December 11, 2013

"Aboard Air Force One, former President Bush shows photos of his paintings to... First Lady Michelle Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton..."

"... Valerie Jarrett, National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice, Attorney General Eric Holder and former First Lady Laura Bush, Dec. 9, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)"

46 comments:

MayBee said...

Obama*, like Mandela, can forgive his former enemies.


*Obama unavailable for photo, sent in Jarrett as proxy

Shouting Thomas said...

W seems to have a lively sense of humor.

Original Mike said...

Wow. Obama must think he's really in trouble.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Dangerously close to giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

I'm not impressed, being put in mind of how Orwell closed 'Animal Farm' with this: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

phx said...

Nice moment. People who take all these political differences among Americans personally are being foolish.

Argue policies. And have a beer and show your baby pics afterwards.

phx said...

Bush is like Bob Dylan with his painting career.

YoungHegelian said...

How the Bushes & the Obama appointees get along, I cannot say, but it's fairly well known that the Clintons & the Bushes, both father & son clans, get along fairly well.

R. Chatt said...

GW Bush ends up being the hippest person there.

Original Mike said...

@phx: There is a tradition of not bad-mouthing your predecessor. A tradition that Obama has shredded. How W can ignore all the crappy things Obama has said about him is beyond me.

Freeman Hunt said...

So even though you're just hanging out chatting and relaxing, there is still someone snapping photos of you to be publicly showcased. I'm surprised anyone wants a second term after enduring a first.

Freeman Hunt said...

Original Mike, there's no reason for him to take any of that personally. He's knows it's all political. Why should he care?

Mini Mongo said...

Pearls before swine. (I kid. I kid.)

AReasonableMan said...

phx said...
People who take all these political differences among Americans personally are being foolish.


They also miss the fact that alliances shift over time. No normal person fits perfectly into the left/right Repub/Dem boxes that politicians and their paid hacks try to force us into. Politicians remain our public servants, no matter how poorly they paint.

phx said...

Original Mike, there's no reason for him to take any of that personally. He's knows it's all political. Why should he care?

Exactly. It's an annoyance at worse. Sometimes one side or another violates protocol or makes it too personal.

But it's really only us peons, who have no power whatsoever anyway, who turn it into a life or death battle against good and evil. The guys at the top just exploit that for their own ends and end up sharing recipes and painting tips.

If we're going to evolve we need to get over all this personalization of politics in the USA.

Original Mike said...

"...there's no reason for [W] to take any of that personally. He's knows it's all political."

If Obama doesn't believe what he says (and I don't know if that's true or not), I think that makes it worse.

"Why should he care?"

That's a very healthy attitude. I've always had a lot of respect for him; more so now.

phx said...

The point is we care - they don't. We're being manipulated and put at each others throats while they share selfies and do their best for their party and enjoy the trappings of their power.

American people can't think straight because they are so angry at each other politically. It's a slave's life.

Seeing Red said...

Carter started it. I don't recall Truman saying anything about anything, does anyone else? Neither did Ike publically.

bandmeeting said...

Look are the veins in 43's arm. The dude is in shape.

bandmeeting said...
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Birches said...

The point is we care - they don't. We're being manipulated and put at each others throats while they share selfies and do their best for their party and enjoy the trappings of their power.

American people can't think straight because they are so angry at each other politically. It's a slave's life.


That reminds me of this scene in Fever Pitch.

Politics has become a sport.

viator said...

Lotta ex-presidents and future presidents there.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

It's George's boyish enthusiasm. He's flirting with every woman in the room, and Eric Holder too.

And you can tell, even looking over Laura's shoulder from behind, that she loves him for it.

chrisnavin.com said...

Nice to see a moment of non partisanship, even if its possibly a photo op.

W could get someone there to sit for him

Carl Pham said...

The photo I like is two further on: it shows the Bushes and Obamas walking down the steps from the plane. Apparently it is raining.

George holds his umbrella above Laura. Michelle holds her own umbrella. That pretty much sums up both men.

St. George said...

Yes, but are they buying anything?

pm317 said...

Looks like the WH released these pics to erase the selfie Obama drama. Are they successful? Yes, Althouse put up the picture on her prime time post.

victoria said...

