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Obama’s Moment of Silence Photo Op

by Keith Koffler on April 23, 2013, 9:49 am

The press was barred from witnessing a moment of silence President Obama privately observed Monday for the victims of the Boston bombings, allowing the White House to release its own carefully staged photo of the event.

Other than that the White House decided it wanted Americans to view Obama’s concern for the victims, it’s unclear why the event was staged or what value it had to the public.

Presidents rarely engage in this type of private symbolism, which has regal sense to it – the leader presuming that citizens will want to know he has paternal concern for them and possesses a deep sense of empathy. Obama could easily have taken the more traditional route  for the leader of a republic and led the nation together in a moment of silence.

Or he could have privately observed the moment without mentioning it to anyone.

The White House has in fact been carefully cultivating Obama’s image in response to the attacks, releasing a series of photos showing him gathering with aides and making phone calls.

On top of the obvious public relations display, these at least have the practical value of showing citizens that the president is on top of a dangerous situation.

Below is the photo the White House provided Monday.

Obama moment of silence

{ 8 trackbacks }


Julie Brueckheimer April 23, 2013 at 9:52 am

Susan, hats off to you. You predicted this.

Scottso April 23, 2013 at 9:58 am

Susan was right and it is disgraceful.

Scottso April 23, 2013 at 9:58 am

let me clarify…susan was right, and this photo op is disgraceful.

Julie Brueckheimer April 23, 2013 at 10:01 am

Disgusting to the nth. Never let a crisis go to waste.

Julie Brueckheimer April 23, 2013 at 9:59 am

Only, instead of the halo, we got a cross above his head. Not sure he wanted to send that message to the Muslim world.

Lizzy April 23, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Where’s the bolt of lightening from above? This is so absolutely loathsome and vile. I wonder how long before you
can buy an 8×10 glossy for a donation to the Obama fund.

Redwine April 24, 2013 at 3:36 am

But he is Chicago Jesus.

Scottso April 23, 2013 at 9:57 am

Keith, it doesn’t look like he’s praying.
It looks like he’s practicing his putting stance for his next golf.

He’ll definitely be going out this week. It’s Reggie Love’s Bday.

ImNoDhimmi April 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Looks like he’s taking a leak. Quick! Someone add a photo-shopped stream.

richard slack July 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Great idea, and with a map of the U.S.A., because that’s what he’s doing, every day !

Brenda April 23, 2013 at 10:04 am

Obama is such a Pharisee. Why does anyone have to know that.

Next he’ll be announcing his prayer and fasting.

Julie Brueckheimer April 23, 2013 at 10:20 am

That is the exact word to fit this action.

Dawn April 23, 2013 at 10:10 am

Preezy`s photo op would have been even more effective if he had included Bo in the picture.

Otis Driftwood April 23, 2013 at 10:11 am

H/T to Susan. BO’s media handlers (photo ops) are probably the best in the business. His visits in TX later this week will be more open to the media, which never does well for him. I wonder if GW will let him speak at the Library opening? :-) (Hope not).

Star April 23, 2013 at 11:27 am

WaPo has three articles inviting people to snipe at Bush. They have no shame.

Playrighter April 23, 2013 at 11:52 am

One of the WaPo articles actually does a nice job of comparing Bush favorably against the present WH occupant.

The comments, on the other hand, are decidedly anti-Bush.

Otis Driftwood April 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm

of course, WaPo has always been like that, but then the surrounding MD and VA areas are heavily blue. I love to tease my classmate about it all the time (I grew up outside of DC).

Star April 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I could not abide Bush, but this president is even more irritating, deceptive, and enraging. I would never have thought it was possible. I posted that maybe Obama should blame Bush for making him look bad by comparison.

richard slack July 3, 2013 at 7:22 pm

What do you mean Star, he DOES blame Bush for “EVERYTHING” !!!

DeniseVB April 23, 2013 at 10:11 am

Where did Michelle observe this moment ?

It’s almost as though they realized what a silly statement that was to say he was observing the moment privately-no press. So why announce he was doing it at all?

sportinlife10 April 23, 2013 at 10:16 am

I did mine at home.

anneinarkansas April 23, 2013 at 10:18 am

So did I…but there was no one here to take a picture!

GotFreedom April 23, 2013 at 10:59 am

She was probably out “hoeing” her garden!!

