Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
February 27, 2009

First Returns On Obama, C.I.C.

CAMP LEJEUNE, NC - FEBRUARY 27: President Barack Obama delivers an address to Marines and other military personnel at the largest Marine base on the East Coast on February 27, 2009 in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. President Obama outlined in his speech plans for the gradual withdrawal of troops out of Iraq after nearly six years of occupation. (Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images)CAMP LEJEUNE, NC - FEBRUARY 27: President Barack Obama delivers an address to Marines and other military personnel at the largest Marine base on the East Coast on February 27, 2009 in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. President Obama outlined in his speech plans for the gradual withdrawal of troops out of Iraq after nearly six years of occupation. (Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images)CAMP LEJEUNE, NC - FEBRUARY 27: President Barack Obama delivers an address to Marines and other military personnel at the largest Marine base on the East Coast on February 27, 2009 in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. President Obama outlined in his speech plans for the gradual withdrawal of troops out of Iraq after nearly six years of occupation. (Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images)

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)

Photos by Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images

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