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July 1, 2008



Please excuse the detour from front page news as … I’m currently knee-deep in putting together my presentation for the NetRoots Nation “Don’t Think of Violence” panel and I wanted to share this image I just turned up.

It comes from a May 14th post on the ChicagoTrib blog ripping Obama for throwing on the flag pin when convenient.  (If you read the whole chicken scratch, by the way, notice the mea culpa at the end in response to reader vitriol that the blog can’t seem to leave the pin issue alone.)

For the purposes of The BAG, however, what I’m interested in (which the aptly named “Swamp” blog offers no apologies for) is the super-sized photo (if you choose to click on it).  Besides honing in on the pin (and what, no snark about the red-white-and-blue tie it’s married to?), the pic offers a smirky sort of grin (as if the expression actually had some direct connection to the lapel issue).  But the really winning feature here, in combo with the goggles, are those quirky-weird earplugs, making the otherwise thoroughly American candidate look like an alien.  …An extraterrestrial one.

(By the way, I also love the shop floor shot they picked out.)

So, back to real time tomorrow.

Obama’s magically reappearing flag pin (5/15/08 – The Swamp)

(image: more bad form — no attribution)

  • Cactus

    Dude cannot take a bad picture. Lookin’ good.
    Personally, I think the flag pin is a little joke Obama is having with the press. As in, ‘I think I’ll wear it today to see if they notice…….give them something to talk about.’

  • Miguel Marcos

    Yeah, well, it’s not looking like a joke to me, especially in light of Obama’s speech on embracing and extending Bush’s program to fund “faith-based groups”. It’s beginning to smell awfully like conventional marketing to me.

  • Chris

    Conventional marketing? Not really. Politics.
    Obama has proved time and time again that he is simply just another politician. He will swing an issue to get progressive votes. He will turn another to get conservative votes. And another to get evangelical votes. Ultimately, the decisions he will make, will NEVER detriment us like the decisions that John McCain will make. We’re having a hard time convinving the American public that this war on “Terror and Evil” wasn’t really real in the first place. Americans DO NOT like being told their patriotism is placebo. Obama is careful, calculating, and articulate. He proved in the democratic election that he knows how to shut down the opposition.
    For many of our servicemembers, this election is life and death. Waging your vote on faith-based programs, or FISA is completely irresponsible

  • Johanna

    This is his slightly annoyed look. He sometimes shows impatience or irritation at having to do the whole thing expected of a presidential candidate. Who can blame him? He’s infinitely more equable than, say, Bill Clinton, but still has a touchiness that bears observation.

  • Emily L. Ferguson

    Did you change the brightness on that image? It looks much darker on the Trib’s site.
    As for the expression on his face, one can attribute just about anything to such things, but good reportage practice requires that one will not do so without actual knowledge of the reason. The man has a very broad range of facial expressions, which makes it very likely that some infelicitous ones will end up being photographed during the campaign.

  • KansasKowboy

    I think Obama got real lucky here. The Trib probably is printing this image in hopes they get a goofy photo of Obama. Similar to the one of Kerry in that weird blue paper suit and Dekakus in the tank. He is lucky in that they could have fitted him with those huge earphone looking ear protectors and huge science lab goggles like those guy wear that direct taxing airplanes. But this image he at least is wearing cool goggles and the earplugs aren’t that goofy. As far as the lapel pin and the tie go…I don’t care what Obama wears, I just want him elected as our next President.

  • Alan B

    That’s Obama’s ‘Kareem’ look. (
    In fact, it looks like Abdul-Jabbar is standing behind Obama in this photo!

  • Maria

    I can’t help but notice the new gray hair he’s sporting.

  • klevenstein

    Anyone who has worked in a factory or visited one will recognize this as the standard company-issued safety gear that are worn by millions of workers every day, around the entire globe. Even the juxtaposition of suit and tie with these items is not uncommon as customers or managers visit the factory floor.
    In contrast with the tank or clean room outfits, I think this is a look that most working-class people will find very familiar, and thus may result in a perceived personal connection to Obama.
    The facial expression is totally in-bounds, especially when compared with some of the famous faces sported by our Chimperor-in-Chief.

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