November 8, 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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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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