On Monday, the Obama White House reportedly held a moment of silence for the victims of last week's Boston terror attack. For whatever reason, however, the press was barred and the White House released this photo of the president
looking at his shoes paying his respects:
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Over at White House Dossier, Keith Koffler notes that this is another in a series of carefully crafted images released from the White House designed to craft Obama's image in the wake of the terrorist attack:
Presidents rarely engage in this type of private symbolism, which has regal sense to it - the leader presuming that citizens will want to know he has paternal concern for them and possesses a deep sense of empathy. Obama could easily have taken the more traditional route for the leader of a republic and led the nation together in a moment of silence.
Or he could have privately observed the moment without mentioning it to anyone.
The White House has in fact been carefully cultivating Obama's image in response to the attacks, releasing a series of photos showing him gathering with aides and making phone calls.
On top of the obvious public relations display, these at least have the practical value of showing citizens that the president is on top of a dangerous situation.