Being 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