama as C.I.C. (in front of a large audience of soldiers at Camp Lejeune), the question, from a media standpoint, is: how well did he wear?
My sense is that Obama’s decision to lengthen the leave-taking from Iraq, and to keep more troops there than expected (at least, by Pelosi and the left) has a lot to do with earning/buying credibility with the military — and the hawks. What kind of immediate return does Obama earn, however, playing to the military and militarism?
These newswire shots offer three potential answers — to be determined today and tomorrow by photo editors who, as usual, are partly-channeling and partly-determining the general consensus.
Do we get more of the smallest “look at me” Obama almost lost in a sea of charges; do we get a central, but undefined Obama, the jury subject of an in-part wary, worried, curious and “show me” service; or do we get Obama clearly up-front, focused and in-command, the scale of the forces and mission simply background to how he’s putting his hand to it?
Of course, we’ll get visual media’s stamp on it almost right away.
(Update: Looks like the NYT took “the jury route” judging by the first picture in their Lejeune article)