Shock, outrage and mocking criticism is building among conservatives — and those of other political stripes who put the White House and its possessions on a historical pedestal – over a photograph showing President Obama in an informal pose, with his foot on his Oval Office desk.
The desk hails back from 1880, a gift from Britain’s Queen Victoria. And even its construction is special: It was built with wood from the sunken Arctic Rescue Ship, the HMS Resolute. But to Mr. Obama, it’s a good place to rest his feet, as The Daily Mail reported.
He’s been snapped in a variety of feet-up poses – to the angst of many.
Mr. Obama’s not the only president to recline in such fashion atop the desk. Former President George W. Bush, in fact, was known to have relaxed and stretched with his feet across the desk, too, The Daily Mail reported.
Beckett Adams, a writer for Glenn Beck’s conservative news site The Blaze, mocked one photo of Mr. Obama with feet on desk with this caption: “And then I was like, ‘Pew! Pew! Pew!’ and I got bin Laden.”
Lou Dobbs, a conservative host for Fox News, referred in a tweet to the photographs making the media waves, and touching down on Matt Drudge’s website: “Check out Drudge Report pic of the President with his foot on the desk. The White House released it mistakenly thinking it’s a cool image.”
PHOTOS: President Obama's favorite footstool: The famous Resolute desk
And even overseas press took notice.
The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz issued this interpretation of Mr. Obama’s laid-back pose that showed the soles of his feet: “A photo released by the White House, which shows Obama talking on the phone with [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu on Monday speaks volumes.
The president is seen with his legs up on the table, his face stern and his fist clenched, as though he were dictating to Netanyahu. … As an enthusiast of Muslim culture, Obama surely knows there is no greater insult in the Middle East than pointing the soles of one’s shoes at another person. Indeed, photos of other presidential phone calls depict Obama leaning on his desk, with his feet on the floor.”
• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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