SECOND RUNNER-UP: Joe Biden, who was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a surprise ceremony. It has the feel and the look of a sad expression, for sure: the teary eyes, the plaintive gaze. But it’s more likely a blend of pride, astonishment, melancholy and—because this is Biden—the fervent hope that the Medal of Freedom will turn out to be a magical amulet that will allow him to communicate with all the creatures of the sea. Whoa, best buds with a walrus! Dream the dream, Joe!
FIRST RUNNER-UP: Barack Obama. The outgoing U.S. President shed a tear while referencing his wife, Michelle, during his farewell speech in Chicago. Sad? Yes. But happy sad. Proud sad. Not sad sad.There are only two things that make Obama truly sad: the human cost of conflict in a dangerous and unpredictable world, and carbs.
WINNER: Sen. Tim Kaine. The saddest face of the week belongs to Hillary Clinton’s running mate, seen here (kinda) listening to Rex Tillerson testify in his hearing to become secretary of state. You may be thinking: This is not a sad face! This is a bored face—a bummed-out face, perhaps. But look closer. Look deeper. This is the face of a man coming to grips with what the next four years have in store: for him, for Democrats in the Senate, for much of the United States and most of the world. His gaze is unfixed. His Dad-humour smile is vanquished. Here we see a man who, for the first time ever, is thinking: “I’m not sure The Big Bang Theory is going to be enough to cheer me up tonight.” This is the saddest face of the week. Get used to it.