The Parkland Mass Shooting: A Presidential Photo for the Ages.

On Friday, February 16, the photos of Donald Trump at a hospital and meeting with first responders began to show up in my newsfeeds.  At first, I didn’t see anything past the smug, smirking Presidential buffoon with his absurd grin and thumbs up, and the First Lady in an outfit reminiscent of a Halloween nurse costume.

An uncomfortable gathering before the camera
Trump, first responders, GOP Senator Marco Rubio, GOP Governor Rick Scott and GOP Attorney General Pam Bondi in Parkland, Florida two days after the February 14, 2018 mass shooting


Eventually, though, the smiling faces surrounding the Presidential pair took center stage for me.  Some smiles were literally beaming.  Some were uncomfortable — crooked smiles, half-smiles, nearly upside down smiles.  And a few first-responders didn’t smile at all.  I commend them for showing more awareness of the situation than our fearless leader did.

Some of the faces were particularly attention-capturing.

Like this one:

Rick Scott looks ashamed
The wincing smile of Governor Rick Scott at Trump’s side on February 16, 2018

Rick Scott’s face seems to display a dawning realization of how inappropriate this tableau appears.  He reminds me of someone…who?

Oh right.

What price dinner?
Mitt Romney at dinner with Trump. He was just beginning to imagine the life this photo could take on.

Rick Scott seems to be imagining how often he’ll see this photo during the months running up to his bid to be a U.S. Senator from Florida.

There’s another face in the crowd that stands out.

Marco Rubio, wishing he were elsewhere.
Marco Rubio in Parkland on February 16, 2018.

Rubio looks sober, even pensive.  It’s as though he can see the future in his reflection in the camera lens.  He can count on seeing this photo in a saturation of political ads, billboards, and videos by his challengers.

I want to boost the signal of the survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who are speaking out so eloquently against the NRA and the politicians who insist that there’s no way that gun regulation could prevent another mass shooting tragedy.

I believe these eloquent, motivated and determined student-survivors will impact nearly every race in the United States this November.

From the looks on their faces, so do Marco Rubio and Rick Scott.

Trump, on the other hand, looks clueless.  He’s talked about how an “event” could change everything this year.  This isn’t the kind of event he’s hoping for, but it’s the event he faces.  And it’s a presidential test he’s failed.  Presidents don’t get do-overs when their job is to come out, comfort and restore a nation’s tattered confidence.

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