June 29, 2011

White House Flickr Snapshot – Late June '11 Edition (#1): War and Economy

I’ve been looking at the last group of photos Pete Souza uploaded to the White House Flickr site. In light of the Administration’s Afghanistan policy shift, a weakening economy, a debt ceiling showdown looming with the Repubs and Obama in early election mode,I was wondering how much the White House was demonstrating their usual mojo in exploiting Flickr to spin or strategically leverage those issues. In this and the next few posts, I’ll be examining the 24 photos in the June 26th upload, isolating some themes and offering interpretations or questions.

Looking at these pics with the theme of war and the economy in mind, I’m wondering if somehow the Administration has slipped into summer doldrums.

In this latest group, surprisingly, only three photos directly pertain to Afghanistan and the war, and just two specifically focus on the economy. For a White House that has been highly focused on both, especially the latter (since the disastrous mid-terms) and visually very savvy, this is a bit of a mystery. And then, I’m not seeing any table-setting or visual support for Obama’s major announcement about a troop-drawdown.

The photo from Arlington above is probably the most dramatic of the group. The rest though, a get aquainted shot with the new head military brass, and this WH visit with Wounded Warriors finds the Administration’s stance defensive at best.

Concerning the economy, I love the gizmo nature of this, as well as Obama framed “inside the wire” (perhaps symbolic of his lack of economic options?) but I’m not sure endless photos of Obama at “this-factory-or-that-training site” is either that imaginative, or that effective in engaging a recession-weary public.

Given the sucessful auto bailout, maybe they were thinking a little credit brushes off from the GM logos, and its sponsorship of this college training program?

(photo 1: Pete Souza/White House caption: President Barack Obama lays a Presidential challenge coin on a grave in Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., May 30, 2011. Section 60 is reserved for military personnel who have lost their lives while fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.photo 2: Pete Souza/White House President Barack Obama tours the Automotive Training Facility and the General Motors Automotive Service Program at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Va., June 8, 2011.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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