This Photo May Symbolize Obama's Presidency
It could become as iconic as Gerald Ford's stumble
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2009 7:50 AM CST
President Obama bows as he is greeted by Japanese Emperor Akihito.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – A bow like the one President Obama gave the Japanese emperor isn't that big a deal, but neither was Gerald Ford's stumble down airplane steps, writes Peggy Noonan. Ford's stumble came to symbolize a presidency seen as bumbling, however. The photos of Obama bowing—paired with headlines labeling his Asian trip a failure—may come to symbolize a presidency increasingly seen as weak and incompetent, Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal.

Obama seems like an increasingly unloved figure as his political woes mount, writes Noonan, noting that even many Democrats are now stressing that they originally favored Clinton. The administration may think they have plenty of time left to turn perceptions around, but they'd be wrong. "You can get tagged, typed and pegged your first year," Noonan writes. "The first year is when indelible impressions are made and iconic photos emerge."