It’s hard to overlook a few common threads running through these two photos from press conferences heralding today’s Senate leadership votes.
First off, both pictures demonstrate how much angst and tension is running through both camps as the Capitol sets up for a new Congress. And, with the GOP blowing off Obama’s invitation to meet on Thursday, and the Administration coming back with a characteristic embrace of that snub as a “gesture of bipartisanship,” what we’re seeing in these faces, as the parties dig in for a session of deck chair rearrangement, is the stress of the gridlock and abject pettiness as a picture broadcast to the American people.
The other element of interest in the two photos is how, given all the talk about revolution and change and new ways of doing business in Washington, the leading characters on both sides of the aisle remain exactly the same.
(photos: Mark Wilson/Getty Images. caption 1: U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) (2nd L) speaks while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (L), U.S. John Thune (R-SD )(3rd L), U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) (2nd R) and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) listen during a news conference on Capitol Hill November 16, 2010 in Washington, DC. After party caucus meetings, McConnell (R-KY) will keep his leadership post in the Senate for the Republicans as will U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for the Democrats in the upcoming 112th Congress. caption 2: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (R), flanked by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, attends a news conference on Capitol Hill November 16, 2010 in Washington, DC. After party Caucus meetings, Reid will keep his leadship post for the Democrats in the Senate as will Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for the Republicans in upcoming 112th Congress.)