September 22, 2010

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic...

P020209PS-0149

"President Barack Obama is helped by Vermont Governor Jim Douglas to move a couch in the Oval Office, Feb. 2, 2009. Governor Douglas met with the President about the economic recovery plan."

92 comments:

John Lynch said...

Ouch. That's Drudge-worthy.

Almost Ali said...

Finally, some good, honest work.

Lincolntf said...

"A little to the Left... more... more... just a bit more to the Left...and... Stop! Perfect!...Buu-uut maybe just a little more to the Left..."

edutcher said...

What economic recovery plan?

The plan was to convert the USA into the USSR.

Problem was, the damn people got in the way.

(George III, Louis XVI, and Woody Wilson had the same problem)

Fred4Pres said...

Loooooove that new carpet.

AllenS said...

WTF?

What kind of fucking idiot is in charge of taking these fucking pictures and then posting them for all the fucking world to see? Seriously, Obama is a fucking idiot, dumber than Joe Biden.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

AllenS,

The goal is to make the President's 2008 supporters comfortable with their decision. Unlike some of the other photos Prof. Althouse has linked, this one kinda humanizes him, I think. So I think it was a good choice.

The fact that people can write snarky captions for it is almost irrelevant. No photo is immune to that. But this makes President Obama look a little more "regular guy", which is a quality he hasn't demonstrated very often.

And at this point, he has lost all interest in winning over his critics, I'm sure. All he cares about now politically is reassuring his base.

Ron said...

"Obama and GS9 flunky attempt to hide chicken blood stain on new carpet. Geithner comes out with optimistic 4th quarter predictions while VP Biden's leg twitches uncontrollably"

Bruce Hayden said...

Who, in their right mind, moves sofas wearing a suit? And what happens if one of them sprains his back by doing it wrong. Obviously, it isn't an issue with the President, given his free health care at Walter Reed, etc., but the governor? Would this job related? Covered by Workman's Comp?

Much better to let people trained to move furniture do so. They are much less likely to screw up and either screw themselves up physically, or damage expensive furniture. And, I am sure that given the amount of furniture in the White House, they have some on staff.

Oh, and according to my girlfriend, an interior designer, that is a sofa, and not a couch.

AllenS said...

Martin,

Unemployment is going through the roof, and this is the best picture that they can come up with?

Obama, furniture mover.

"We are the furniture movers we've been waiting for."

Ron said...

"Balanced budget! President Obama finds missing funds between cushions! Saudi Prince Bandar's car keys also recovered!"

Will said...

they were just moving the couch so Barry could putt

Mick said...

Trying to show that Obama is a humble hard worker, just like you and me. The problem is that his "citizen of the world" perspective makes it seem like a Chinese speaker interpreting English.
Or maybe it's one of those "team building" excersizes, like falling back and having someone catch him.
Either way, he is not a "Creature of our own".

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Governor Douglas met with the President about the economic recovery plan."

But they spent the majority of that time moving around the $10,000 couches taxpayers purchased.

Jesus. We wonder why this fucking moron we have for a President can't do anything positive about the economy.

He isn't even fucking trying.

What a complete waste of a Presidency.

Lem said...

If memory serves that picture is from before the latest renovations.

John said...

A brilliant headline, congrats.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

That picture would have paired well with this link for pure drudgedy.

SMGalbraith said...

If Obama ordered the person who posted this shot, I'd donate $50 to Obama's re-election campaign.

Okay, $25.

But I'd be good for it.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"If Obama ordered the person who posted this shot, I'd donate $50 to Obama's re-election campaign."

Would never happen.

Barack Obama is too self-absorbed to realize how he appears to regular Americans.

Nobody around him would ever allow him to ever hear of any criticism of this photograph. And if any leaked in, it would be derided as the mutterings of teabaggers ... safe to ignore.

Obama ... by their definition ... cannot make a faux pas. He is error-proof. And anyone who says differently is outing themselves as a racist who must be destroyed.

c3 said...

who said the President isn't willing to do the heavy lifting on the economy.

1jpb said...

"that is a sofa, and not a couch"

I never knew that there was a definable difference. I have, however, observed that richer folks tend to talk about 'sofas' and other folks are more likely to talk about 'couches.'

Presumably my observations are limited to my own experience, rather than being a situation that holds for the population as a whole.

P.S.
I've also noticed that (w/ almost no exceptions) there seems to be a law that only allows hot girls to drive Honda Preludes. Of course, my Prelude theory could also be whack.

