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In April 2014, the official White House Instagram account posted a selfie that featured President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden while traveling to Oakdale, Pennsylvania in a limo with the caption “Pals” (Zezima, 2014). Vice President Biden originally posted the selfie on his own Instagram account with the caption, “Found a friend to join my first selfie on Instagram. Thanks for following and stay tuned. - VP” (Biden, 2014). Like the selfie taken at Mandela’s memorial, President Obama took another controversial selfie earlier in April 2014 with Red Sox baseball star David Ortiz, which was an orchestrated public relations stunt for Samsung and was rumored to be the cause for a possible ban on selfies at the White House (Horowitz, 2014). But with all the criticism that Obama received for his penchant for a good selfie and for being like every person in the world with a camera on their smartphones, the leader of the free world was voted social media's favorite politician in the United Kingdom in 2014, the only non-British politician to have appeared in the poll (Williams, 2014b). Another prominent world leader, Narenda Modi, the prime minister of India, posted a selfie on Twitter of himself after voting in the nation's elections late April 2014. While holding the lotus flower symbol of his political party—the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—with his inked finger, Prime Minister Modi smiled with the accompanying caption saying “Voted! Here is my selfie” (Taylor, 2014). Although the 64-year-old politician was accused of flouting Indian election law and rules by posting the selfie, Modi was perceived as a game changer in terms of fixing the corruption and economic mismanagement that occurred in past governments (Agencies, 2014; Taylor, 2014). His initiatives included a developmental plan that includes reliable power and water, decent roads, flourishing industry, less political corruption, and a
5 government founded on continual optimism (Roberts, 2014). Like Obama, Modi has embraced social media and the selfie itself outshone the criticism with the prime minister having boasted more than three million followers on Twitter. Also, like Obama's presidential victory in 2012, Modi's use of social media during the election was stated to be one of his keys to victory with 100 million of the 815 million voters in April's elections having been young, first-time voters who frequently use Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook—India's first social media election (Taylor, 2014; Khullar & Haridasani, 2014). Modi's social media presence preceded his election as prime minister of India in May 2014 with Modi having taken selfies with supporters for his Instagram account, and with his voting selfie having spurned the hashtag, “#SelfieWithModi,” resulting in hundreds of posts (Taylor, 2014).