Through thick (the campaign, winning the election) and thin (almost everything since) , President Obama has had that killer smile. It’s real, spontaneous, unaffected, and has been a light in dark events. It’s Obama’s semi-boyish gift (into his fifties), and unlike the worn smiles of most politicians, it has given him humanity.
This morning Aug 1st, 2011, on the front page of the New York times was a picture of Obama as he announced the eleventh-hour budget deal that has “saved the country from going into default.” The smile wasn’t there. It was more than exhaustion – which the past few days have surely given him. Defeat was on his face. Cuts to the untouchable Medicare. Whatever environmental, educational, and social programs that survive will now be underfunded and in ventilator status. Wars continue, including our country being in a mindset of civil war. And the wealthy remain untouched. We’re a house-divided.
This is beyond the moment. Obama knows this. The smile which has always shined his inner hope and optimism, didn’t come.