Friday, January 1, 2010

The Optics Are Not Pretty

....What is on the White House Web site’s front page for the third day
in a row is the White House ‘photo of the day’ that features an empty
Oval Office save for a cleaning woman running a vacuum in front of
the president’s vacated desk. A more telling image could not be
presented to the public of an absent leader, yet that is the message
Team Obama has conveyed to the world for the past three days.

It is a time-honored public relations technique to release photos of the
president taking meetings and otherwise appearing to be focused on
the nation’s business while on vacation or away from the White House
when a crisis strikes. While Team Obama focused on keeping the
prying eyes of media cameramen out of sight of Obama for most of his
vacation activities, they failed to provide a countering image of Obama
at work behind the scenes.

Yesterday, in addition to releasing the one photo of Obama at work,
Team Obama allowed the media to photograph Obama at his movie
outing and golf game.

The photos of Obama on the golf course show him playing with a passion
that was sorely lacking in his initial speech to the nation about the
Christmas Day terror attack.

David Axelrod used public imagery to create an air of inevitability
of an Obama presidency months before the election. He created
the aura of a co-presidency between Obama and President George
W. Bush in the two months between Obama’s election and inauguration.

The whereabouts of Axelrod and his magic touch are unknown.
But in their absence Obama, who has been living like an aloof king
at his $4000 per night $8.9 million Hawaiian vacation estate, is looking
more and more like an emperor with no clothes.

The optics of this are not pretty.

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