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Nov 08, 2004

Just Ignore That Man Behind The Curtain

As the administration begins marketing the concept of "a new Bush," I thought it might be useful to provide some visual evidence of how different Bush "the product" is from Bush "the man."

Earlier this year, Time Magazine did a photo journal of the campaign called "Backstage with Bush." (Link). (Actually, the most telling thing about the series was how staged the supposedly unstaged shots actually were.)

There is one shot, however, this was particularly revealing. It shows Bush with Arnold Schwarzenegger in a confrontation over who goes first as they are making their way on stage. In the photo, the Bush ego is on full display.


The President's hand is out, demanding that Arnold go ahead. His cheeks are clenched, his gaze is down, and he looks dug in, stubbornly unwilling to relent. An aid nervously stands by, obviously alarmed by the situation, but at the same time, seemingly hesitant to get involved. Laura Bush is also there, but her back is to the camera. Still, her body language doesn't seem tense. She could be oblivious, or just trained to ignore these little scenes. (On the other hand, she might also get some thrill out of George's power tantrums.)


Oh, but wait! Those two guy look so buddy-buddy in front of that admiring crowd (Invitation, only!). Could I possibly have seen something that just wasn't there? After all, with such such convincing evidence to the contrary, how could I dare think the boy next door was actually a bully?

(images:; YahooNews--AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)


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Ah, there you go again. A detailed analysis of Bush's (allegedly unsavory) personality as extrapolated from a split-second photo shot. You suggested I missed the point last time you did this, but really.

"In the photo, the Bush ego is on full display ..." Huh? How do you know his head is not in mid-turn toward Arnold to give him a big beautiful grin of friendship. "Well", you might anwser, "because I don't see Bush that way," which is my point. The photo tells us nothing except as a launching pad for your personal image of Bush. How about my alternative description: "George Bush graciously gestures to Arnold Schwarzenegger to enter first, as he averts his gaze downward in gentle humility."

Then you write, "An aid nervously stands by, obviously alarmed by the situation, but at the same time, seemingly hesitant to get involved." "Obviously," you say? Isn't it just as likely the guy has gas after eating two chili dogs for lunch? Or he's late for a something and he wishes the guys would get a move on? Or he's having trouble hearing what people are saying because the hall is so loud? My point is -- as my point was last week when you did the exact same thing -- that the photo "reveals" nothing about George Bush. It is superfluous.

I think you're seeing things that aren't there. Keep it up and four years later you'll again be anaylyzing little photographs to provide imaginary captions instead of working to figure out where the Dems went wrong. Kerry got 48%, but how much of that was just because they were anti-Bush? Bush won't be there to kick around in four years so expect another uphill climb if you still haven't reached middle America. Keep insulting fellow Americans by saying things like "I didn't know there were so many stupid people in this country" and you'll further isolate yourselves.

Do you honestly believe what you are writing? I understand you had that clutch "man behind the curtain" wizard of oz reference, but it seems that you are writing a parody of a conspiracy theorist.

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