Moderate Left Bias
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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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It had become a defining image of Barack Obama’s presidency: he, Vice President Biden and the senior staff crowded into the White House Situation Room. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s hand raised over her mouth, covering a gasp.
Everyone in that room was intent on the action unfolding a world away, as the president had okayed the US military operation of the largest import in a decade: the takedown of the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks, Osama bin Laden.
In the end, the American SEAL team would successfully raid bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan and bin Laden himself would be dead.
So, although might wish it were not so, when Donald Trump had his chance to okay his own spec ops raid on his own high-value terrorist target–in this case, shadowy Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi–Trump couldn’t just leave well enough alone.
Trump couldn’t simply be satisfied with a job well done with the death of al-Baghdadi. Had he done so, he might have been accused of acting, well, presidential. And now, we can’t have that now, can we?
Trump, who is somehow obsessed with the accomplishments of his predecessor, would not be out done. No. Not a little bit.
So Trump distributes his own Situation Room photo. Then comes word from former White House photographer Pete Souza–the man who took the iconic Obama image nearly a decade ago–that Trump actually likely could have staged his Situation Room photo.
Of course he did. It’s the Trump way.
The irony is that how even staged, compared to the Obama pic the Trump photograph by Shealah Craighead just falls flat.
The Trump photo consists entirely of six older white guys–including the president–just sitting there, sort of squinting and trying to look important.
It has none of the drama of the Obama photo, because it has none of the Obama photo’s authenticity.
But that’s maybe part of Trump’s problem right there, lack of authenticity. Even when Trump actually does something ostensibly in service to the nation, such as hunting down a scourge like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, he has to go to find the angle in it that’s there for Trump first.
And that’s why Trump will forever be a small, repulsive creature.
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