February 9, 2012

Shooting Marshmallows

Muslim? Foreigner? Urban (read: Black) radical? The other day, we noted how much The New Yorker’s Obama Super Bowl cover reflected the President’s success in becoming recognized as a regular Joe.

So, how did he get there?

A good part of the answer involves a combination of photo ops and classic American banality. The images this week are instructive, as unremarkably remarkable they are in telegraphing how much the First Couple has turned the White House into the set of the TODAY Show. Among the latest visual comfort food that went viral, we have an in-house science fair, and celebrity tug of war and potato sack races (the shot below springing forth from that master archive of “soap-opera-ific” material, the White House Flickr site).

And then, certainly no one blinked an eye or started throwing references to The Manchurian Candidates around when, in a shot published everywhere, the President got all “gee whiz” helping fire up a rocket launcher shooting marshmallows.

Paging Matt Lauer!

(photo: Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images caption: Joey Hudy, 14, demonstrates his Extreme Marshmallow Cannon for the president, who welcomed Joey and other students to the White House to promote science education. (photo: Chuck Kennedy/White House caption: First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a tug of war with Jimmy Fallon in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House during a “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” taping for the second anniversary of the “Let’s Move!” initiative, Jan. 25, 2012.

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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