Republicans, who for a year have stared with dread at Shepard Fairey's idealized poster image of Barack Obama, seeing in his ethereal gaze the face of the Red Terror, must really be climbing the walls,  now that Time magazine has published photos of Obama taken by psychologist Lisa Jack in 1980. Jack was a classmate of Obama's at Los Angeles' Occidental College, where the two attended school, and Obama posed for Jack as a subject for her photography portfolio.

Obama at Ease: Tokin' Negro?

The images show an extremely laid back Obama, wearing either a bomber jacket or natty straw hat, often with a cigarette in hand. Or is it a cig? In one frame the future president is holding it European style — that is to say, the way one might hold a joint. Was it marijuana, and Obama, a tokin' Negro? Or was the Once and Future 44 simply indulging an elitist affectation?

No doubt conservatives are eagerly scanning Jack's pictures for signs

of weed, hoping to turn back the historical clock to 4:20. Today's L.A. Times runs one image not carried by Time, in which a dozy Obama sits on a sofa as a ghostly swirl of smoke caresses his face.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.