Lizzy April 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm

The Big MO has been AWOL since after the election. She doesn’t
want to do First Lady duties and yes I know she’s a busy ‘single
Mom’ but I don’t think we will see much her this term. Did you
see the look on her face at the Memorial which I think she had to
go to because she wasn’t must have forced her.
The ladies on a site that worship her flip flops had a rundown of
her outfit down to the shoes. Seriously it was a like a funeral not
a gala so as long as we have boatloads of these brain dead
followers we’ve got rough sailing. Seriously I think you should
not only have a photo ID but an IQ test rating higher that of a potted plant!

Otis Driftwood April 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm

you have to remember she attended the 9/11 ceremony and whispered “all this for a damn flag?” .. to BO. Then did the frowny face.

Lizzy April 23, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Yes I remember that now the fact that she had to have known
there would pictures. She could care less.

WMP April 23, 2013 at 10:13 am

Mr. President – step to the right, now clutch your hands – lower your head just a big more – a little more to the left – perfect, now hold your breath and stand perfectly still – thank you Mr. President.

Look at me – I feel your pain, just ask me.

What a flipping joke. There simply are no words – ran out of them a very long time ago.

sportinlife10 April 23, 2013 at 10:15 am

…interesting piece in the Sunday Mpls Strib (of all places) – the writer mentions Fort Hood, Tucson, Aurora, New Jersey, New York, Newtown, Boston, Texas, where the president “has already had to console. It is part of the symbolic duty of presidents, after all.
But he has precious few successes to show as president….this president may wind up known more for consoling than anything else…millions remain out of work; millions have lost their homes…But at this rate, a snapshot of this era taken from the future may well show images of fear and tragedy, and of a tall, lonesome-looking president at memorials, hospital beds and gravesides.
It is probably not the legacy he would have wanted.”
The writer is Richard Parker, a regular contributor to the NYT, the Columbia Journalism Review, the New Republic and McClatchey-Tribune.
(So here’s yet one more dose of the photo-op-hungry o – probably chewing gum.)

I note all these events are domestic; they do not take into account the debacle this administration has made of Foreign Affairs. Still it’s an interesting piece in an unlikely place.

Julie Brueckheimer April 23, 2013 at 10:25 am

“Millions remain out of work, millions have lost their homes.”

Funny, I have never heard let alone seen a photo op of Obama consoling these particular millions. As long as he keeps pumping the stock market up, the last thing he wants is a photo op with these millions.

Julie Brueckheimer April 23, 2013 at 10:25 am

heard of

Otis Driftwood April 23, 2013 at 12:31 pm

he lost his laser..

cincycinco April 24, 2013 at 9:36 am

“he lost his laser..” – Otis Driftwood

No, he’d say Republicans took it from him with the evil sequester…

sportinlife10 April 23, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Thinking about this, I think you are probably reading this better than I did. It does have that “the poor guy” quality about it.
I think I must’ve gotten carried away because I thought the Strib had ALMOST been critical of the o.

Star April 23, 2013 at 11:28 am

I thought Richard Parker was the tiger in LIFE of PI. Busy guy.

Manosteel April 23, 2013 at 10:15 am

Moment of silence, like Benghazi or Like the silence on Fast & Furious? Maybe it’s like his silence of making a mockery of our immigration system, allowing and condoning the lowest of foreigners who contribute nothing and play the taxpayers like a Stravarious. Kinda like that silence?

anneinarkansas April 23, 2013 at 10:16 am

Is there a date on the back of the photo?

Playrighter April 23, 2013 at 11:36 am

It may have been staged along with the Skeet Shooting, Football Posing, and Sit Room Sitting shots. When his speech writers can’t come up with a thousand words, there’s always an op photo.

scott jones April 23, 2013 at 10:19 am

Whats he holding down there?

Julie Brueckheimer April 23, 2013 at 10:27 am

Taking a leak on the Constitution.

scott jones April 23, 2013 at 10:42 am

And us Julie

Jeff April 23, 2013 at 11:31 am

Checking his blackberry.

Otis Driftwood April 23, 2013 at 12:33 pm

he has a small picture of himself with a note telling him to look solemn. Frown, your on WH camera!

Guillermo Grande April 23, 2013 at 10:28 am

If only he would stay in that spot. One of the commenters recently went off the rails with the “damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t” argument. Well, Oboutme might well be damned, but the reason he is in that conundrum is because he insinuates himself into EVERYTHING. That is everything political. Or, everything and anything except actually doing real work, leadership, or providing positive results. This picture, predictable as it was, is just another example of why not to trust this sanctimonious SOB.