Palladian said...

"If memory serves that picture is from before the latest renovations."

You're right, this is from before it was done up like the lobby from a Sheraton, circa 1987.

I guess there's some sort of symbolism in Obama moving Bush's furniture.

Bush's decor was merely bland and inoffensive, like unsalted butter. Obama's decor is both cheap-looking and catatonic. The room mirrors the man, I guess.

The Drill SGT said...

I'm sorry, but I think that's an ugly rug and an ugly sofa

Misty said...

He can't even figure out where to put his furniture.

The Drill SGT said...

AllenS said...
WTF?

What kind of fucking idiot is in charge of taking these fucking pictures and then posting them for all the fucking world to see?


some Army Signal Corps MSG in the WH Photo operatio :)

Palladian said...

"I'm sorry, but I think that's an ugly rug and an ugly sofa"

It is. But it's Bush's ugly rug and sofa. Obama got his own ugly rug and sofa.

1jpb said...

"The room mirrors the man"

Not true! If this was true, imagine what WJC's Oval would have looked like. I'm thinking about that car (El Camino?) of his w/ the astroturf in the back.

Yikes.

Deb said...

They had to lay off the help.

1jpb said...

Thank you google:

"When I was a younger man and had a life, I owned an El Camino pickup in the '70s. It was a real sort of Southern deal. I had Astroturf in the back. You don't want to know why, but I did."

The Drill SGT said...

Palladian said...
It is. But it's Bush's ugly rug and sofa. Obama got his own ugly rug and sofa.


You gay guys know so much about that design stuff :) Is it a DNA thing?

Yeah, I didnt notice the Bush era date.... but it is an ugly rug.

Palladian said...

1jpb, Axelrod likes to keep the Astroturf hidden, if you know what I mean...

Actually, the Clinton era decor was one of the better ones.

"You gay guys know so much about that design stuff :) Is it a DNA thing?"

When you spend so much of your time on your knees you come to know your floor coverings!

The Drill SGT said...

That got a chuckle from me anyway.

ndspinelli said...

I wonder if that's a sleeper sofa...those fuckers are heavy.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

AllenS,

In order for them to come up with a photo that says, "I can fix the economy," he has to... ummm... fix the economy.

Since they can't come up with any photos of that (unexpectedly!), "regular guy" photos are all they've got. It's not to persuade you, it's to soothe doubting Obama voters. At this point, soothing the doubters is all the strategy they have for November.

ndspinelli said...

Hey Shoemaker,

One of my favorite ballplayers in my youth was Walt "No Neck " Williams. Any relation? And, when did computer geeks get the right to vote?

Clyde said...

Zing!

That headline alone was reason enough for Obama to get his staff to move the furniture around instead of doing it himself.

Clyde said...

Martin, this no more makes Obama look like a "regular guy" than the famous picture of Nixon walking along the beach in his suit did.

Fen said...

But this makes President Obama look a little more "regular guy", which is a quality he hasn't demonstrated very often.

Except that it was all choreographed to make Obama look a little more "regular guy".

Which has the opposite effect.

Its like a candidate taking off his jacket and rolling up his sleaves at a debate.

And yes, Obama really thinks we are stupid enough to fall for it.

The Drill SGT said...

Its like a candidate taking off his jacket and rolling up his sleaves at a debate.

Or better yet, Mondale in the tank with that shit eating grin wearing a CVC pretending he was a rough man

CrankyProfessor said...

That's the funniest caption (or headline) that I've read in years.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

ndspinelli,

No relation that I know of; but I never knew my relatives much. Anything is possible.

And today, with the electronic voting machines, we computer geeks get all the votes, because we write the vote-counting code. [Insert tired old vote-counting joke here.]

Fen said...

Mondale in the tank with that shit eating grin wearing a CVC pretending he was a rough man

I remember that one! We were expected to believe he had a fricken clue about the military.

Palladian said...

"I wonder if that's a sleeper sofa."

It could be! You never know where they'll turn up! They could be anywhere, in any home or business, waiting... watching, comforting us with their unassuming softness.

And then one day, without warning, countless sleeper sofas across the land, couched in radical rhetoric (the word "sofa" comes from the Arabic word ṣuffa after all) spring forth and strike! Everywhere, the streets fill with the terrible destructive force of once-docile chesterfields and canapés, davenports, divans and futons and setees, an all-out tête-à-tête with the unprepared American people. Loveseats turn to hateseats and daybeds become deathbeds as these Castro convertibles spread destruction and their own extreme blend of communism and radical Islam from coast to coast!

