May 8th, 2009
04:24 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama official resigns over photo flap


The White House has released a photo taken during the controversial flyover of New York City last week.

(CNN) - Louis Caldera, the director of the White House Military Office who authorized the controversial Air Force One photo-op over New York City last week has resigned, the White House announced Thursday.

The White House has also released a photograph taken during the unannounced flyover that caused a brief panic in the city.

Full story

Full White House statement after the jump

Statement from White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:

The President has accepted the resignation of Louis Caldera as Director of the White House Military Office. Attached is Mr. Caldera's resignation letter. Also attached is a report sought by the President and conducted by Jim Messina, deputy chief of staff, and a photo.

The President has asked his Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina and Defense Secretary Gates or his designee to jointly review the organizational structure of the White House Military Office and the reporting relationship of its components to the White House and the Air Force, and to make recommendations to him to ensure that such an incident never occurs again.

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Makokha

    I'm from the Republic of Kenya.In 1998 the American Embassy in Nairobi was bombed by Osama, killing over 250 Kenyans and 11 Americans. However seeing American fleeing from their presidential jet makes me feel that Osama just achieved his goals-to make Americans and the whole world chicken out! Americans I feel you but don't make a hero out of that stupid Osama.

    May 8, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. leland

    i'm not a first line supporter of obama but it sure seems to me the folks in ny are a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic....i'm not sure the photoshoot was worth the cost but it's peanuts compared to the porkbarrel spending that comes out of congress for less worthy projects....if we're going to fire someone, lets start with some of the idiots that got us into such deep deficet spending over a war that was contrived and protrayed to the american public in fear mongering terms that leave us all shaking our heads in disbelief...unfortunately some one else paid the ultimate sacrifice....i was a flyover photoshoot....let it be

    May 8, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  3. Chris

    They've got Photoshop, right? The composition is good, but the colors and levels are way off (for an 'official' White House photo).

    Checking out the video footage - it wasn't really the best lighting that day anyway, with the hazy visibility.

    May 8, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. joe m

    someone tell me this... this picture could not have been accomplished using photoshop? i've seen CG pics of better quality than this and they cost so much less. if there is a reason to fire this guy, it should be because he chose the most expensive alternative to do something that was not actually going to improve anyone's life.

    May 8, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. Matt

    I expected the photo to be better, like the one over Mt. Rushmore.

    May 8, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. P from CA

    Caldera did the right thing. It was a stupid move and someone that high up shouldn't make that stupid of a move.

    May 8, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. Honorable Kansas Vet

    Had it been coordinated and handled correctly instead of resigning he would be lauded as a genius. What was his big error, he handled it as the last administration would have, clasified and not up front. Would have made a heck of a PR show for New York and Manhattan had it been set up for the shoot.

    May 8, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. Jane

    That's okay don't feel sorry for him. The University of New Mexico told the Albuquerque Journel in a front page story that they would give him his old job back at the college.

    May 8, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. a Republican

    It figures!! The GoP has become the John Birch Society!

    May 8, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. Jane

    Gee I wonder who was in the D-model F-16 taking the photo from the back seat.

    May 8, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. Proud DHS radical

    I'm just waiting for the WH to replace their press secretary Robert Gibbs, you know it's coming.

    May 8, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  12. DaBird

    As an Independent voter, I thought it would be funny if someone blamed Bush with this flyover. Comments about Republicans, the Iraq War, etc. show how uneducated some people are.

    The story is about the plane and resignation of a guy.

    Quit hating Bush and the Republicans so much that you cannot even think with common sense.

    May 8, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  13. norma

    elliot, our president has a muslim name, so what? you people sound stupid making up kindergarten-like insults on someones name. Why is he always being compared to osama bin laden? because it rhymes? childish!

    May 8, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. Retired US Army Officer - Kansas

    Big difference in how a screwup is handled. Great photo, going to croup very dollar it cost to get.

    Just a shame that the indivdual it cost his job did not bother to coordinate it with the City of New York, it could have been something truely great rather than a blown photo shoot.

    And to Hayden- The only thig that the Bush Adminstration did that could possibly be attributed to this event was to create a atmosphere of fear and mistrust, so chill. The Presidential Aircraft flow over NEW YORK CITY the greatest city in the world for a photo shoot celebrating America with a fly over of Lady Liberty, any other time in our history this would be a matter of pride and celibration-so sit in it.

    May 8, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. mal

    idiot ohh i meant elliot what a dum ass

    May 8, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  16. The Death of America by Obama

    well,obama found his scapegoat.
    what a liar.

    May 8, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. Dennis

    Just another tribute to the most narcissitic President we've ever had. I thought it would be a long time before anyone passed Clinton in this regard. This administration is so in love with itself that they came out with more bumper stickers AFTER the election. When will quit campaigning and actually DO something except spend our taxes?

    May 8, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  18. Jason, Tucson, AZ

    Please tell me that he got a framed copy of that photo as a parting gift 🙂

    May 8, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  19. Resigned = Tossed

    Obama has a bunch of inexperienced looney tunes in his Administration. Change you can believe in - the joke of the century

    May 8, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  20. Another Obama folly

    The flag on the tail of the plane should be upside down as that is where Oblamo is taking this country - what a joke the Dems are –

    May 8, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  21. Francis


    Yes for sure, if this was Bush every newspaper would be on this story bashing the poor man while this empty suit we have as a president, possibly because he is black just continues to get a free ride

    He and his entire staff are clowns and he lies through his teeth, like our Lord warned beware of the wolf in sheeps clothing

    May 8, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  22. george marple

    Easy there, Republicans, your hatred of Pres. Obama is making you look dumb as a container of Cool Whip. I'll bet you even resent his hair follicles, the way he trims his nails, the size of his feet.

    May 8, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  23. David Somuah

    It was a stupid stunt, and they could have gotten the same picture using photoshop.

    May 8, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  24. Shane

    Great pic. I love the gracefulness that a 747 moves with.

    May 8, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  25. ashley

    its funny how some people see this as a joke that people would be scared. People that saw a airplane flying close to buildings in their city after 9/11 werent thinking "oh thats the presidents plane". Its not like you can tell anyway.People saw a plane flying lower than normal. I would be scared too after what they have been through. This just shows that people will make excuses for Obama and his admin even when its obvious this was a major waste of money and a gigantic mistake.

    May 8, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
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