Vladimir Putin is known for his propaganda shots. We’ve seen shirtless photos of him hiking, shirtless photos of him fishing, shirtless photos of him wrasslin’ gators (I made that one up), other photos of him shooting tigers, petting his pet tiger, practicing his Judo skills. It’s all propaganda, meant to endear, meant to intimidate. This is our president. This is The Man in charge. He’s powerful, he’s good-looking, he’s virile, he’s leadership personified.
With our next president–unless Philip Berg’s legal long-shot comes through in a pinch–vacationing in Hawaii with his family, it appears that we’re seeing the same sort of thing. The folks at Bauer-Griffin captured the photo featured above (hence the credit in the corner), and another paparazzo managed to capture all sorts of photos of Obama bodysurfing shirtless while on a beach no doubt crowded with United States Secret Service security.
So, I’m not saying that we’re seeing a whole bunch of manufactured propaganda shots, but it sure seems super convenient. Or, perhaps I’m just jealous, as the president-elect looks pretty trim while I look like I’m in my late second trimester.