Why everybody’s talking about what was above Obama’s head during Gitmo speech

The graphics this morning during Obama’s speech couldn’t have been worse — or were they an intentional poke in the eye by the president?

Tuesday morning President Obama announced his intent to shut down the detention facility at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and bring the remaining detainees to the United States.

But the setting was what caught everyone’s attention.

Before Obama arrived to deliver his address, CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller spotted what was in the background. He reported:

While Knoller noted the oddity of the background portrait, those who replied concentrated on the president’s message.

Was the portrait’s placement inadvertent or intentional? Most would agree it was intentional and meant as a slap in the face.

As an aside, the president announced last week of his plan to visit Cuba in March, making him the first sitting American president to do so since President Calvin Coolidge’s trip in 1928.

The New York Times noted that like Coolidge 88 years ago, Obama will go there seeking change.

Let’s hope that change doesn’t include discussions on closing the base altogether.


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