Girly1 April 23, 2013 at 10:30 am

Kudos Susan – you called it!

I looked at the clock as Obama was leaving the kiddie’s science fair festivities. It was exactly 2:40 p.m. He had exactly ten minutes to find his way to the Oval Office with the help of his GPS.

He had a gaggle of reporters and TV cameras following him around the entire day – why didn’t he take that opportunity to engage the entire gathering in that ‘moment of silence’???

The answer is simple. He is a malignant narcissistic SOB who is only concerned with stagecraft and Pete Souza’s output. It’s all about ‘Obama the Singular’! The Oval Office is used only for photo ops!
What an absolute disgrace!!!

DeniseVB April 23, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Good catch. He could have spent that 10 minutes gathering the kids and accompanying adults for an impromtu moment of silence in front of the press. It was only for a minute, why the rush back to the WH for the “pose” ?

Dang April 23, 2013 at 10:36 am

And now, a moment of silence…

*camera click – camera click – camera click – camera click – camera click – camera click – camera click – camera click – camera click – camera click – camera click*

Thank-you, Mr. President – I think we got it.

RickW April 23, 2013 at 10:42 am

I’d like to see the shots that were rejected. Dear Leader scratching his butt, swatting a fly, etc etc.

qestiyt April 23, 2013 at 2:38 pm

That gives me the picture :)

The Business April 23, 2013 at 10:52 am

The Attention Whore never misses having his pic taken

Jim Riman April 23, 2013 at 10:53 am

Is he facing toward Mecca

Ginger April 23, 2013 at 11:11 am

Of course he is, Jim. He’s saying, “allah, be praised.”

Jim W. April 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm

He does appear to be facing east.

GotFreedom April 23, 2013 at 10:57 am

Everything this narcissist does is all about HIM–he is the most evil disgraceful lying SOB we’ve every had in “Our House”!

All Americans should be disgusted (of course those receiving govt “freebies” won’t be) by this publicity seeking whore! (sorry about the language)

srdem65 April 23, 2013 at 10:57 am

The real “moment of silence” was the moment America witnessed two bombs being exploded at a benign sporting event. We all sat in front of our TV stuck dumb by the carnage and aftermath.

William April 23, 2013 at 11:02 am

You know, at some point I’m going to stop being shocked by these sorts of things. I don’t know when, but it’s got to stop at some point…

Junius April 23, 2013 at 11:06 am

He’s observing a moment of silence for his last bowel movement.

Beyond belief the obscene posturing of this evil little boy-man.

veritaseequitas April 23, 2013 at 11:11 am

There are no words strong enough to express the utter disgust this little pissant engenders in my mind.

Mary April 23, 2013 at 7:50 pm

I do… I honestly do.

Susan April 23, 2013 at 11:21 am

Thanks all, but it was no great prediction on my part. This fraud is just too predictable. Good catch on the window frame cross, Julie.

Star April 23, 2013 at 11:25 am

Seriously? Were there eye-side tears? I know I am being bitchy–but honestly, I don’t think he can remain silent for as long as this would have taken. But still, someone had an interlude of peace.

Lizzy April 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm

How many takes to get the one looking solemn? Reagan didn’t seem to
have help.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and “slipped the surly bonds of earth” to “touch the face of God.”

Susan April 23, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Thank you for the memory, Lizzy. I remember watching Reagan address the nation from the oval office after the Challenger disaster. He had a way of comforting America in times of mourning. That is because he loved America and ALL her people. The phony pretender currently occupying the Oval Office could never measure up to Ronald Reagan.

Steve Bensen April 23, 2013 at 11:40 am

Why is it that Obama constantly releases pictures of himself. He is the worst narrcissist to ever hold the office. If he is ‘praying’ then why isn’t he on his knees? Looks like he is about to pee on the flag in front of him. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Stephen Hall April 23, 2013 at 11:43 am

A week after Benghazi the trained bear was still telling the American people it was the result of an anti-Muslim video. Why does the Boston event get such respect and Benghazi gets such silence. Painful silence. Why was there not a photo shoot of the trained bear giving a moment of silence for the Benghazi victims? Has he even spoken to the families yet?

Margaret April 23, 2013 at 11:45 am

A man who has to release a photo showing that he cars oh-so-much cares not-that-much.

While I rarely agreed with his politics or policies, I respected the man.

