46 thoughts on “You Can Tell He Does This A Lot

  1. It’s the whole pose, really.

    I wonder if it’s just him, or if you did a montage with Bush, Clinton, et al that they would be similar. I mean, think how many pictures a US President has to be in.

  2. But the same suit and tie in ALL of them? I would’ve thought the US president had a bit more than that in his wardrobe. Or were they all taken at the same event?

  3. If you look to the left side, Michelle Obama is in the yellow-ish dress. Due to framing she occasionally pops in and out. Her smile (in the frames where it is visible) is also freakishly consistent.

    I think this is just a skill that all politicians learn. Or else she’s a robot, too.

    This is really the only thing that “political operatives” like Carville, Matalan, and Brazille actually do: teach their charges these old body language classics. For instance:
    Smile #6: happy to be standing next to a stranger (on display here),
    Somber #14: placing flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
    and the ever popular
    I’m-really-joking-or-am-I #56: making jokes about McCain’s age.

  4. I’m-really-joking-or-am-I #56: making jokes about McCain’s age.

    McCain does seem to have mastered that one.

    It probably is simply a learned skill: this is the smile that makes you look best in photos. I doubt if the girls bring him an “A” on their report card that Obama strikes this same smilin’ pose.

  5. Yes, same day, standing in the same place… this reminds me greatly of the day I got married in 2001 – you look at the pictures and everyone else’s expressions change during all the posing. Mine are all this exact same broad smile.

    Nice to have something in common with the President.

  6. As a truely independant and impartial individual, I have a completely different take on this. It could be argued that if he were not consistant in his physical presentation, he could be misconstrued as showing favoritism to some of the world leaders waiting in line to have their picture taken with an American President.

    There’s plenty of material to debate the President’s policies, but this instance is just a President doing what all American Presidents do in this type of situation.

    And yes, like almost all politicians, it’s obvious that this is a well practiced smile.

  7. Great point Brad # 15.

    No doubt, plenty of folks think this kind of thing PROVES that Obama is an evil bastard in some way. I was pleasantly surprised to see how politically impartial the comments were.

  8. I am sure some die-hard Obama haters could spin it in some way, but I would imagine that most people, including many that don’t like him, would agree that elite politicians don’t get to that level without having a very consistent, practiced appearance.

    That being said, I have enjoyed the moments where he seems to have been less guarded, such as when he called Kanye West a jackass.

  9. I think most smiles are consistent. If you ask people to smile for the camera most of them do it the same way as they have always done it.

    That he could manage to smile the whole day like that can be tricky for some people. I didn’t realize that this was a problem until my wedding day when my husband complained of facial muscle fatigue towards the end of the day. In the pictures you could see that towards the end his face was frozen and not very smiley. My face was getting tired too.

    Does anyone know what Obama’s morning smile exercise routine is. Can we gain endurance by practicing it?

  10. My wife looked at that and said, “He looks just like you.” Note: I have long red hair, a goatee, big ears, and not nearly that many teeth. Many people, apparently, use the exact same smile in photos.

  11. I suppose when you get (and maybe we all do this) to a certain level of famous, you’ve got a certain repertoire of expressions you work from that you know work. I heard Michael J. Fox say that once about acting, and he commented about a head-cocked, 3/4-angle sly grin expression he uses a lot (or did before the Parkinson’s) and when he said it I thought, “Oh hell yes, I recognize that!”

    This might just be BHO Meet & Greet #5.

  12. Heh, rotorhead @ 10 made me think of the Retief stories with their carefully coded and codified facial expressions. It’s a 56b, pleased to be here at this juncture, with just a hint of 19, acknowledgment of the importance of the occasion.

  13. sirperry – yep! I just saw this on Facebook, sent to me by a friend who’s a birther, Obama’s-a-muslim-sleeper-communist-fascist, etc. conspiracy theorist. Just what exact conclusions she was drawing weren’t clear, except that she deemed it strong proof of something sinister and dire.

  14. To me this is a wonderful example of the problems we get by having a combined ‘head of state’ and ‘head of government’.

    Obama, and every other president, ends up spending tons of time posing for pictures, showing up for ceremonial events, and other pretty much pointless (from the point of view of running the government) functions.

    Running the Government is a full time job. Showing off the USA is a full time job. We need to separate the jobs somehow.

  15. It is a required skill for both politicians and beauty pageant contestants. It means nothing except you can never know what they are really thinking, if anything. Both only suceed if they listen to their handlers and piss off the minimum of people.

  16. This is the reason for the whole birth certificate scandal — Obama-bot was not really manufactured in Hawaii! Lousy foreign robots stealing executive-branch jobs from real Americans!

  17. Scalzi @ 13 –

    The smile consistency is a cover for his freakishly short height. These meet and greets are all manufactured events so that professionally trained children, midgets and oompa loompas can be flown in and made to look like average height individuals.

    If you find a picture with a time stamp, known location, and a visibile shadow you can work out his height. The man is only 4 feet ten inches tall.

    Oh, and the other giveaway is that some of the “average joes” are orange.

  18. @Mary R
    It’s probably because Berlusconi just suggest a threesome. Is it just me or does Berlusconi remind anyone else of an old style pimp? Hu just needs the silver can and he’s ready.

  19. Remember the video where it looked at first like Obama was checking out some woman’s ass, and it turned out it was actually Sarkozy checking her out?

    I’ll bet they miss Bill Clinton in France and Italy.

  20. @4

    Lincoln only had one suit for his Presdency, all of it. This is per the Smithsonian current exhibit on Lincoln.

    And the White House had neither bath nor indoor plumbing.

  21. Most politicians practice expressions in front of a mirror, just as they practice their speeches. It’s all about communication, verbal and non-verbal.

    While I disagree with Obama on many things, I have no problem with his practised smile. Just as I have no problem with McCain preferring that only one side of his face be photographed (the non-scarred one) as opposed to the other (scarred).

  22. @36 Cyan

    No they aren’t. A proper suit jacket should show a little of the shirt cuff. Go talk to a real tailor and they will set you up correctly.

  23. This scares the living daylights out of me, but I’m not sure why. It could very well be that I’m just fragile, I did just bomb an e&m2 test and all, after an ungodly amount of study time..(sob)

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