Perhaps jealous of all the attention FLOTUS Michelle Obama received over her new birthday bangs yesterday, President Barack Obama has released an updated official portrait. The photo, taken by official White House photographer Pete Souza, will be hung in all federal buildings and will replace the 2009 portrait, which was the first presidential portrait taken with a digital camera.
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]