Photo of young Obama


Is this a photo of our next president? I hope so!

UPDATE: Yep, it's him. (Thanks, Florian!)


  1. My god, we managed to elect a human being.

    Until he takes office…

    I have this feeling that whoever is elected president, no matter what you promise on the campaign trail – blah, blah, blah – when you win, you go into this smoke-filled room with the twelve industrialist capitalist scum-fucks who got you in there. And you’re in this smoky room, and this little film screen comes down … and a big guy with a cigar goes, “Roll the film.” And it’s a shot of the Kennedy assassination from an angle you’ve never seen before … that looks suspiciously like it’s from the grassy knoll. And then the screen goes up and the lights come up, and they go to the new president, “Any questions?” “Er, just what my agenda is.” “First we bomb Baghdad.” “You got it…”

    — Bill Hicks

  2. That photo is so full of win. The hat, the hair, the joint/cigarette, the cool-as-f**k expression.

    That dude has some style, I tell ya.


  3. You guys are weird – While it may be cool, its not the sort of thing that’s normally considered responsible. He should have had those photos burned – what if they had come out during the campaign?

    1. He should have had those photos burned – what if they had come out during the campaign?

      It would have endeared him to the center-left wing of his own party.

  4. From the whole series of shots, that appears to just be a rolled cigarette… Not to sound like a fan or anything, but all those digs would stand up today just fine. Especially the hat. I know everyone gets help on speech writing, but at least this guy doesn’t need help getting dressed. I know it’s not why we elected this guy (I hope) but it doesn’t hurt to have a president with a positive, confident physical image.

  5. Anyone else notice the wedding band style ring on his left hand in one of the final pictures? I wonder what that is all about?

  6. Of course I saw the freepers going ape-poopy over this photo, naturally assuming it MUST be a “joint”, despite the fact that we already know he smokes cigarettes, and nothing in this photo proves it’s weed– just a kid trying to look cool, which is really what cigarettes are all about to teenagers. . . of course, evidence of Bush’s dalliances with drugs are unimportant.

  7. @zuzu: source?

    Look at the eyes. ;)

    (In reality it just “looks like” or “could be”. Seems like many of you are way too uptight on the possibility. Besides, didn’t he already admit to smoking weed, doing blow, and maybe other stuff, in his autobiography?)

  8. @ #14:

    Since when is trying to cover up past actions more “responsible” than acknowledging it? Obama came clean about his past drug use years ago, and of his own volition. That’s part of what makes him a more honorable guy on the issue than the last two presidents, who did exactly the same thing but caused minor scandals by trying to hide it.

  9. @15, you should read the linked article before starting the snark machine. The photographer took those pics way back when, and stuffed them in a box. She forgot all about them until Obama started his campaign, and immediately put them into a safe-deposit box to make sure they didn’t come out during the campaign as something that could hurt him in some way. Now Time has published them, because they’re (a) harmless and (b) great photos.

  10. I don’t think he would have made a good President, but in fairness, McCain was also a smooth motherfucker in his youth:

    On a tropical morning in 1957, the American destroyer USS Hunt was about to depart from Rio de Janeiro to complete its summer training cruise for Annapolis midshipmen, and one of them was missing. As the ship prepared to cast off, crew members peered over the side looking for their absent classmate. Then, five minutes before departure, a Mercedes sports car roared onto the pier, driven by one of Rio’s most beautiful fashion models. The gull-wing doors popped up, and out from under appeared Midshipman John McCain. He kissed the model goodbye and, to the rowdy cheers of his shipmates, climbed aboard.

  11. Off Topic:

    #19- and why, starting today, does this website want to run a ‘QuickTime’ from ‘Apple Inc,’ Add On?

    When I use IE 7, It wants to run the quicktime add-on, but when I use the Chrome browser, it doesn’t. Maybe its because I’m using an add blocker with IE 7?

    I hope this is a temporary thing, I normally use IE and I’d hate to always hear that bleep whenever I refresh or open a new BB window. I’m certainly not using a quicktime add-on – I hate quicktime.

  12. Having seen this photo, and reconsidered my vote for Obama, I can only say this: I regret that I have but one vote to give for my country.

  13. “-and why, starting today, does this website want to run a ‘QuickTime’ from ‘Apple Inc,’ Add On?”

    …One of the banner ads wants Quickslime loaded so they can foist their ads on you. Just ignore it and don’t bother installing it.

  14. Love the photo. Even if it wasn’t Obama, it’s just a great picture in general. Looks a lot like a young Richard Pryor.

  15. Tom Hale and anyone else upset over the fact that it looks like he’s smoking a joint:

    Who cares if these photos had came out during the campaign? Obama talks openly about his youthful drug use in his two autobiographies. In fact, one of the ironic little mini-scandals during the campaign was that some people claimed he exaggerated his drug use in the books and actually didn’t use as many as he claimed (though Hillary supporter Robert Johnson (no, not that Robert Johnson, the one who founded BET) took the other route and assumed that since he used drugs, he obviously must also have dealt drugs as well).

