A History of President Obama Pressing Two Fingers to His Lips

By
Barack Obama
Two fingers + lips = epic concentration. Photo: Jeff Haynes/Getty Images; Scott Olson/Getty Images; Bill Pugliano/Getty Images; Mario Tama/Getty Images/Getty Images

When he finds himself in deep thought, President Obama prefers to turn to the nearest window and stare out of it. But what if there are no windows to look through? What if he's onstage at a campaign event at the time, or sitting in an audience? If Obama finds himself in such a situation, he'll probably go for the next best option and press exactly two fingers to his lips. One finger would not adequately convey the gravity of the moment. Three would just look ridiculous.

US President Barack Obama listens as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (not pictured) speaks during meetings in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, May 28, 2009. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
CHICAGO - JUNE 20:  Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, (D-IL) (R) listens to Democratic governor Janet Napolitano (L) of Arziona during a economic discussion June 20, 2008, at the Chicago History Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Obama and the governors met to discuss the impact the past eight-years on state budgets and solutions fro the future.(Photo by Jeff Haynes/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Barack Obama
Photo: Jeff Haynes/Getty Images
Washington, UNITED STATES:  US Senator Barack Obama, D-IL,  listens as the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee asks questions of the 911 Commission members and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg 09 January 2007 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. US political darling Obama has received enthusiastic support for a possible 2008 presidential bid -- except from fellow African-Americans, a group many believed would be among his staunchest backers. In contrast to the effusive reception Obama has received from white Americans, many US blacks so far have been cool, saying that while they may share skin color with Obama, they do not have a common culture or history.   AFP Photo/PAUL J. RICHARDS  (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images
WASHINGTON - JANUARY 31:  U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) listens as U.S. President George W. Bush delivers his State of the Union speech in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol January 31, 2006 in Washington, DC.  During his speech, Bush laid out his legislative agenda and foreign policy for the year ahead.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES:  US Senator-elect Barack Obama, D-IL, listens to remarks by US President George W. Bush during a visit by the newly elected members of Congress to the White House 03 January 2005 in Washington, DC.  Obama is the only African American menber of the US Senate.  AFP PHOTO / TIM SLOAN  (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images
Barack Obama, U.S. senator from Illinois and Democratic presidential candidate looks during a fund raiser event at the Hilton Towers hotel on Thursday, July  10, 2008 in New York, U.S. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg News
Photo: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images
20 Aug 2008, Martinsville, Virginia, USA --- Presumed Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama listens to his introduction by former Virginia Governor Mark Warner during a campaign stop at the Motorsports Facility of Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Virginia. --- Image by ? David Turner/epa/Corbis
Photo: David Turner/epa/Corbis
CHICAGO - JUNE 20:  Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) (C) listens to Democratic governors during a economic discussion June 20, 2008, at the Chicago History Museum in Chicago, Illinois. Obama and the governors met to discuss the impact the past eight-years on state budgets and solutions fro the future.(Photo by Jeff Haynes/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Barack Obama
Photo: Jeff Haynes/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES:  US Senator-elect Barack Obama (D-IL) listens closely with other newly elected members of congress as they listen to remarks by US President George W. Bush 03 January 2005 in the East Room of the White House welcoming them to Washington and the 109th session of the US Congress. The new senators and representatives will be sworn in 04 January on Capitol Hill.     AFP PHOTO/Paul J. RICHARDS  (Photo credit should read PAUL J.RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images
LAKE ORION, MI - OCTOBER 14:  U.S. President Barack Obama listens to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak (not pictured) speak at General Motors' Orion Assembly Plant October 15, 2011 in Lake Orion, Michigan. Obama and Lee visited the plant to promote a free trade agreement.  (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
BOSTON - JULY 27:  Democratic Convention Keynote speaker and Illinois Senate candidate Barack Obama waits to speak at the League of Conservation Voters Environmental Victory Rally at Christopher Columbus Park July 27, 2004 in Boston, Massachusetts. Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is expected to accept his party's nomination later in the week.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
08 Apr 2008, Washington, DC, USA --- Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama listens to testimony from US Commander in Iraq General David Petraeus and US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker testified on the situation in Iraq. --- Image by ? Ken Cedeno/Corbis
Photo: Ken Cedeno/Corbis
CHICAGO - APRIL 9:  Presidential candidate Senator John Kerry (D-MA) (L) speaks at a job training center while candidate for the U.S. Senate Barack Obama (D-IL) listens  April 9, 2004 in Chicago, Illinois. Kerry is finishing a two-day campaign swing through Illinois and Wisconsin.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images