Photo of President Obama's Reaction to Sandy Hook Shooting Briefing Is Incredibly Moving

president obama being told about sandy hookBeing the President of the United States, I'd venture to guess there's no such thing as an "easy" day per se, but some days are definitely more difficult than others. And then there are the worst days. December 14, 2012 was what President Obama said was "the worst day" of his presidency, because it was the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

In this incredibly moving photograph, taken by White House photographer Pete Souza, we see how President reacted as John Brennan briefed him on the details of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. It's, in a word, devastating.

Looking at this photo, you can't help but feel like you're right there with President Obama -- hearing the thoughts running through his mind when he learned the horrifying news. It's obvious his instinct had nothing to do with politics or publicity. He wasn't thinking in terms of follow-up legislation. No, it's apparent that he reacted, as he said, "not as a president but as anybody else would, as a parent."

There's something about seeing our President welling up, looking so sad, so dismayed, so crushed, so as a result of such a human tragedy that should hit any American right in the gut. If a leader is feeling that way, the entire nation must be overwhelmingly grief struck. We were. We still are.

But as poignant and haunting as it is, this photo still gives me hope for the future. It assures me that in the wake of this incomprehensible event, we clearly have the right man leading our country in the right direction.

How do you feel about this photo?


Image via The White House/Flickr

barack obama


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nonmember avatar teach

antonio-there are pics from everyday in the white house this year and from every presidency-check them out, they are frequently released to the public! People who do not get their facts straight are stupid.
For those of you who are interested here is a link to a PBS article. There was actually a special made on the photography in the white house. Different presidents allowed different levels of access (Nixon offered limited access for instance, lol).

saral... saralouise

This photo doesn't seem legit to sandy hook timing. I doubt he has a photographer on stand by waiting for tragic news. Brennan would have had to tell the photographer to follow him because he had to go break the presidents heart... Weird. Anyway is it just me out fits that sofa look dirty as shit?

nonmember avatar April

I think the small image provided with this article isn't doing it much justice for starters. Here is a larger, more detailed picture. When looking at it, I really do feel like I'm there with President Obama:

That being said, if his facial expression doesn't depict much emotion for you, I think body language reads a lot more.
His arms folded in means he's sad, almost as if he's holding himself. The corners of his mouth are pulled down and his eyes are looking down. Looking down or away means a fear or anxiety. The leg crossing while standing and slouched position is vulnerability.

I definitely see a lot of emotion in this picture and I wonder how anyone can say they can't. I believe it to be genuine.

Heath... HeatherMazzone

After reading the comments, all I have to say is Thank God. I thought I was the only one who couldn't see the "emotion" in this picture. Obama supporters... *eyeroll*

the3Rs the3Rs

Antoniojose - that's exactly what I was going to say.  You wouldn't just be taking pictures all the time and 'hope' to get one when he hears about a tragedy.  Sooo staged.  Ugh.

fave82 fave82

Good god "teach", chill the f out.

nonmember avatar teach

Good God Fave-maybe people reading into a photo as a conspiracy should chill the f out or even better, people commenting just to tell someone to chill the f out, should chill the f out. Every time I read the comments section of the stir I encounter people too lazy to get their facts straight or people like antonio calling people stupid and I just can't stop myself. My apologies (heavy sarcasm) if I comment on it in the comments section and you don't like it. Not to mention, I thought the history of photography in the white house was rather interesting when I saw it a few years ago and mistakenly thought others may be interested in it so I wanted to share the link. My mistake, people would still rather say it is staged than bother with some pretty remarkable images captured over the last 50 years. I know, history and facts can be so offensive to many on this site, so again, sorry to you.

lovin... lovinallofthem

wow, lotta Obama haters.. sheesh...

this pic (( there is a specially assigned photog to WH for each and EVERY pres)) looks far more 'emotional' than what BUSH looked like when he was told about the twin towers attacked... put THAT pic side by side with this one.. HUGE diff.

eye rolling

bills... billsfan1104

lovinall, what difference???  There is not one bit of emotion in this picture???  Not the way the Obama ass kissing Maressa claims to be.  I am not saying that Obama wasnt hurt or stunned by the shooting, but this is not the emotional picture that the blogger claims. 

nonmember avatar Zuri

So many people just don't like the President and will do absolutely anything to make him look bad. To say that the President doesn't look emotional enough in this picture is just ridiculous. He's the President! What did you expect him to do, fall on the ground crying?!? I love how the rabid Obama-haters continue to grasp at straws at every turn hoping and praying that they will change everyone's opinion. Sorry, but Obama is the President, and will be for the next four years. I see zero wrong with this picture. It's someone grieving after they hear of an awful tragedy. What's the problem?

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