Former President Barack Obama issued a response Monday to the inferno that gutted Notre Dame Cathedral, but in classic Obama fashion, he’s at the center of it all.
“Notre Dame is one of the world’s great treasures,” Obama tweeted, “and we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief. It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost – but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can.”
A picture accompanying the post features Obama front and center, lighting a votive candle in the cathedral.
The interior of Notre Dame is out of focus and in the background, almost as if it’s an afterthought.
Notre Dame is one of the world’s great treasures, and we’re thinking of the people of France in your time of grief. It’s in our nature to mourn when we see history lost – but it’s also in our nature to rebuild for tomorrow, as strong as we can. pic.twitter.com/SpMEvv1BzB
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 15, 2019
A review of Obama’s previous tweets show this isn’t just a coincidence, but rather standard operating procedure for the former president.
During Mandela Day, a celebration of the late South African apartheid opponent Nelson Mandela, Obama posted a picture with a familiar theme.
The former president sits in the foreground speaking to a group, while international civil rights icon Mandela is relegated to a background prop — a half-finished mural on the side of a building.
Mandela Day is about taking action to change the world for the better. In these young people, I see Madiba’s example of persistence and hope. They are poised to make this world more peaceful, more prosperous, and more just. pic.twitter.com/GJDuOs1hkH
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 18, 2018
Unsurprisingly, Obama doesn’t even need a holiday to wedge himself in the middle of a celebration of others.
In a post where the former president magnanimously honored the sacrifices of American armed forces, he found a way to place himself in the focus of what would otherwise be a powerful image of a military member saluting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
We can never truly repay the debt we owe our fallen heroes. But we can remember them, honor their sacrifice, and affirm in our own lives those enduring ideals of justice, equality, and opportunity for which generations of Americans have given that last full measure of devotion. pic.twitter.com/pRxwmaMClL
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 28, 2018
Even mourning posts for iconic scientists feature Obama front and center.
In a tweet that could have been a celebration of the life and accomplishments of Stephen Hawking, the physicist sits half-facing away from the camera while Obama stands beaming in the middle of the picture.
Have fun out there among the stars. pic.twitter.com/S285MTwGtp
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 14, 2018
Need more proof that Obama sees himself as a ruler in the same vein as the Chinese emperors of old, here by divine mandate?
In a 2015 post commemorating 9/11, the former president not only managed to secure the focus of the post yet again, but even quoted himself.
“The events of September 11, 2001, left a permanent mark on the spirit of every American.” —President Obama pic.twitter.com/oob3Hc0vmi
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 11, 2015
Although it’s been two years since Barack Obama sat in the Oval Office, the sun still rises and sets. The tides still come and go, and the Earth continues to spin round and round.
But as long as Obama continues to tweet, we can surely expect him to be the focus (at least in his mind) of every tragedy, holiday and celebration.
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