March 29, 2013

The White House Laughs at Things

It’s not exactly “Kim Jong Il Looks at Things” but I’m smiling at the comparison. Yes, smiling is the key meme here. If you’ve been following our Pope Francis posts, you’ve heard me postulate how the visual media space is avidly looking for fresh political celebrities/rock stars. Does that mean that Obama, post re-election, doesn’t bring the same visual buzz? On a day-to-day/non-crisis basis, yes, I’d say that’s true.

Tina Tchen Michelle Obama White House NewImage Obama SOTU writers Obama magnifying glass pre-schoolers

(You might have also heard me wishing for a Souza-replacement for the second term to bring a fresher aesthetic to the White House’s cinema verite. But I guess loyalty wins out over coolness at this point.)

Which brings us to the latest White House Flickr Facebook batch upload (and the lead photo — from the White House website’s “Photo of the Day” on Tuesday.) For narrative, we could say that the overall theme is: “Obama and the dynamics of familiarity,” emphasizing how the president remains the center of attention while allowing those around him to drop their guard. On the other hand, perhaps the White House Flickr site, approaching the backstretch of the run, is just in smiley face mode a lot of the time.

(photos: Pete Souza/White House caption: President Barack Obama signs memorabilia for March of Dimes 2013 National Ambassador Nina Centofanti, 8, at the Resolute Desk during her visit in the Oval Office, March 26, 2013. Centofanti’s parents Vince and Christine, brother Nicholas, and sister Mia, not visible, accompanied her during the 2 caption: President Barack Obama watches as First Lady Michelle Obama playfully greets him on the Colonnade of the White House, Feb. 12, 2013. Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff to the First Lady, and Personal Aide Kristin Jones, left, accompany Mrs. Obama. photo 3caption: President Barack Obama talks with senior advisors in the Oval Office, Feb. 11, 2013. Pictured, from left, are: Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; Alyssa Mastromonaco, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations; and Rob Nabors, Deputy White House Chief of Staff for Policy. photo 4 caption: President Barack Obama works on his State of the Union address with staff in the Oval Office, Feb. 12, 2013. Seated, from left, are: Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications; Director of Speechwriting Jon Favreau; and Cody Keenan, Deputy Director of Speechwriting. photo 5 caption: President Barack Obama visits a pre-kindergarten classroom at the College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center in Decatur, Ga., Feb. 14, 2013.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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