First, the photo. Why that photo? Some people think he looks awful — old, squinty, puffy — but I think it's an effort to evoke the old "HOPE" poster. Actually, it looks more like "hope" than the original Shepard Fairey image, which looks a little hunched-up and blank by comparison. The new image shows Obama, burdened and beleaguered, having sacrificed his youth for us, peering into the future... and yes, there is still hope.
Second, the article, by Andrew Sullivan. Based on the cover headline — "Why Are Obama's Critics So Dumb?" — I don't even want to read it. It just seems like red meat for Obama fans. And what a cliché! Republicans are stupid. That's what they always say. It's not just red meat, it's the same old red meat they always serve. You know, you have to be kind of dumb to be so easily pulled in by the assurance that you're with the smart people and those other people are stupid.
For the article under that headline to be any good, it would need to offer criticisms of Obama that are ostensibly smarter than the what the supposedly dumb critics are putting forth. A mere defense of Obama — you've got to be dumb not to appreciate him — would be so insipid.
UPDATE: I respond to Sullivan's complaining about my failure to read his article.