Heathcare Reform Photo

I just saw this photo on a BBC News report on healthcare reform.

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and senior staff, react in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, as the House passes the health care reform bill, March 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

It was pulled from the White House’s official Flickr stream, and I think it may soon become emblematic.  It will be used to illustrate a huge victory, substantial but also symbolic, of the Obama Administration.  The President looks chuffed but not ecstatic.  A job well done, but you sense he will be turning to his staff to ask, “what’s next?

Maybe that’s not what happened in reality.  Maybe the President went mental and stood on a table with a knife, lording over his defeated enemies.  But we don’t see that photo.  Significantly, we only have this one image of the celebrations, so that is what will persist of that moment – its a clever bit of subtle PR.  Politicians have been shaping the narrative with flattering images for centuries, of course.  But its always interesting to watch it happen in real time.

1 thought on “Heathcare Reform Photo”

  1. “It will be used to illustrate a huge victory, substantial but also symbolic, of the Obama Administration. ”

    But there is no question that this has caused HUGE divisions and there is massive unease about the bill itself, the implications and scope creep embedded within it and, most importantly, the WAY it was manhandled through congress.

    Time will tell…

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