Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
February 24, 2009

Obama’s Non-SOTU: The BAG’s Top 11 Screen Grabs Of The Night


Though the times might be grim (hat tip to Sergeant at Arms), what was inescapable tonight

was Obama’s irrepressible sense of confidence. (Although I thought a good part of the

pre-speech adulation was also post-Bush relief.)


Congress applauding the one honest banker in America.


Nancy kvelling (with good reason).


What a far cry from this.


“My good friend Dr. Coburn! Let me look at you (and, vice-versa).

Oh, there’s John! Hey John, I’m lovin’ my helicopter!”

(A month in, Obama’s already made major inroads seducing

the opposition. Beyond basketball, I think it’s his favorite sport.)


(The stuff of great caption contests. I’m leaving this one up to the readership.)


What was that mouth?

(Joe hasn’t been the same since Obama finished him off with a carrot.)


Good to see you. Good to be here.


Alas, keeping these guys happy too. (But not completely, thank God.)


The girl who wrote the “We’re Not Quitters” letter.

And one of the most popular First Ladies in history — as well as “44’s” ballast.


It was all downhill after “Happy Mardi Gras.”

  • Books Alive

    Senators Dodd, Whitehouse and Reed: Whitehouse gives speeches with the most oomph of any I hear on C-Span. I think that’s what’s behind that wide grin. He tore into Dr Coburn for dumping on the special zoo in Rhode Island whose money was withdrawn from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He spoke recently, probably to an empty chamber, on health care and with equal ferocity as he turned against Coburn.

  • yg

    er, senator coburn? real friends vote for a good friend’s stimulus package!
    seeing justice ginsberg was triumphant.
    the 2 senators with chris dodd are, i think, tim johnson ( remember he was sick for a while) and jack reed. what was reed responding too?
    my gosh, that little girl’s poise. she radiated determination. she wasn’t phased at all by the crowds and cameras. she was a girl on a mission.
    and michelle…beaming with pride, filled me with pride.
    even now moments of incredulity hit me. where i shake my head with wonder and say to myself he really is president. he is so right for what is needed now. anything little thing and it could have gone another way.
    this event was more moving than the inaugural. we’re finally on our way.

  • yg

    oops, was it whitehouse? my error.

  • yg

    was he the one who defended zoos as being economic engines of a city?

  • Books Alive

    You remember correctly, yg. I looked up the Roger Williams Park Zoo. Just a few minutes’ visit turned up some interesting financial contributions they represent, starting with their currently ongoing $35 million update and expansion of facilities including preparation for the return of the polar bear exhibit. On another level, there is a library pass system that provides the bearer with a $3 discount on admission of a group of four people and 10% discount on a gift shop item. Members enjoy reciprocity with other zoos and aquaria around the country and the annual Zoobilee sounds like the Taste of Chicago held each summer in Grant Park.
    Active in promoting conservation, the zoo professional staff award annual grants to projects conducted around the world for their Conservation Biology Fund which I consider most admirable. Named for Sophie Danforth, I imagine this award is supporter’s gift, one that keeps on giving.
    What really got under Sen Whitehouse’s collar was Sen Coburn’s authoritative dismissal of something he knew so little about.
    Now that I’ve seen a rebroadcast I find that this was the moment in the speech when Pres Obama said there would be no more no-bid defense contracts. I suspect that is what left Dodd non-committal and Reed choked up, as in “Yikes, what’s he saying!”

  • Jeany

    My two favorite Republican close-ups – not pictured here – were John Beaner and Mitch McConnell. They both looked like they knew they were a long way from the end of a dark tunnel.

  • desertwind

    Is that John Kerry with the puss on him (behind Joint Chiefs of Staff)?

  • yg

    why did geithner show up with hillary? what was that about?

  • Kevin

    They were sitting in the cabinet member area…

  • cenoxo

    …Obama’s irrepressible sense of confidence.
    One borne aloft by hopeful rhetoric, not necessarily by the facts. From Fact-Checking Obama’s Speech
    February 25, 2009 — The president gets facts wrong about oil imports, mortgage aid and the transcontinental railroad, and more

    President Obama’s first speech to a joint session of Congress was stuffed with signals about the new direction his budget will take and meant-to-be reassuring words about the economy. But it was also peppered with exaggerations and factual misstatements.
    • He said “we import more oil today than ever before.” That’s untrue. Imports peaked in 2005 and are substantially lower today.
    • He claimed his mortgage aid plan would help “responsible” buyers but not those who borrowed beyond their means. But even prominent defenders of the program including Fed Chairman Bernanke and FDIC chief Bair concede foolish borrowers will be aided, too.
    • He said the high cost of health care “causes a bankruptcy in America every 30 seconds.” That’s at least double the true figure.
    • He flubbed two facts about American history. The U.S. did not invent the automobile, and the transcontinental railroad was not completed until years after the Civil War, not during it.
    • He claimed that his stimulus plan “prevented the layoffs” of 57 police officers in Minneapolis. In fact, it’s far more complicated than that, and other factors are also helping to save police jobs.

    The president also repeated some strained claims we’ve critiqued before.

    Expensive Presidential campaign promises are easy: let’s wait until all the results are in before giving this Guy any bonus (points).
    It took eight years to reveal the effects of the Bush Administration: can America expect any less of Team Obama?

  • yg

    is that right? thinking past i remember now how sec clinton was emphasizing economic relationships in her trips aboard. this must have been another signal to send that message. meant for an international audience.

Refresh Archives

Random Notes