The first one is definitely more demure, more somber and more business-like. The new portrait transitions from business to business-casual. Things have changed. The President has been re-elected and can now relax a little bit and party it up with a big toothy smile. Not that things have been easy for him. (See grey hair). At first glance it seems that the earlier image is more presidential — he looks serious — but the second one makes it clearer that he is in the Oval Office. He's more firmly embedded, physically and symbolically, into his physical and symbolic office. There is also a hint of defiance in the new portrait; the friendly smile is undercut by the challenging crossed arms, which seem to say, "If you don't like me, you can kiss my friendly-yet-presidential ass, which isn't going anywhere." One thing doesn't change: the man's still got swagger.
Obama Portrait Unveiled Ahead Of Second Inauguration (PHOTO) [Huffington Post]