October 7, 2010

Barking at Seals

Leslie E. Kossoff-Pool/Getty Images

Leslie E. Kossoff-Pool/Getty Images

From Mike Allen:

ABOUT LAST NIGHT — Presidential seal falls off podium at FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Summit — Obama: “And that starts with education … We cannot sustain — whoops — was that my, uh — ? (Laughter.) Oh, goodness. That’s all right. (Laughter.) All of you know who I am. (Laughter and applause.) But I’m sure there’s somebody back there that’s really nervous right now. (Laughter.) Don’t yathink? They’re sweating bullets back there right now. (Laughter.) Where were we? (Laughter.) We cannot sustain high-tech, high-wage jobs here in America when our young people are lagging far behind competitors around the world.” Video The substance.

Keep an eye out right now for an “Obama as hapless” meme. Media — and the GOP, or course — are always looking for any suggestion of weakness — which is not hard to put in play right now with all the staffers leaving the White House.  It’s that old “Jimmy Carter” effect.

Anyway, I’m not surprised how many times I’ve seen a variant of the photo above in the news stream this week. It’s important to note, by the way, that Obama (in real life) handled the incident with great humor, the situation instantly drawing out his looser nature.  Of course, that doesn’t mean the “clank,” if simply trifling, doesn’t provide the opportunity to frame Obama as awkward, sheepish or “out of sync.”

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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