85L at 7.1. What a waste!!!
That was my 1st thought, too!...but it's America...you could not cream the background too much...we need to see those flags and be able to identify them!...plus f/7.1 is a nice safe aperture to get The Prez good and sharp and save the photographer's butt.
I like the shot. It is a conservative, it has to be. So it is perfect for the intended audience. Nice low angle so we get the feeling of power. (Color balance could be a tad warmer..but that is not a shot killer here). It makes The President look in-charge, but accessible (his expression conveys that). The shot is also somewhat relaxed, i.e. not stiff, so I think it captures Barrack's personality, too. Job well done in the short, stressful time Mr. Sousa had to shoot it!
The phone isn't a prop....Barrack demanded that the phone be there in case his office went into DEFCON 5 National Emergency Mode!