November 27, 2006

Going Begging


Following a mid-term repudiation, separation from his evil twin, Don Rumsfeld, and the disconnection of his Congressional hotline, Dick Cheney finds himself with a completely new job these days: Vice President.

With attention on Bush’s visit this week with Iraq’s Prime Minister, the Vice-President broke the post-election/Thansgiving lull with a warm up act.  To demonstrate that he and Bush are still at the table (or, that there still is a table), Cheney dashed off to Saudi Arabia to record something that at least looked like diplomacy.  In this shot (presented by the Vice President’s office at the enormous scale of 385 x 566 pixels — I assume, to siphon a sense of importance from the trappings), we see Cheney with King Abdullah at the King’s Palace in Riyadh.

Being a window into the psyche, the gestures here are tell-tale evidence of how Cheney has been chastened, and how far the Administration’s stock has dropped.

While he controlled the back room, it was extremely rare to see Cheney face anyone directly.  Rather, Cheney’s typical pose was what you now see from the King.  Facing forward with only his head turned, his right shoulder and arm forming a bit of a blockade, the King’s participation remains questionable.  His left hand and foot, in particular, symbolize “the right of exception,” as if the more important always have better things to do.

Far more unique, however, are Cheney’s hands and body angle.  If you leaf back through the White House photo album, you’ll notice Bush exhorts, but Dick never does.  Combine that with Dick’s unqualified physical openness  and you’ve got a newly-deposed shadow President almost throwing himself at some bit-playing King.

(image: David Bohrer/White House. Riyadh, Saturday, November 25, 2006.

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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