July 12, 2010

First Mom, On Dealing With Spills

Bruce Weaver/AFP/Getty Images

If I’m not mistaken, yesterday’s visit to the Gulf marked Michelle Obama’s first engagement with the oil disaster.

More than the photos of MO on the beach, however, there is something especially compelling about this.  With the map many of us remember from school, the picture has an old-fashioned quality to it, like the screen shot from an old cable access TV show.  Maybe, with the old familiar map, combined with the amiable, sort of professorial look of the tourist board guy talking to, yes, the First Mom, the photo — after all the tar balls, and oily birds, and underwater gusher cams, and combative shots from Washington hearing rooms, etc. — is almost the visual equivalent of comfort food.

(caption: U.S. First Lady, Michele Obama (R) on July 12, 2010 listens to Mike Bennett (L) of the Bay County Tourist Developement Council on the areas that are or could be affected by the oil leak to the southwest in the Gulf of Mexico. Mrs Obama made a day trip to Panama City Beach in Florida to meet with local officials and beach goers.)

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Michael Shaw
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