    Photos like these are only damaging if you are trying to cover something up. If you are open and upfront about your foibles, photos like these aren’t bad at all.

  16. Well, he’s making the political moves to ensure some functionality when he gets in the chair. Let’s hope the compromises are just that. Having a hate-spewing fascist do the inaugural invocation probably made him throw up in his mouth a little.

  17. Part of me wants a President that has never smoked weed, never dressed in such a manner, so obviously proud of the lifestyle he is promoting in those photos. – The more sensible part of me realizes that pretty much everyone under 60 has tried some sort of illegal substance – and if there was never a time in your life when you were light hearted and irresponsible, then you definitely couldn’t understand the average American.

    I’m betting he’d prefer that those photos weren’t made public. At least I’m hoping that’s how he feels.

  18. I have a vintage Panama hat like that but I will never in a million years be so cool no matter what I smoke.

  19. tom@# 42, then why the hell did u vote for bush? TWICE!?! he admitted smoking pot, and snorting cocaine, and taking LSD! and exactly WTF is the ‘lifestyle’ he is promoting? college? coolness? he’s smoking a cigarette for chrissakes! methinks u needs to loosen up just a bit there home-slice. take a nice deep breath….aaaaah. there u go. just relax! remember: u didn’t vote for him anyway!

  20. What lifestyle is he promoting in those photos, pray tell, Mr. Tom Hale? The lifestyle of a young college student? Or is that you’re morally against smokers?

  21. @42

    What “lifestyle” is it that you believe he is promoting in this photograph? Looking cool? Smoking tobacco while trying to look like one is smoking weed?

    Or do you just mean the lifestyle of someone who dresses like they think the mainstream is whack?

  22. No. Fucking. Way.

    Those are such amazing photos. I *cannot* believe they are of our president.

    I’m going to have to blow one up and put it on my wall. Framed.

    Are there larger versions? Or will I need to use rasturbator or something..?

  23. Am I the only one that notices the way he’s toking the joint/cigarette – whatever it is. The way he’s drawing on the joint/cigarette is exactly the way people generally do when they’re smoking pot. Add that to the Panama hat and the first thing I thought of when I saw the photo is ganja.

    Anyways, I’m pretty sure I like the photos as much as anyone here.

  24. so basically, tom, if u are going to actually ‘like’ something about obama, there has to be some sort of caveat? what were u doing at about 19-20? any pix?

  25. though Hillary supporter Robert Johnson … took the other route and assumed that since he used drugs, he obviously must also have dealt drugs as well

    Shaun: [about Ed] Oh, so he’s sold a bit of weed now and then. You’ve sold pot.
    Pete: Yeah. Once. In college. To you.

  26. minTphresh – I like Obama – the Man, I like the photos. I grew up in Mobile, AL – the Redneck capital of the world – joined the US Navy right after turning 20 and spent a few years in San Diego – where I spent many a night walking down Mission Beach with my friends listening to Jimi Hendrix. What do you think I was doing?

    You have to remember that one day one of my coworkers (1,500 of them), might look on BB – I can only say so much.

  27. @Tom

    FWIW, my questions come from a genuine desire to understand what motivates people to speak of “promoting” a “lifestyle”. It sounds like coded xenophobia against any “lifestyle” (really _culture_) that is not of the white Christian picket fence type (also see the code word “American”). Perhaps you just meant the “lifestyle” that is getting high, but then that doesn’t make sense that you would tie it to his clothing choices or the fact that he looks pleased with himself.

    Basically it seems to me that using the word lifestyle is generally a ‘coded concept transform’ that denigrates Different cultural modalities. That is probably the reason you are getting bitten back so much here, which I didn’t realize was going on when I crafted my post. If I had known I would have balanced it more to show that I thought your post held a reasonable stance when it admitted that anything other than acceptance is an unreasonable stance :)

  28. since when is an overhand hold of a cigarette automatically seen as something to do with reefer?

  29. @57

    Does he look like he is ‘dragging’ that stog or ‘hitting’ it?

    A fine point of distinction to some, perhaps, but one that any smoker can tell you makes a world of difference, especially re: others’ perception of what it is you are smoking.

  30. “Obama just got cooler.”
    Why? Because he did inhale?
    “I *cannot* believe they are of our president.”
    That’s right. He is your president. Enjoy.

  31. I think I’ve made it clear enough what I think about the photos. I didn’t come here for an argument. If you only read half of what I post, then you’ll get an incomplete picture of my opinion, which is obviously what some of you are doing.

