Friday, December 16, 2016

Obama's Press Conference Message: E PLURIBUS UNUM

Listening to Obama now in his press conference, I think there is one message that he is trying to send:  E PLURIBUS UNUM.  "Out of Many One."

It underlies his answers - which are focused on American values, on things like smooth transition, on following procedures, on minimizing Trump's outrageousness.  "The president still is in transition mode.. . There's a whole different attitude and vibe when you're not in power as when you're in power. . . We have to wait and see how they operate when they are fully briefed on the issues, have their hands on the levers, and have to make decisions."

But lest people miss the message, just look at the camera view of the president at the conference.

Screenshot from White House feed of Obama press conference Dec 16, 2016

Look carefully at the lower right corner of the image.  It's the presidential flag.  E PLURIBUS UNUM fits neatly into the corner of the image.  There is no way that was an accident.  Look at the presidential flag and think about how it has to be folded so that E PLURIBUS UNUM folds so perfectly into the corner of the image.  You'll also notice that much more of the presidential flag is in the image than the American flag.

Image from flagandbanner

As an amateur photographer and blogger, I know that I don't capture that kind of image accidentally.

And if you listen to his comments, he tells us over and over again, in his words and in his tone, that we have to improve the public discourse, that we have to stand together as Americans or foreign nations will exploit our disarray.  We are the strongest nation and that we are the only enemy who can defeat us.

The subtext is the old Pogo message.

Image from here


  1. My president is wasting his time trying to educate an imbecile, trying to get him up to speed on how things work when the imbecile thinks he already knows everything. Obama tried to work with wingnuts for the better part of 8 years when all they wanted was to tear him and his down. Drumpf will ignore him,like Bush ignored Clinton-to the nation's peril.

  2. mike, I tried to report what I thought was the message without taking a position. I tend to agree with you. One could argue that as President, Obama is taking the position of modeling good presidential behavior, not for Trump so much, but for the public. He can let others do the criticism for now. When he is former President Obama, let's hope he doesn't hold back as much.


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