Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
February 4, 2009

White House Superbowl Party

Obama Superbowl.jpg

I was interested in your thoughts on this Pete Souza photo from WhiteHouse.gov.

(I should mention that, in contrast to the Bush WH site, the Obama Administration has chosen — at least, so far — not to host a photo gallery. It’s for that reason that any picture they offer right now is a curiosity, images on the site being few and far between.)

I find the photo interesting for a number of reasons. Foremost is the disconnect between the content of the picture, the title of the post and the context of the situation. Titled “Bipartisan Super Bowl Party,” the post takes the opportunity to list the congressmen and senators who were invited to hang out with the President and watch the game. The rest of the write up consists of a transcript of Obama’s folksy pre-game interview on NBC.

So, the obvious question is, does this solitary image, offering Obama’s back, convey a party to you? (Do Cardinals and Steelers knocking heads still represent some bipartisanship?)

Other elements are also interesting, particularly the fact Obama’s head is in the middle of the game. (Might that be the case always?) And then, it could just be coincidence, but I’m interested in the fact the game action is taking place near the end zone, that yellow real estate contributing an aura of higher stakes. Finally, I’m intrigued by the food cart … and the little sprig of flowers in the way of the TV.

There is the feeling here of pushing back from the table and leaving the dirty dishes — just like at home.

(image: Pete Souza/White House. February 1, 2009. Super Bowl Sunday)

  • desertwind

    He looks like the loneliest man in the world.

  • http://www.errolmorris.com/content/interview/stopsmiling0306.html yg

    it’s a city and a culture full of backstabbers, where even your “friends” have their own agenda.
    i really wanted to see photos out of the bipartisan cocktail party. there weren’t even any cellphone snaps?
    can you imagine bush’s reaction? “what! 8 years of hiding my drinking and this bozo get’s to hold cocktail parties?”

  • Gasho

    I’m not thrilled by the image since it conveys “bubble” and “alone” and “hiding in the dark”.
    Here is a guy with all the world’s troubles on his shoulders. I know he deserves to take a little break and watch the superbowl, but this makes it look like he’s hunkered down alone in Cheney’s undisclosed location, alone and detached.
    We all know it’s going to be a rough ride. The expectations of Obama’s ability to get us out of the mess and bring us together are epic. This image does not inspire confidence. Interesting that it’s one of the few on the White House site. Interesting, but scary.

  • Alan

    Sorry, but it doesn’t look like anything to me other than another human disconnected from reality and hooked up to the TV.

  • http://theforgottenwar.blogspot.com Sergei Andropov

    Obama’s reasserting his credentials as a serious sports fan.

  • lowly grunt

    Go Steelers!

Refresh Archives

Random Notes