  32. #59 i was a pretty heavy smoker for many years, i almost always held cigarettes over hand. i don;t think anyone thought i was smoking a joint, though i usually preferred pipes and bongs for that…

    regardless, i think it’s pretty obvious that he’s smoking a commercially rolled cigarette

    also, in almost all older movies with lots of smoking scenes, dudes/cowboys/bad guys/dirty harry types/french people/etc. seem to hold their cigarettes like this, especially if it’s cold or they are pulling the last drag before putting it out.

    i think he was just trying to look like a badass…i think it worked

  33. tom, i promise i won’t tell yer redneck friends! hey, i have redneck friends too. but, like jimi says:” i gotta let my freak flag fly”! they seem to accept that as i ‘keep it real’, and don’t hold back. that and i work hard, they seem to respect that too. fly on, lil wing.

  34. Who the hell cares what he’s smoking? goddamn what’s wrong with you people?

    Obama is one cooool cat.

  35. Tak :)

    Tom, nice, I love that DirtyJobs guy. And George is thinking (in your best Jon-Stewart-doing-GWB voice): “Hmm, salty“.

  36. @Martha

    “i was a pretty heavy smoker for many years, i almost always held cigarettes over hand. i don;t think anyone thought i was smoking a joint, though i usually preferred pipes and bongs for that…”

    So you must not have been hitting those cigs like a jay then ;)

    That is, I still maintain there is a sizable difference between ‘hitting / pulling / etc’ and ‘puffing / dragging / etc’ in terms of how the two approaces look to third parties. Thus, B could have framed his face to appeal to the possibility that he was smoking cannabis

    “regardless, i think it’s pretty obvious that he’s smoking a commercially rolled cigarette”

    Yup. My first thought: “It can’t be.” Clicking on the thumbnail to see it up close proved it. If you are really wondering, ask yourself if you’ve ever seen a joint with an end that isn’t tapered. Rolling machine joints don’t count because you wouldn’t have tried that twice, nor do the government pictures from the faulty monkey test era that you may have seen in textbooks or DARE propaganda. If you have never seen a joint, return 0.

    “i think he was just trying to look like a badass…i think it worked”

    Couldn’t agree more. Looking at it with the cowboy theme in mind it could very well be a lingering drag for dramatic effect, thanks for pointing this out. I wonder if he thought it all the way through to the ambiguities when the photographer snapped that one?

  37. since when is an overhand hold of a cigarette automatically seen as something to do with reefer?

    Because I’ve been holding them that way for over fifty years.

    MSDORAN, any family connection with the aviatrix “Miss Doran”?

  38. Buddy, you mis-parsed. It’s MicroSoft Doran, MSDOS’s cousin.

    I’m joking by the way, just in case that’s too cryptic or lame to be funny

  39. Image search for Bogart and you’ll see that most of the time he’s got a cigarette in or near his mouth he’s holding it in that “keep the rain off it” way. All those photos can’t be joints. Or can they? Maybe he doesn’t want to pass them on.

    My grandfather always shielded his cigarettes that way, or more so, because of snipers, he said.

    Having said that, Obama does look fairly blitzed in the photo.

  40. Surprised no-one’s pointed this out before, but the “reversed ciggie” smoking style (lit end cupped in the palm, filter end outwards) is the normal way fags are smoked… in Russia (and previously-affiliated Eastern European countries.) It shields the lit end from the icy chill of the winds coming off the steppe or something. IMHO it looks waaaay cooler than the “western” style. I even affected that style myself as a wannabe cool student, for about ten minutes :) Not that it makes a blind bit of difference to anything, except perhaps to make Obama look even cooler than he looked before.

  41. Imipak: I *knew* Obama was a Communist! No wonder these photos were kept under lock and key during the election. Heck, this is grounds for a re-vote!

  42. Damn, I’m glad I voted for him too- but for what he stands for (if he follows through). This is just icing on the cake.

    Besides, if this WAS weed, I’d be all for it. I want a president high at least once a week, the level of introspection would be good for preventing all the stupid crap our president NOW has caused.

    Light up in the oval office, and get Americans (who have overwhelmingly admitted to trying weed) who are are so damn uptight to chill the hell out, stop fearing every damn disaster/terrorist contingency as a basis for daily life, and maybe people would start enjoying life in this country on a level like Spain.

  43. Is it too late to vote for president Tom Hale?

    Untouched by moral decay or the indiscretions of youth. President Hale: “I saved my virginity for YOU, America!”

  44. I think he’s just being goofy for the camera. I’d bet he didn’t smoke a whole lot of weed. The word he used in his autobio was “experiment,” correct? Barack just has this “good kid” vibe about him, that just seems to radiate every time he admits to some fault. He tried weed in college because practically everybody tries weed college. I doubt it was more than a few times. He just doesn’t seem the type to really be crazy about it. The only reason he’s still smoking is because cigarettes are addicting.

    Clinton probably toked much more and his claims that he didn’t inhale only make it so much more obvious that he did.

    btw, I don’t get the whole inauguration scandal at all. I mean, it’s Rick Warren for godsakes. The diet coke of modern evangelism. You’d think Fred Phelps had given the invocation with the way some people are reacting.

  45. So he smoked cigarettes…so what…I know of Presidents that did worse, like owned slaves and had babies with them!

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