Sunday, January 3, 2010

What does this photo say to you?



Glenn Reynolds from Instapundit found this picture of Obama and Biden on the White House Flickr page. It is starting to make the rounds on the blogosphere. Those on the left find nothing wrong with the picture and some think it is cool. On the right, much analysis is going on.

Personally, as a photographer this shot would have been in my discard pile. The reduced size image makes Obama look sleepy or worse yet, tipsy (Obama's eyes are open in high resolution version below). Sleepy or tipsy looking images of the president should be an automatic red flag to discard the image for any photographer. 

Even the high resolution version leaves much to be desired.  Obama looks like he has contempt for Biden (given Joe "The Gaff Machine" Biden's  performance this year, that maybe a possibility). This again reminds me of how this administration seems to have become oblivious to the images they project to the public. Once again White House, image counts.
               
What does the image say to you guys? Do you have any clever captions?

45 comments:

49er16 said...

Obama: "Get your fu*^ing shine box Biden,"

Attila Girl said...

O: "I sure could use a joint right about now."

I'm glad Althouse quoted a few of the comments from supporters, since I had trouble even imagining why someone would find this image to be positive. When she said one of the Obamaites found it evocative of James Bond, I could kind of see that--but I had to be told.

Likewise, there's that one they posted today-ish from the meeting in Hawaii [see Instapundit, or the White House Flickr], where Big O seems to be holding up his hands as if he doesn't understand what's going on, or doesn't care--and the supporters liked the "casualness" of it.

Very strange: the things that strike us as signs of a cavalier attitude or outright cluelessness are appealing to the serious Kool-Aid drinkers.

Shay Riley said...

I'm not seeing contempt in Obama's expressions (which would be evident in how the sides of his mouth form). However, he is certainly not feeling whatever Vice President Joe Biden is telling him, as he places a body language barrier between himself and Biden (via the folded arms)

motherhen68 said...

It looks to me like he doesn't believe a word coming out of Biden's mouth. As in "ummm humm, sure, tell me another one"

Velcro said...

Actually, he's staring at a big zit on Joe's chin.

I definitely see contempt, as in, why are you taking up my time?

Bz said...

Okay .. you asked... "what does this photo say?" ... well, as a licensed psychotherapist... here's my take .... (looking at body stance/language here)... the person on the right appears relaxed enough, not threatened, hands in pockets open stance, apparently saying/explaining something. I say "explaining" because the person on the right appears to be "hearing" listening/taking in -to some extent- what that person (on the left) is saying.... but this person on the right is listening, it appears, with condemnation...eyes, if slightly opened are narrow, perhaps caught in a blink...regardless, body language speaks to this... nose/chin up slightly more than what would be natural for height/body stance, arms closed/crossed, no open body stance, will take nothing in, legs too speak to this too. What really stands out in the person on the right is the closed body stance and more than natural upward head tilt- speaks to taking in no new info. and head tilt unnaturally upward speaks to a haughtiness/"I am better than you" about that person.
My take.
Now to read the rest of the post...

Velcro said...

BZ, [sigh]...don't you know they're both on the left?

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

Obama may very well have been tired but I see more of an ennui the wealthy and bored possess. How he can't be bothered mingling at yet another martini social while the proles worry about the snow mounting outside or some such thing.
Just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

@Velcro,LOL. If the photo was taken between August and now, he's probably thinking about his Hawaiian vacation. At least, that's what a reporter told me.

QueenTiye said...

The picture says to me - President Obama is taller than Vice President Biden.

QT

Janelle said...

At least he is not talking.

Janie Lynn said...

I don't know about all the body language but I have noticed Obama frequently sticks his chin in the air like that. Pictures of him right before going outside for his inauguration he was standing with his chin up like that. It's almost as if he is always demonstrating his superiority with the gesture, even - or maybe especially when he is not aware he is doing it.

Osumashi Kinyobe said...

I just saw this (courtesy of Nice Deb):

http://nicedeb.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/obidensquirrel.gif

Too funny.

wiseconservatism.com said...

It not only shows what you said, about the sleepyness..but it also shows arrogance. Which is something he always shows. First it was arrogance against everyone...then arrogance against the American people...then arrogance against those against him...now sleepy arrogance?

namaste said...

am i the only one who sees the prelude to some heavy lip-locking action? wow. that's what the pic looks like to me.

Quite Rightly said...

I am surprised to find that one of my first reactions to this photo is that it makes Biden look pretty good.

The depth of Obama's arrogance is somewhat shocking, even considering his behavior, but Biden looks in control, unthreatened, and relaxed, as though patiently explaining something to a less experienced member of the same team. Obama could have been learning something here, I think, if he had wanted to.

Biden's been around a long time and knows his way around the block. How confident will Obama be when his hair is white?

Bz said...

