August 12, 2007

Summer Backgrounder


There are props and there are props.

One of the summer’s best theatrical productions has been staged by those dramaturgical experts at the Pennsylvania Avenue Playhouse.  Wanting to avoid any extra wartime slings and arrows, two head-of-state visits have now been shot as a family serial at Poppa Bush’s Maine compound.  In July, for example, the Walkers Point greeting party for Vladimir Putin could have served as the opening frame of “Meet The Bushes.”

Sometimes what’s most telling about a photo, however, is what isn’t there.

Just like the unplanned absence of Mrs. Putin, this weekend’s last minute cancellation by Mrs. Sarkozy and her children turned Laura Bush and the extended Bush clan into extras from central casting.  With all the pretty scenery and the one-sided show of family, however, one tends not to notice what the picture really describes — which is a show of congenial domesticity cooked up by a war-charged Administration to soften the image of its lead alpha male.

(image: Jason Reed/Reuters. August 11, 2007.  Kennebunkport, Maine.  via YahooNews)

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Michael Shaw
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