I no longer respect him. I think he’s petty and small and ignorant. January 2017 can’t come soon enough. He can fade into history with all the other presidents.

Margaret April 23, 2013 at 11:46 am

*cares, not cars.

Boo April 23, 2013 at 11:49 am

At least there were some papers on the desk – not the usual empty suit with feet on empty desk shot.

Junius April 23, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Those are rolling papers on his desk. Dictator Obama likes to start his day at the oval office by firing up a huge blunt.

I'm ready Mr DeMille April 23, 2013 at 12:16 pm


swedishlady April 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Is he staring at his vegetable patch ?
Barry is always ambigous, this picture could never offend his Muslim friends. It means nothing.

terry April 23, 2013 at 12:38 pm

he is thinking… things are going as planned here in America.

justine April 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm

“Or he could have privately observed the moment without mentioning it to anyone.”

Car in April 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm

That’s creepy. Something the Norks would o.

Mandy Manners April 23, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Remember how FCMABBHO commemorated the 57th anniversary of Rosa Parks’s refusal to give up her seat?

Car in April 23, 2013 at 1:42 pm

And his photo on the death of Neil Armstrong.

Julie Brueckheimer April 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Oh yeah, runner up.

cindylou April 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm

thanks for the link that was hysterical! and so were the comments

MichelleIndependent April 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm

I had forgotten about that gem. Hhahhahahha

Mandy Manners April 23, 2013 at 1:42 pm
Car in April 23, 2013 at 1:43 pm

ha. yep. I was obviously thinking of that too.

Mandy Manners April 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm


Car in April 23, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Remember his moment of silence photo for Benghazi ?

Mandy Manners April 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm


Mary April 23, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Exactly… he’s desperate now.

Julie Brueckheimer April 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm


Bkhuna April 23, 2013 at 2:12 pm

“Let’s see, the ball should break to the right about three feet from the cup…..”

Car in April 23, 2013 at 2:27 pm

“IOt’s a tad overcast and cold outside today … I sure hope it clears up by the weekend …”

Torqued April 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm

The only thing ovomit is on top of is reggie.

MichelleIndependent April 23, 2013 at 3:54 pm

he turned it into a photo op.

KmikeB April 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm


‘is this the right direction for Mecca?’

rulierose April 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm

I know! I want it to be a caption contest. how about:

“I really should be out there working on my slice.”

not very original, but it’s moderately insulting, and that’s what I was going for.

gerry April 23, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I believe he is urinating on the American flag.

Cathy B in AZ April 23, 2013 at 5:39 pm

Is he facing Mecca?

Cathy B in AZ April 23, 2013 at 5:40 pm

sorry, just saw others ask the same thing!!

sherry April 23, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Obama is a joke and so is this photo op!

rulierose April 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm

how did Chris Matthews cover this, do we know? I can imagine Chris getting all sniffly describing how majestic Obama was in his grief…

Barb April 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Okay… There are a couple of things to mention about this. I’ve begun to notice that in all of the President’s photo-ops in the Oval Office, there isn’t anything on his desk – except his phone and Blackberry. Why IS that? Doesn’t he have anything to do all day?

Another thing… where is his putter? But that’s another story………….

Mary April 23, 2013 at 7:46 pm

hmmm… I wonder if that’s an authentic Remington “Bucking Bronco” or just a cheap imitation? My guess: it’s the latter… just like Obama: pretending to be deep in thought.

Can someone identify the picture above the fake bronze?

Susan April 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm

It’s an original painting entitled “Working on the Statue of Liberty” by Norman Rockwell. It was on the July 6, 1946 cover of The Saturday Evening Post. Spielberg owned the original and donated it to the White House when chester the molester was president.

B.Dearng April 23, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Is he facing Mecca?

cincycinco April 24, 2013 at 9:37 am

“Is he facing Mecca?” – B.Dearng

In his heart, always…

Denise Robinson April 23, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Maybe he was really praying towards Mecca.

Beedogs April 23, 2013 at 11:17 pm

He took his feet off the furniture long enough to stand up for a minute eh?

Michael April 24, 2013 at 9:35 am

“it’s unclear why the event was staged or what value it had to the public”.

It shows that we have a president who cares deeply about people. Politicize a tragedy? Wouldn’t think of it!

Kate April 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm

And sadly, there are a great many who will fall all over this carefully crafted image without questioning why it would then be a photo released to the public to see this private moment.