"In politics, image is king, and every politician knows it. President Obama knows it more than most, having been having been caught in one or two pictures that hand his opponents, rightly or wrongly, a gift of a story."
First of all, this wasn't strictly a funeral; certainly not the solemn dressed-in-black occasion we often associate with the term. It was a four-hour stadium-sized memorial celebrating the life and works of the beloved Madiba, a riot of colorful dancing and singing. Think New Orleans meets the World Cup.
...it would be churlish (and diplomatically inept) to refuse ...
... " it was Thorning-Schmidt taking the picture...it would be churlish (and diplomatically inept) to refuse — especially if the sober British Prime Minister David Cameron was already in on the fun."
"...add speech balloons. Perhaps Thorning-Schmidt is saying, "Let's commemorate this amazing moment and the life of an incredible man with a joyous group photo." Maybe Michelle is thinking, "Man, I wish there were room for me in that picture."