It was the ideal metaphor for a politically troubled president.
There was President Obama on the cover of the June 19 issue of The Economist, standing alone on a Louisiana beach, head down, looking forlornly at the ground.
The problem was, he was not actually alone. The photograph was just edited to make it look that way.
It's just not quite the same for a president to be glancing down at the water while chatting with others on the beach as it is for the president to be solemn and depressed and alone while contemplating oil-soaked sand.