November 11, 2006

Poppy Leaving The Sidelines?


I was interested in the political dynamics of this shot published yesterday on the front page of the International Herald Tribune.

Although subtle in one way (if you didn’t know the relationship between Rumsfeld replacement, Robert Gates, and Poppy Bush), it is also is a sly visual editorial and even a slap in the face of the present Bush regime.

The Herald Tribune could have used just about any photo to illustrate the Gates appointment.  The obvious choice was a shot of the Oval Office announcement featuring Bush 43, Gates and Rumsfeld — which the paper’s owner, the New York Times, ran stateside.  (Front page image; photo with article.)

Instead, however, the foreign sister ship went with a rather enormous (3 column) shot of Gates with Poppy Bush at the Texas A&M football game a week ago Saturday.

Because Gates was National Security Adviser, and then C.I.A. director under Bush 41, and Gates is also a member of the Iraq Study Group, the team led by Dad’s combined hatchet man/clean up man, James Baker, charged with helping unwind the Iraq entanglement (and the Pentagon’s grip on it), the political implication of the picture start to wave its arms at you.

The meta-communication of the photo (whether, or to what degree accurate) is that George Bush, the senior, is taking over from George Bush, the lesser.

…Now, if only the NYT had the cojones to play it this sharply on home soil.

(NYT Friday Backgrounder: Gates, Baker and the Iraq Study Group.)

(image: David J. Phillips/A.P.  Texas.  November 10, 2006.  International Herald Tribune.)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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