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Jan 24, 2007

SOTU '07 Wrap Up: Jim, Nancy, George, Hillary, Barack, Dennis, Chris, Wesley, Laura and More

War Cred

Offering the "State of the Union Democratic response," Senator Jim Webb (who NewsMax calls the "Warrior Poet") holds up a photo of his father, a cargo pilot during the Berlin airlift.  Addressing the cost and the seriousness of his father's service, what does Webb do in this one scene?  (Speech text --see top of page 2.)

The image and the story, among other things: challenges Bush's comparison of Iraq to WWII; highlights the lack of military experience in the Administration; contrasts the Administration's steady stream of posed and tired military photo-ops with something much more familial; and (unique since Bush has dominated the national narrative) links the waging of war to the concept of sacrifice.

As a writer and story teller, Webb's crafting of imagery to address the war highlights not just the importance of an overall policy picture, but how badly the Democrats can use one.


Dealing With House Guests

If there was any question before, it was clear last night that Bush was a visitor, and it's Nancy's house.

Study In Contrast

Not to play up colors and outfits, but the difference in Washington couldn't be more black-and-white.  And then, comparing The Speaker to the boys in the terror-war brand lapel buttons, doesn't Pelosi's use of color (certainly a political tool) set up a plain and simple good guy/bad guy narrative, or a pessimism/optimism read?

The Media Primary

Again, the visual coverage reveals the MSM's already set handicapping of the Democratic race.  Counting all photos on YahooNews under the search term "state of the union" (including duplicates) as of  5:50 am EST, the photo counts was as follows:

Clinton/Obama: 22
Obama alone: 8
Hillary alone: 8
Kerry: 1
Hillary/Biden: 2
Biden 1
(dark) Kucinich: 1
(grumpy) Dodd: 1

and: Repub McCain: 4

Staying The Course

After strongly reaffirming his war commitment, the President contradicts his own message by choosing -- for the first time in three years -- not to spotlight an American soldier (or, specifically, the family of a fallen soldier) during the SOTU. (But, I guess we saw that coming.)

Instead, all eyes were directed upward and homeward (the new Administration strategy, it seems) toward a domestic hero.  In light of the hypocricy, this photo captures the contradiction.  In it, we see Bush guest, Iraq veteran Sgt. Tommy Reiman, set off in the background as Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Cheney make a fuss over subway rescuer, Wesley Autrey.

(The SOTU captured so many new looks, political shifts and studies in contrast, The BAG isolated just a few.  Besides your reactions, I'd be particularly interested in the view from your angle.)

(photo credits to follow)


I noticed the light suit that Pelosi wore. I didn't get the good guy/ bad guy take, as much as I felt the "here I am, notice me!" feel that Pelosi radiated./..... Okay, dammit, we have noticed you, now look pissed off and crack some heads, I could almost throw up with that glowing, accepting, social smile she baths that disgusting president in. It is no longer something to smile about. If she has scowled line cheney, if she has refused a handshake we would have hoisted her and paraded her down the Mall today. Dude, I do not feel good about this. The "Democrat Party" leaders gossip and complain but bush is doing what he damn well pleases. Eat this, America, sez bush - middle finger hiosted....


Check out the kissing and handling Michelle Bachman (GOP-MN) gives Bush after the speech-she's still a true believer, representing those other true believers *she was in good-guy white. This morning on the radio, she called Bush "The Commander of the Free World". Still present, adoration of the infant.

"The Commander of the Free World"!! Oh, I want the lapel pin for that!! Oh my god. That's wonderful, Neal. I can see his bathtub now, little plastic flotilla bravely battling the rubber duck...

Some things I noticed:

a) Bush was in a BLUE tie??? And Cheney had purple on. Although I think any sort of change in his public persona will go no further than a tie change, it was surprising to me.

b) I loved Pelosi. Didn't show any effort to be taken seriously or to be combative, just exuded quiet power. Her applause and facial reactions, and I guess most of the Democrats, seemed to calm down a lot from past years. I guess being able to pass laws instead of simply angrily applaud during the SOTU helps.

c) I thought that Hillary came off a lot better than Obama. Maybe it was just me watching, but Obama seemed to barely be listening and not looking at the camera, while Hillary managed to actually have a dialogue with America in 20 5 second camera shots during someone elses speech. Brilliant.

d) Not nearly enough Ted Kennedy.

e) I LOVED the subway hero, and was thrilled he was in the speech. But they did honor the soldier guy who refused medical attention and kept fighting, right?

Also, I'm fairly certain they are tranquilizing Laura Bush at this point in time.


What were the men trying to accomplish last night with their choice of tie colours? Seems like Bush and other Republicans mostly had on blue ties and the Democrats wore red - was it Bush's way of announcing he's all for bi-partisanship?
I was most impressed with Anderson Cooper's interview of Obama after the speech on CNN - he spoke rapidly and strongly (something that frustrates me about Hillary).
Can you post the "frightening" TV shot of Condi that everyone is talking about? She looks scary to me 99% of the time - she always looks like a candidate for anger management.

