February 4, 2009

White House Superbowl Party

Basketball on South Grounds
Super Bowl Party

I was interested in your thoughts on this Pete Souza photo from WhiteHouse.gov.

(I should mention that, in contrast to the Bush WH site, the Obama Administration has chosen — at least, so far — not to host a photo gallery. It’s for that reason that any picture they offer right now is a curiosity, images on the site being few and far between.)

I find the photo interesting for a number of reasons. Foremost is the disconnect between the content of the picture, the title of the post and the context of the situation. Titled “Bipartisan Super Bowl Party,” the post takes the opportunity to list the congressmen and senators who were invited to hang out with the President and watch the game. The rest of the write up consists of a transcript of Obama’s folksy pre-game interview on NBC.

So, the obvious question is, does this solitary image, offering Obama’s back, convey a party to you? (Do Cardinals and Steelers knocking heads still represent some bipartisanship?)

Other elements are also interesting, particularly the fact Obama’s head is in the middle of the game. (Might that be the case always?) And then, it could just be coincidence, but I’m interested in the fact the game action is taking place near the end zone, that yellow real estate contributing an aura of higher stakes. Finally, I’m intrigued by the food cart … and the little sprig of flowers in the way of the TV.

There is the feeling here of pushing back from the table and leaving the dirty dishes — just like at home.

(image: Pete Souza/White House. February 1, 2009. Super Bowl Sunday)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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