Robert Woodward’s new book is kicking up all kinds of new details and allegations. Perhaps the most significant impact of the manuscript, however, is its role in the perceptual revision of key Administration figures and relationships.
The visual press is a great mirror of and for these reappraisals. Up to now, Condi has been more respectfully recognized as Bush’s counselor and confidant. However, when you combine Woodward’s picture of Bush in denial, with the fallout from the understanding that Rice actively ignored 2001 attack warnings, you get a new conception of Rice’s role.
For example, consider this photo on yesterday’s newswire showing Rice sitting between Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson at Friday’s National Book Festival Gala. Four years ago, this shot would have expressed little beyond R & R. In the current atmosphere, however — in light of Woodward’s description of a perpetually “rosy” White House, and Rice’s re-characterization as an “enabler” — the pic practically has an evidentiary feeling to it.
(image: Jim Young/Reuters. Washington. September 29, 2006. Via YahooNews)