We Are All Obama's White House Staff As They Consider A President-Elect Trump
Do you feel confused? Angry? Worried? Do you want to cry thinking about Obama rolling out the White House red carpet for a man so racially tone-deaf that the KKK joyfully endorsed him? Well, you're not alone. Along with the half of America's voting population that has been left shell-shocked by the prospect of a President-elect Trump, White House staffers don't look... thrilled.
On Thursday afternoon, as President Obama delivered the speech he hoped he'd never have to — "It is no secret that the president-elect and I have some pretty significant differences" — photos taken of the crowd of White House staffers speak to everything you felt in that moment. Forced to watch Obama peacefully welcome Donald Trump to the office he's held for the past eight years, the staffers look on with folded arms, stern expressions, and hand-wringing. One woman cried quietly behind her coworkers.
"I also told my team today to keep their heads up," Obama said in his speech. (Clearly, this didn't cheer these staffers up too much.) "You know, the path that this country has taken has never been a straight line. We zig and zag and sometimes we move in ways that some people think is forward and others think is moving back, and that’s OK," Obama added.
Biden, never a man of great subtlety, stood resolutely beside Obama looking like he had been sentenced to walk the plank.
Some people on Twitter saw the country's reaction to a President-elect Donald Trump in the openly distressed expressions of the staffers.
One day later, Obama met with Trump in their first official meeting as president and president-elect. Obama maintained his trademark grace and poise, telling Trump that he would do what he could to set him up for the challenges of the White House.
That said, photos of the two don't reflect that apparent civility.
You can't blame Obama; the man he's meeting with is, after all, the billionaire who spent years insisting that Obama was not in fact born in America, and that he had proof to this end.
Obama's face is saying, "I am going to peacefully transition power to this man if it kills me, because I am setting a presidential example until the end." His eyes, meanwhile, say, "Help me."