Nancy's just being there was a quiet rebuke to every word Dubya uttered. Way to go Nancy.

P.S. Now do something really pit-bull like.

Bush and Cheney's ties are muted and muttled symbols which represented the statements they wanted to make that night, that being they had precisely no statement to make.

The speech was an act of minefield avoidance. Nothing new or strong was said, there was very little ammunition given for pundits to chew over. Gone were grandious statements and dramatic agendas.

Indeed, it was a baby blue speech through and through.

Webb on the other hand nailed it, and his white face, red tie, and blue shirt looked as American as he sounded.

I think he knew he had a strong speech and so he dressed for it.

This is the first time in a long time that there has not been one bright red tie on our power trio during a SOTU.

After all the negative attention Cheney got yesterday I'm surprised they didn't dress him entirely in brown so he would have blended into the chair a little more.

Webb wore a red tie, hmmm ... last night was all about reaching out to the other party.

... on the surface.

Jim Webb - outstanding shot and speech. You must run for the Presidency. You have a year to prove yourself to others, to me: you are a leader!!!

Nancy - pale green is nice, like new growth in spring.

Bush and Cheney - no "terror warning" can hide you now. You are well done - unfortunately for America, not soon enough. You have made yourself rich from the skin and bones of our country. You are indeed the dark side.

ggb -- Is this what you're looking for?

A Tale of Two Pictures

For what it's worth, I noticed that John Boehner had a green tie on. It was almost as pale a green as the Speaker's suit. I felt it really jumped out while he trailed the president in the entrance, and was immediately complimented by the Speaker's outfit when the cameras turned away from him and onto her.

I could read a lot into that, but it wouldn't be based in reality.

Anon Woman - thanks - That must be it - I couldn't bear to watch the Bush portion - only watched Webb. The blogs are all commenting on the absolutely frightening picture of Condi. Why can't she get that horrid look out of her eyes? Is she jealous of sharing Bush?

The Devil Wears Super 150's

MadameGonzo sez "Nancy's wearing her winter white!" whatever that means/meant; Dubya had on that ice-blue solid/silk tie (i can't find it in the Zegna or Brioni collections; personally i think it looks great) i thought Mike Barnicle's blogpost that "Nancy's outfit costs more than the average working man's wage" or somesuch yadda-yadda was one heluva cheap shot, given that $3K+ bespoke suits are de rigeur STAFF daywear nowadays ~ you gotta get the wool "polish" or silk content up, make that jacket "shiny", else it fades into a dark blob on TV ~ Jon Stewart (Canali) does this well; on the BBC, many of the talking heads, apparently unaware of the "shiny jacket for TV" trick the better-dressed American pundi (plural of pundit? :) use "piping" around their lapels to get around the "my suit has become a black blob on TV" thing ~ they end up looking like Patrick McGoohan on The Prisoner or something : Why did you resign?

Webb! now this man is talkin' to me!! (^_^)

Webb4Prez! Webb4PrezO8!!

Anderson Cooper? gawd, what an infant; he's married to Shepard Smith, right? Lara Logan! {sigh} Lara Logan...

...Rowrrr!! indeed.

Cheney was pretty purple today with Wolf, too...

Mr. G: {sigh} Lara Logan...

What is it with her? Do we all want to save her, our damsel in distress, thu this tragic folly? Yes she is B U tiful, but it's her voice that makes this dog swoon. Even my madame thinks she's hot.

The NYT online first lead photo on this day showed Pelosi reaching out to Bush for a hand shake with Bush holding his arms at his side and looking at her hand as if he was not ready or able to shake her hand (@SOTU). By the time I went through a mug of tea and tried to bring up the photo again for my madame, it was replaced with the same angle shot but where Bush was handing the copy of his speech to her. The first photo was not shown again on the day. I get up early on the East coast and see things like this where not so good photos of our leader are posted, then change when the work day starts, with the negative impression not to be seen again. Mostly NYT & WP. Not often, but enough to puzzle me noggin.

was it just me or did bush at times seem to be just reading words zombie-like? going thru the motions. then suddenly he'd come out of it and we'd see that icky smile.

monsieurgonso you surpassed even yourself.......brilliant post.

I said to mr. lowly grunt as we were listening to the SOTU that POTUS didn't sound nearly as petulant as ususal.

I guess he's tired.

Forgot to add:

Did anyone else notice how the Subway Hero (not Jared) pumped his fists and then moved about five feet over to shake Laura's hand? Did she move first or did he just go over there?

In the pic posted, Lynne looks like she is leaning as far back as possible; must be giving her hamstrings a real workout.

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