Ooops... well, I typically know my left from my right. But I am currently donating massive amounts of brain cells and am due to birth them in just over a week (I'm pregnant).

Just a conservative girl said...

I have seen that look on my husband's face. I am with Namaste. It looks sexual to me.

What does that say about the two of us?

Writer X said...

They were probably arguing about how many jobs were saved or created from the last Stimulus Bill. Or they just smoked a joint. Probably both. Great pic!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Conservative Girl and Namaste. Looks like a "get over here and gimme a kiss, ya big lug" or "let's get it on" moment to me! LOL

Now don't go getting mad at me, folks, I'm just describing THE PICTURE. I am in NO WAY implying anything about Comrade Zero's or The Amazing Human Gaffe Machine's orientation. Just thought I'd throw that in there.

Clifton B said...

49er16:

Oh yeah, I can see that. I would be willing to bet Obama doesn't think much of Biden.

Clifton B said...

Atilla Girl:

Looks like O already had the joint, LOL.

I tried to see the positive in the image. With a different facial expression, I could see where Obama would look "cool" in his tux. But that facial expression is not flattering. That reason alone, I would have deleted the photo as soon as I previewed.

The other photo you mentioned with Obama at the security meeting is also another dump. He looks kind of clueless and that expression during a security meeting is major no-no.

Clifton B said...

Shay Riley:

Good take, I forgot you do the whole body language thing.

Clifton B said...

motherhen68:

I can see that. I too get the feeling that he isn't listening to a word Biden is saying.

Clifton B said...

Velcro:

Yes in the larger photo, those cut eyes does not speak well for Biden.

Clifton B said...

Bz:

Cool a real professional speaks on this matter. I too see the closed body stance now and just noticed a hint of hautiness.

Clifton B said...

Osumashi:

Yeah, I can see that "I'd rather be elsewhere" look.

Clifton B said...

Queen Tiye:

Oh come on you know you can do better than that. Have some fun.

Clifton B said...

Janelle:

A silent Obama, perhaps that is why the White House photographer kept the shot!

Clifton B said...

Janie Lynn:

The jutted chin is classic Obama. It gives him a air of snobbery.

Clifton B said...

Osumashi:

The squirrel was hilarious!

Clifton B said...

wiseconservatism.com:

"sleepy arrogance", ROTFLMAO! Good one!

Clifton B said...

namaste:

Ugh! I hate you for putting that image in my head! You are going to give me nightmares.

Clifton B said...

Quite Rightly:

Ah, another unique perspective.

Clifton B said...

Bz:

Congrats! You are truly going to be blessed this New Year! Is it a boy or a girl or still a surprise?

Clifton B said...

JACG:

You two are going to make that image stick in my head! I hate to say it, but now I am starting to see it in the larger image.

Clifton B said...

Writer X:

Smoking a joint to come up with "jobs saved" seems like the only way that concept makes sense.

Clifton B said...

Anonymous:

I guess the lip lock moment is a keeper, that makes three of you who see it.

Clifton B said...

To All:

This was a fun exercise. It just goes to show that many people can read many different things into a photograph. Pictures are truly worth a thousand words.

That being said, Andrew Sullivan of course sees something ugly in the photo - racism. Lord have mercy, why is it that the "compassionate" people are forever injecting race where it does not belong.

Kearnes said...

Looks like two me in a serious conversation and the one on the right is about to or already has, making a statement. He was caught during an eye blink.. The stance is not unpleasant for a powerful personality.

Crappy photograph. You only see one side of the exchange between the two men.

Kahleeka said...

I can imagine Obama being upset about something and Biden is telling him to "chill" and let it slide off his back, but Obama is still upset and so Joe continues to help him overcome his anger. I'm not an Obama lover, but I see a positive relationship here, not a negative one.

ORYCON said...

I figure Obama looks at Biden this way most of the time. Biden is a boor and whatever he is saying is probably a bore. Obama is humoring him I suppose. Obama's body language is telling, however, and I think he has utter contempt for Biden. As VP Biden is irrelevant and tolerated in his position as long as he stays away from the press.

Truth Teller said...

Democrat Underground thinks Obama is doing his cool Bond James Bond imitation.

And there are a lot of comments about what other conservatives have said. They don’t understand how the comments could be made.

Zimri said...

It's like that Bloom County strip in 1987. (Tales Too Ticklish To Tell, p. 97ff.)

They were trying to get Bill The Cat to run again for the Meadow Party. But where was he? "Tequila coma. He's been passed out for 17 months." So when they took campaign pictures, the main theme they had to get across was, "Consciousness".

rosewood59 said...

I think, from this pic, that Obama looks older, less energetic, and defnitely closed up.

I don't like him at all so I can't say anything positive.

But, he does look, tired, worn, and bored beyond reason.

Serves the creep right.

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