The Cardboard Cut-Out President?

I like this gown very much; the color is great on the First Lady, and I like the blingybelt, too. She looks regal and gorgeous.

Not as much as I liked this exceptionally flattering dress that she carried off with perfect posture in 2009 (and I have always said she looks best in an antique gold effect) but this is a lovely dress, and it’s too bad neither of the ladies was “ready” for the shot.

Meanwhile, look at the president. All I can think is, “cardboard cut-out” — you know, like the ones on boardwalks that tourists take their pictures with? He’s stiff, slightly tilted toward the rest, and yet seems remote and out of sync with the group.

It just looks funny, is all. Chuckle funny, not weird funny.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • David F

    I like this one better. The color is great on her, her hair is better here and asymmetry of the dress, the slimming belt and the complimentary color of the gold bracelet on the the one wrist – it’s really well thought out. She looks great.

  • bob c

    it has always been odd to me how we Americans place a premium on candidates who look good – particularly in modern times

    your observation of Obama in this phto tracks with every image I have ever seen of Mott Romney

  • David J. White

    it has always been odd to me how we Americans place a premium on candidates who look good – particularly in modern times

    Why is that odd? Considering how much of campaigning — and governing — are conducted on TV and through photo-ops these days, placing a premium on appearance is exactly what one would expect, I think.

    This has been true for at least a generation, but probably goes back a bit further, to the Kennedy-Nixon TV debates. Supposedly those who listened on the radio thought that Nixon won on points, but those who watched on TV were influenced by Kennedy’s appearance and regarded him as the winner.

  • Attila of Argghhh!

    Well, at least The One doesn’t have his hand in front of his guest’s face…(

  • Mary

    It’s the plastic smile that makes him look like he is made of card board.

  • Will

    Great idea. Pick on someone because of how they look.

  • Fran Rossi Szpylczyn

    Sadly, looks take a high priority and that is a tremendous pity!

    She does look good indeed. I think you are right about the cardboard cutout bit – I came here a bit anxious not sure what your piece would be about, but I came, I read, I had a wry smile on my face. A post about Obama that I can comment on!

  • Todd

    I think he looks fine. He has a nice smile. I probably won’t vote for him, but I don’t have a problem with how he looks.

  • Sweating Through Fog

    Cardboard cutout indeed – here is a montage of Obama posing with world leaders at a 2009 UN meeting:

  • dry valleys

    I don’t judge people based on how they look because it’s fairly certain that my body language, poture and what have you are worse than theirs!

    The question of whether looks matter is quite fraught because I do think that, in this day and age, it’s partly necessary to look the part. Gone are the days when a genius (possibly a neurodiverse one) could sit in the back room doing all the work, as more jobs have come to be outsourced being able to bullshit through an interview and glad-hand clients IS part of the job on more and more occasions. So that leaves some people in deep trouble, and I wouldn’t want Obama to be one of them, if he’s to be found wanting it should be because of his policies (albeit this generally won’t happen, and that’s the point).

    In Britain we had a leaders’ debate before the last election, a straight import from America. Naturally I watched it but I could just have easily have listened on radio. I don’t care that the prime minister is a “toff”, people from priviliged backgrounds have done good things and used their advantages to help others. Camoron doesn’t, but that’s because he follows right-wing neoliberal policies rather than because of the school he went to. And our opposition is led by someone deemed “weird by the sorts of people who were probably school bullies, yet I’m fairly impressed by his opposition to neoliberalism and support for something close to European social democracy rather than worrying about his nose, his atheism, or whatever it is this time.

    TLDR- Looks and mannerisms shouldn’t matter but they actually do! These aren’t the days when Herbert Asquith could get drunk and make suggestive comments to young women without anyone caring, it’s a media age that leaves some people behindd.

  • Annie

    Michelle’s forever showing those arms, like she enjoys showing them off. Come on…..I still cannot believe and maybe even except the slightest chance B. Hussein Obama is the president of the USA….Something Seriously wrong! And even More serious is if he gets another term!!!! Frightening!!!

  • dry valleys

    Yes, I mean how dare she?

  • TXRed

    Mrs. Obama really wears “classical” styles well – vertical lines with some draping. And the rich purple also compliments her coloring. The President always looks stiff in formalwear and I’m not sure why. Maybe it is because he has to assume that a camera will be pointed at him all the time. But yes, this is certainly one of the best dresses I’ve seen Mrs. Obama wearing.

  • Steve

    Wow, Annie, you’ve made me turn against the President with your very effective use of his middle name in your comments. Oh, his middle name is Hussein (meaning something along the lines of “honorable one,” according to a friend who has the same last name). Gosh. I’ve never heard about his middle name before. I get it. That must mean he’s a bad person. Yes, you’re right. Something seriously wrong. How awful a person must be to have been given that name at birth. Oh my. Thanks so much, Annie, for being the open-minded person that you are.

  • dry valleys

    There’s a TV presenter called Mishal Husain. They had her doing a show on thee Arab Spring, even though she is Pakistani and shows no signs of understanding Arabic. I’m not complaining, though, from looking at her :)

  • Todd

    His first name is the same as a Biblical character in the book of Judges. Maybe Annie is anti-Christian, too. ;)

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Bad, bad, Annie! For shame!

    How dare you say somethng negative about the First Lady!

    I mean, it’s not like she’s an ordinary person who can be critiqued, is she? She and her husband look just wonderful, and it’s bad to laugh at them! Admire the Obamas always, never criticize! That’s the rule!

    (Okay, sarc. off. What this Mishal Husain person, has to do with anything, I do not know. And what character in the Book of Judges is called “Michelle”, and what does this have to do with being anti-Christian?)

  • Oregon Catholic

    Michelle’s emphasis on fashion and her appearance (and the media attention given to it) is vain and shallow IMO. Her audacity in wearing $500+ sneakers to a food bank event says plenty to me about her character. How can she possibly understand hunger and homelessness? It almost ranks up there with “let them eat cake”.

    I much preferred Laura Bush as the image of a classy First Lady who didn’t always try to draw attention to herself.