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October 10, 2011

Occupy Obama

He gets it, or “he’s gonna get it?”  (Click for mega-size.)

This photo, leading off the current batch upload to the White House Flickr Stream, is unusual for its intensity. If Biden wasn’t there, looking at Obama as starkly as these “teachers, veterans, first responders, and business owners,” I’d be inclined to recommend the back door. (Of course, what option does Veep have but look to the hope, but to empathize with the masses?) Without more context, the other fact we know from the the caption is that these citizens have earned an audience with the President just before his statement, on September 12th, about his “American Jobs Act.” (You’ll notice this is not the same group of citizens that were standing behind Obama during his Rose Garden presentation.)

Apparently, the WH offered up this photo to broadcast Obama is more than aware of the raw frustrations, and far from ducking it, he’s take it headlong. Still though, with the Occupy movement providing the outlet for long bottled-up anger (primed right for the heart of Obama’s ‘08 constituency), the wariness and abject skepticism on these faces — drifting into contempt from the Zebra lady and a half-turned back from the guy with the baby — makes running this photo clearly a gamble. At best, there’s perfect ambiguity here, between venting the pain, and being tagged as contributor.

(photo: Pete Souza/White House caption: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden greet a group of teachers, veterans, first responders, and business owners in the Roosevelt Room of the White House before making a statement on the American Jobs Act, Sept. 12, 2011.)

  • Stella

    A position in the up close and personal audience doesn’t look all that attractive.  Maybe they should lead with a photo of the president as listener.

    This pic looks like he’s expounding on the purse left on his nice shiny table.  How welcome do those people feel?

  • bks

    I like the fact that Obama is out of focus.  Very appropriate. it looks to me like the two faces with flag lapel pins are smirking while those sans flag pin are dead serious.  Also very appropriate.


  • Enoch Root

    This is the first photo in the Joe Biden ‘12 election campaign. He’s the only one that ends up looking good.

    Also… whose purse?

  • Thomas

    I like too the row of empty chairs, space holders for the real powers, the real decision-makers who have cleared out for the photo-op; the little people may occupy the room, but they’re still not at the table.

    They look a bit like those people in old movie scenes of disparate crowds gathering in front of the department store window to watch breaking news on all of the television sets about some enormously worrisome unfolding calamity. Maybe this shot was included because it shows—clunkily but unambiguously—all eyes on Obama. As though to say his importance IS his position.

  • Khan

    I think its really a hard time for Obama to survive. 

  • Suzann

    well done!

  • angel

    I think Obama Will Hundle all his difficulties.

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