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Paparazzi President at work

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 29, 2011 04:09 AM

There’s one employee of the White House — other than the Teleprompter of the United States, that is — who never gets a break.

His name is Pete Souza. He’s the official presidential photographer. Last week, Souza was hard at work making President Obama look hard at work while vacationing on Martha‚Äôs Vineyard.

Souza’s Twitter feed and Flickr uploads serve as Agitprop Central for all White House-approved, Behind-The-Scenes Leadership Glamour Shots. Such visual hagiography is to be expected in any administration. But the hasty frequency with which the White House “Message: I’m working here, I’m really working here” photos have been disseminated over the past few weeks is striking. In fact, it’s become a running joke now on Twitter.

Candid Camera or Taxpayer-funded Campaign Camera? You decide:

President Barack Obama receives an update on Hurricane Irene in the Situation Room of the White House, August 27, 2011. Clockwise from left, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood; Richard Reed, Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security; Nick Shapiro, senior policy advisor to John Brennan; John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security; and Chief of Staff BIll Daley. Onscreen are FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Joi[ni]ng by phone are Vice President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Energy Secretary Steven Chu.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama holds conference call on Hurricane Irene with FEMA Director Craig Fugate, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Chief of Staff Bill Daley, and John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, in Chilmark, Mass., Aug. 26, 2011.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama receives an economic briefing from Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, in Chilmark, Mass., August 24, 2011.

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in Chilmark, Mass., Aug. 23, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza, designated Photo of the Day by the White House)

President Barack Obama receives a national security briefing from John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., Aug. 19, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Reflected in a mirror, President Barack Obama conducts a conference call with his national security staff, including John Brennan (right), Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism, on the situation in Libya in Chilmark, Mass., August 22, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza, another White House-designated Photo of the Day)

Hold the phone, America! President Obama’s…holding a phone.


Judging from the latest Gallup numbers, voters are not impressed. Looks like overworked White House photog Pete Souza is going to have to step up the framing and gaming of the Paparazzi President. For all the daily attempts to manufacture images of competence, strength, decisive, and leadership, this is the stubborn perception Obama’s stage managers can’t shake:

Photoshop credit: IMAO

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Categories: 2012 Campaign, Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Media