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July 5, 2012

Any Comparison Between Obama and Bush Fly-Overs Strictly … Iconic

Here’s another instance where a White House photo-op echos an iconic image — specifically, the scene of George Bush’s disastrous flight over Katrina-ravaged New Orleans. In this case, Obama is flying over Colorado Springs surveying damage from the horrific fires on the way there. (And, here’s the gallery of the visit kicked off by this image.)

In contrast to the photos of Bush over New Orleans in September ‘05, this image is photographed looking back inside Air Force 1. Yes, it echos the Bush Katrina photos with Obama looking out the window, but by capturing the lamp and it’s soft light, the comfy couch matching the earth tones of the carpet, and the view into the equally soft-lit office, there is a domesticity to the photo which makes it much more empathic. Not only is it the most homey photo I’ve seen from that plane, but certainly a person is going to appear a lot more concerned and connected observing a catastrophe from what looks like his living room window than from a random porthole at 30,000 feet.

(photo: Pete Souza/White House caption: President Barack Obama views fire damage from aboard Air Force One as it flies over Colorado Springs, Colo., June 29, 2012.)

  • ColinN

    Also, he doesn’t look relaxed. He looks poised, like a dog ready to chase a stick.

  • TopCathy

    President Obama looks more engaged in this photo than President Bush looked. In the Bush photos, the most striking thing – other than the slightly pissed-off expression on his face – was his right hand clenched into a fist. He was mad, at being caught out? at his incompetent lackeys who were supposed to keep this shit from splashing on him? at New Orleans for not taking better care of itself?

    By contrast, President Obama has gone to this window to get a better view. He appears to eager to be off the plane and out there, seeing what’s going on.

  • Matt

    super interesting comparison.

    i’d forgotten bush had been wearing one of his official embroidered presidential seal jackets. i’ve always thought those were silly – even when clinton wore similar attire.

    as bush said this week, he was “famous.” did we really need to be reminded who this guy was?


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