FFE Magazine

Danish PM explains the selfie with Obama and Cameron

by FFE EU News Staff



In a surprising twist to a formal occasion, American President Barack Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Denmark Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt take a selfie, immediately generating buzz online and off.


Thorning-Schmidt, who was sandwiched between the two world leaders, took the opportunity to grab a quick photo with the leaders, and Danes are not surprised with her playful action. When called to explain, she said ‘The atmosphere was of course melancholic, but ultimately it was a celebration of a man who lived to be 95 years old, and who managed to accomplish so much in his life.


‘There was dancing on the stands and singing and dancing, so the mood was positive. And then we took a really fun selfie.


‘It also shows that even when leaders meet, we are also normal people who have a good time together.’


However, Thorning-Schmidt feared the photo would overshadow the Mandela Memorial Service: ‘I think it’s a sad reflection on how sometimes we focus, as a society, on trivial everyday happenings.’


This is not the first time that the Danish Prime Minister has acted as a ‘normal person’. The Danes would vividly remember when she walked to American actress and asked for her autograph.



Both the White House and Downing Street said they had no comment on the photo. Meanwhile, Danish newspaper Politiken online managing editor Karl Erik Stougaard backed the action, saying ‘It was just a free politician in a unique moment of joyfulness.’


The AFP photographer who captured the leaders in that fun moment said ‘It was interesting to see politicians in a human light because usually when we see them it is in such a controlled environment. Maybe this would not be such an issue if we, as the press, would have more access to dignitaries and be able to show they are human as the rest of us.’


The trio selfie shows that even world leaders can have fun too and lead normal lives as freely as everyone else, even the pope. Back in August, Pope Francis also generated buzz by creating the first ‘papal selfie’ featuring him and a few young fans at the Vatican.


The popularity of the selfie phenomenon has also launched the word to the top of Oxford Dictionaries’ Word for 2013.





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