Gag

madAsHell said...

Wait a minute!!

Why is Eric Holder on the plane for the Mandela funeral?? Shouldn't the AG be attending to matters at home??

Why is Susan Rice there? Shouldn't she be search YouTube for dangerous videos??

madAsHell said...

aarrrrggghhhh....searching not search

Archie said...

I understand Mr. Obama and in a stretch the FLATUS being there at taxpayers expensive but what is the justification for a bunch of bureaucrats? Race? I'd give a pass to W and also Mrs. Bush because he did more for Africa than any other president and she is a great representative for our country.

BDNYC said...

I like the caption that reads, "10 South Africans Cheer as President Obama Enters teh Stadium."

http://m.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/photo/2013/12/10-south-africans-cheer-president-obama-enters-teh-stadium

It's the tenth picture, hence the number 10, but I laughed at the unintentional meaning. The misspelling of "the" made it seem like a snarky internet joke.

Illuninati said...

Phx said:
"But it's really only us peons, who have no power whatsoever anyway, who turn it into a life or death battle against good and evil. The guys at the top just exploit that for their own ends and end up sharing recipes and painting tips."

If the peons were as rich and powerful as the people in the picture, they could treat politics like a game also. It is the little people who the politicians have harmed.

EDH said...

Where's Jimmy Carter? No pictures of Jimmy Carter at all, much less in frame with Obama.

Those White House photographers got the memo.

Beldar said...

Dubya looks happy and healthy.

His successor, except in selfies taken during funerals, looks haggard these days.

Patrick said...
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Michael K said...

Roosevelt, and the people around him, began trashing Hoover and Coolidge before him. They kept it up for decades.

Henry said...

Implicit is the idea that he's the only one doing anything interesting with himself. Everyone is interested!

I'm sure the wonkish ones enjoyed talking policy. They're all in the know. W has his own wonkish projects going so he may have joined in.

Here's something else he found time to do:

Bush to Foster: You will be stronger.

Henry said...

More here:

George W. Bush’s New Cause: AIDS in Africa

The WP article I linked in my last post drips with cynicism. This one is better.

The Godfather said...

Bush, in his own clumsy way, is a class act. He really can rise above partisanship. I don't think Obama and his crowd can. I doubt that Ms. Rodham Clinton can either (I hope I'm wrong).

But before long, we're going to have another chance. If the Republicans take the Senate and keep the House in 2014, Obama's going to have to decide whether to work with the GOP or demonize them. I'm guessing demonize (I hope I'm wrong), which will make the 2016 election particularly nasty. But after 2016, 2018, 2020, or 2022, we're going to have a President of one party who's going to make it a priority to get along with the other party that controls one or both houses of Congress -- as Ike did, as Nixon did, as Reagan did, as both Bushes did, and as Clinton did. That president ought to hang this photo, and one of Clinton and Bush 41 together, in the Oval Office as inspiration -- and maybe also the Obama selfie for contrast.

Scott said...

This is an official White House photo. I bet there wasn't a pool photog allowed on Air Force One.

Even NBC's Chuckles Todd is offended by this heavy-handed tactic for controlling the message. He characterized it as "propaganda." And it is.

David said...

There is a sense of ownership in that picture. They all seem to feel like they belong there. Bush does. He got elected to the position that gets to fly around in the worlds fanciest plane.

Once President Bush and Mrs. Bush leave, the rest will sit around talking. First a little condescending snark about the people who just left the room. Nothing obvious, just a sly in-joke. Then they will settle down to play with their their favorite toy--the United States of America.

Alex said...

Why would Bush give political cover to an enemy of the United States?

Skyler said...

What boorish behavior to foist pictures of your paintings on a captive audience. Bush is an honest man, but his social skills are lacking. And he is a socialist.

Paul Kirchner said...

@David--I think you nailed it. I need to know what was going through the minds of those around the table. It's hard for me to imagine that some of them ever have a gracious, non-partisan thought.

April Apple said...

GWB is classy. They rest are criminals.

paul a'barge said...

Look. A plane full to overflowing with moral monsters.