I’m sure I’m not digging very deep today, but there were a few political items that caught my eye from yesterday’s spectacular, lyrical and also hard-hitting memorial for Coretta Scott King.
The only reason people don’t recognize Bush as highly anxious is because he’s so thoroughly rehearsed and stage-managed. (If you’re looking for a baseline for the unscripted version, I recommend the “uh, uh, uh, deer-in-the-headlights” demonstration he gave in the first two Kerry debates.)
No wonder he originally intended to skip the funeral. Here was a faith-based crowd that showed little faith or mercy for cowboy militarism and mean-spirited, (barely) trickle-down policy. Off his home turf yesterday, you could catch glimpses of the true “m.o.” About two minutes into Joseph Lowery’s moving (and also Bush sticking) speech, GW pulled out the copy of his own speech and started cribbing. First he looks; then he thinks; then he stashes; finally he herky-jerks to make it look like he was listening the whole time.
If you study him closely, you’ll come to see how prepared text to Bush is like oxygen to the rest of us. I watched the other speakers, and I didn’t see anyone flipping paper like our Commanded-In-Chief. … Well, there was one exception.
At least 41, however, has enough confidence to be truly (as opposed to strategically) self-effacing. When Poppa Bush got lost yesterday in the middle of his short remarks, he joked how losing a page was probably to everyone’s benefit.
In a week that started off with the RNC seeking to tag Mrs. Clinton as angry (Hillary Dean?), I enjoyed the contrast in these two shots. While the White House image placed her virtually out of the picture, the newswire shot made it seem like she wasn’t just catching a ride on Air Force One.
Bush can ravage the federal budget, run roughshod over surveillance laws and plunge us into a war for reasons that still mostly reside in his own head, and we’re still getting these coded “swift boat” shots of Clinton the philanderer.
Here we see the same visual shenanigans Ed Klein got busted for last June (Ed Klein and Matt Drudge’s Stolen Moments – link) with his character assassinating shot of BC allegedly stealing a kiss at a Kerry campaign rally. (Except he wasn’t.) In some ways, this shot is even worse. The hidden face and Clinton’s frozen position evoke a sense of the clandestine. The wide brimmed hat with the elegant bow then lends the aura of sexual intrigue.
What you would never know from the newswire photo, however, is who belongs to the hat. Not to denigrate Dorothy Height in any way, but I just can’t imagine she and Clinton were doing a whole lot of flirting yesterday.
>> My companion piece, “Laura’s ‘Sit Down Strike’ For Coretta King“, is also up now at the Huffington Post.
(image 1-4: screen shots/CNN; image 5 & 6: screen shots/MSNBC. image 7: White House photo by Eric Draper. February 7, 2006. New Birth Missionary Church, Atlanta, Ga. whitehouse.gov. image 8: Larry Downing/Reuters. February 7, 2006. New Birth Missionary Church, Atlanta, Ga. Via YahooNews. image 9: Jason Reed/Reuters. February 7, 2006. New Birth Missionary Church, Atlanta, Ga. Via YahooNews. image 10: screen shots/MSNBC.)