Beware!

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Clyde,

Tastes vary. To me, this is the least bad photo I've seen among the White House photos the Professor has linked. "Least bad" isn't good, of course; but it's a step up from the others.

And yes to Fen: clearly, it's staged. I'm not sure any White House would share truly candid photos; but I'm sure this one wouldn't.

Palladian said...

It was Mike Dukakis who tanked by riding in the tank.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Palladian,

You're twisted; and I mean that in the nicest way. Thanks for the laugh!

Der Hahn said...

That was Dukakis in the tank, not Mondale.

The Drill SGT said...

yeah,

my bad...

He was still a Dufiss

Charity said...

From the comments on the flickr page:

"why did they have to move the couch?"

"they're looking for change."

exhelodrvr1 said...

Maybe they were looking for coins in the cushions.

stutefish said...

Personally, I don't want my President of the United States looking like a regular guy.

I want him looking like the President of the United States.

More to the point, I'm pretty sure that the President is too busy to be moving furniture.

"Hello, Governor. Thank you for coming. I apologize for the placement of the furniture, but I haven't even had the time to have someone else move it. Now, let's get down to the nation's business."

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

stutefish,

Personally, I don't want my President of the United States looking like a regular guy.

I want him looking like the President of the United States.


I hear what your saying; but I think this photo was selected in the context of the summer of golf and Spanish vacations (and Martha's Vineyards vacations, and...) and clueless remarks about "we're not that far from struggling, too" that made the First Family look elitist and out of touch. I saw this as an attempt to try to defuse some of that.

Our political theater is full of examples of Presidents and wannabe Presidents trying to come off as regular guys. "Out-of-touch elite" is a sure-fire vote loser, except among other out-of-touch elites.

F15C said...

They're not moving the couch, we pay some bitter-clingers to do that kind of stuff.

What really happened was Obama thought he was meeting the Grand Pooba of Kazakhstan or something so of course he bowed. Whereupon, he noticed the Pooba's, er, Governor's 'package'...

The Governor, following the Presidential gaze, said, "Well ok, it ain't all that long, but the sucker is this wide man.. THIS F'n WIDE!"

Methadras said...

Barely: Hey, Governor. Can you help me move this couch?

Governor: Sure, but why are we moving it?

Barely: Oh, well, I'm getting ready to lay down some plastic sheeting on the carpet and I need to move it out of the way and not get any stains on it.

Governor: Stains? Mr. President.

Barely: Well, you won't be around when this happens. Thanks for the help.

E.M. Davis said...

To be honest, if it was Bush moving the couch you guys here would be fellating him about being an 'ordinary joe' moving his own furniture.

This might be the best Obama picture they've put out there. It might be the first one that makes him look ... real.

Yeah, he's a lousy president and I certainly won't vote for him, but a picture like this does no real harm. I actually like it.

Quayle said...

Yeah, I did. Not only did I grope him, I tickled him until he couldn't breathe and four guys jumped on top of me.

MadisonMan said...

I am remembering Beth's excellent metaphor from early in Obama's term that althouse's complaints about Obama were like carping on his moving the couch a iittle too far in the wrong direction.

Palladian said...

"It might be the first one that makes him look ... real."

Yes, nothing looks more "real" than a man in a Prada suit shifting an expensive couch in the Oval Office of the White House with the help of a sitting governor. You can almost see the dirt under his fingernails.

His manicurist is going to be quite upset.

traditionalguy said...

It looks like Obama lost his golf ball under his sofa and is moving it out of the way. That is stroke and distance for an out of bounds sofa ball.

T J Sawyer said...

"that is a sofa, and not a couch"

Not really, it's a davenport. My wife gets really angry when I call it that, though. Something about "old fashioned" or 1950s. Still, not as bad as my grandfather who would have said, "they're moving the chesterfield."

Loren Ibsen said...

A few years ago he would have been fetching us coffee.

John Lynch said...

Post this photo with the new Titanic HD pictures... Drudgedy gold.

Spider Office Chairs said...

Obama has added one good work in account.

Clyde said...

@ T J Sawyer -

It's either the Davenport of Despair or the Couch of Pain. It's kind of ironic that Warren Zevon wrote this song about the Bush years, but things are far worse now:

Disorder In The House

Clyde said...

And while we're watching videos, here's one of Lisa Loeb singing "I Do," back in 1997. She looks a little bit like a proto-Sarah Palin when she's lying on the bed, and the lyrics about the disappointing, manipulative lover also fit perfectly for how voters are feeling about Obama and the Democrats:

I Do

"You can't hear it but I do,
"You don't seem angry but I do..."

Lincolntf said...

"Dude, you dropped it? It was still lit, man!! Move the couch, hurry up! Wait, wait, I think I can smell it...you suck..."

Bryan C said...

"Lift with your knees, Mr. President! Your country needs you!"

At least they didn't call over the Secret Service guys. Though somehow I can imagine Michelle directing the move from just out of frame.

Jonathan Silber said...

In the photo Governor Douglas is seen attempting, over the objection of the President to move the sofa out onto the sidewalk, in anticipation of the eviction.

RebeccaH said...

The governor looks a little nonplussed.

Governor: "Um... I thought we were going to discuss the economy, sir?"

Cosmo said...

Ron: I'm not so sure that was a chicken blood stain. There have been a lot of fluids thrown about willy-nilly in that little corner of the White House...

Arnold said...

Isn't this a violation of union work rules? Where's the White House Teamsters representative?

The Ghost said...

If they wanted to make Obama look real then Michelle should have been there giving directions. Is there a husband in America that has unsupervised a couch moving privileges ?

M. Simon said...

But this makes President Obama look a little more "regular guy", which is a quality he hasn't demonstrated very often.

If he was a regular guy his wife would be directing the action.

BTW is she still in Spain? Did he get his ring back from the jewlers yet?

M. Simon said...

T. Ghost,

Great minds etc.

Knucklehead said...

They are not moving the sofa. Obama is now bowing to mere governors. This particular governor just happens to be across the room a full sofa distance away.

Swede said...

That's where the prayer rug is going.

Milwaukee said...

Clearly, this is Bush's fault. He and the Republicans drove the sofa into the corner. Now President Obama and his sturdy henchman must put on their boots and get in the mud and the dust and fix the problem. Where are those Slurpee slurping Republicans anyhow? I have accused the President of never ever really doing any work. Clearly, he is capable of doing some work. Why didn't he unbutton his jacket? Or take it off?

Allan said...

Sofa King. Brilliant.

Chris Of Rights said...

They should have hired someone to do it. Obviously, they don't care about unemployment.

:)

mcnorman said...

Bwhahahahahhaha

Paul Baker, PE said...

I am sure a grievance will be filed by Teamsters local 187 Furniture Mover's Union to get compensated by this gross abuse of the contract.

Tari said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tari said...

Don't we all pay enough taxes for there to be someone to do this for him? What an idiot.

Love your caption, Professor.

JAL said...

Guys, the photo is >19 months ago.

What did they know and when did they know it?

BTW - Did you see that the granddaughter of one of the officers said that the guy at the wheel steered the Titanic the wrong way -- new fangled steering system it had -- and when someone realized it a few minutes into it it was too late. That and they kept moving instead of staying still after they got ripped.

Some kind of lesson here.

Jonathan Silber said...

Am I mistaken, or is that sofa a La-Z-Boy?

ic said...

The Union of the White House Furniture Rearrangers should sue.

Sharon said...

The weirdest thing about this picture is that it does not make sense from the point of view of furniture moving. Bending over, as the president is doing and grasping the object from its top is a prescription for spinal damage and makes moving the object almost impossible. Try it yourself. Moreover the governor is nowhere near touching the other end of that object. Nothing can be moved in this manner.
I would suggest the president hire an expert (many of whom are unemployed today) to coach him on this sort of thing. He might also apply the same strategy on job creation.

BJM said...

@Palladian

Okay, that does it, I'm dragging my sofa out in the yard and burning the sucker right now.

The lawn chairs won't be as comfy ...but I figure if we stay away from the folding kind we should be safe from the furniture zombies.

Oh crap, what to do about the damned bar fridge, that things got to be a deathtrap for sure.

ampersand said...

Jim Douglas: Boy,come out from behind that couch. Don't make me come after you!

Obama: I didn't do nuffins

Franklin said...

He’d better be careful about rearranging that furniture. That’s a union job. We can’t move anything in my office – have to call up a building union rep, wait 30 minutes for them to get up to the office, and then have them move it.

I’m dead serious about that.

Etaoin Shrdlu said...

The picture must have been taken by Michelle, who knows exactly where she wants that couch to be, and right now.

Mark Kromer said...

"There's a glare on the, ah, you know..."

"Teleprompter?"

"Yeah, that."