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June 21, 2007

Final Bush-Blair Feat


Maybe this image from the recent G-8 meeting in Germany was just pure happenstance.

Still, I find it a curious selection, as the one image in the White House (Summit) Photo Gallery highlighting George Bush together with Tony Blair.  (In most of the White House portraits of the leaders socializing in Heiligendamm, by the way, it seems like Blair — 1, 2 — mostly ends up at the periphery.)

What struck me about these summit photos, where Blair was concerned, was the Administration’s lack of deference — and sense of the moment.  Whereas the White House photographer seemed tasked — over the three days in Germany — to create at least one portrait of Bush with each world leader (see gallery links below), it seems this was the shot they chose to commemorate the deep and close relationship between these two men, and to mark the Prime Minister’s last hurrah on the world stage.

I probably would have overlooked this image, however, if not for the headline today.  Apparently, Bush/Rice is pushing hard to persuade Blair to become a super-envoy to the Middle East.  That’s where this (not at all unfamiliar) body synchrony comes in.  With Rice having utterly failed to accomplish anything in the region, and the so-called “road map” less than a scribble on a napkin, could BushCo. be turning to Blair as an independent power broker, or as a lock-step agent who, as his last act, gave a symbolic demonstration of being fooled twice.

White House Photo Gallery, Heiligendamm: June 6, 2007; June 7th;  June 8th.

(image: White House/Eric Draper. Heiligendamm, Germany. June 7, 2007. caption: President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom walk to the Grand Hotel after their meeting Thursday,, in the Music Salon of the Kempinski Grand Hotel in Among the issues covered, the two leaders discussed AIDS, global warming and Darfur.)

  • ummabdulla

    Bliar as “independent power broker”? I don’t think so… I’d stick with the “poodle” label. Either way, I can’t see him coming up with some miraculous formula for the Middle East. As the choice of Bush, Rice, and Olmert, he’s hardly an “honest broker”, and not much loved in the region after his support for American policy in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, just for starters.
    But it is an interesting picture. In lockstep, laughing… is Bush opening a candy wrapper or something?

  • Asta

    Is Bush opening a candy wrapper? Nah, he’s got the remote control for Tony’s shock collar.

  • MadameGonzoPrideWeek

    march of the penguins : La Marche de l’empereur : “The Emperor Penguins use a particular spot as their breeding ground because it is on pack ice that is solid year round, so that there is no danger of the ice becoming too soft to support the colony. It is also in a protected area, which shields the colony from winds that can reach 300 km/h. At the beginning of Antarctic summer, the breeding ground is only a few hundred meters away from the open water where the penguins can feed. However, by the end of summer, the breeding ground is over 100 km away from the nearest open water. In order to reach it, all the penguins of breeding age must walk this great distance, occasionally sliding on their bellies.

  • PTate in FR

    Tony Blair as special envoy? It’s so crazy it might just work. Tony Blair, given the gigantic f**k-up in Iraq that has cost him his reputation and job, might appreciate an opportunity to try to accomplish the thing he always said was necessary–dealing with Israel.
    But, looking GWB’s hands in the pic above, I would be suspicious if I were Tony. Imagine the wicked witch of the East, cackling, about to torch the scarecrow, and then look at Bush again. All that’s missing is the green face paint. What a world, what a world…

  • futurebird

    “Is Bush opening a candy wrapper? Nah, he’s got the remote control for Tony’s shock collar.”

  • Mojo USA

    Waiting with nervous anticipation upon the departure
    of a Pricipaled PM in Tony Blair, we in the U.S. are
    wondering what is up next for the new, left wing
    about to take power in the U.K.
    My God U.K. – it its not time to go woggily…as Thatcher once said.
    Walk softly..and carry a big stick…
    Or back to isolationalism…and an Ostrich stance, with
    heads in the ground. Just reach back and spread ‘em,
    boys, with both hands.
    And take what comes next…!

  • ummabdulla

    I read today that it’s pretty certain that Bliar will officially become a Catholic after he leaves office. His wife is Catholic, he was attending church and taking communion before he became Prime Minister, and his children were raised as Catholics. But apparently in the UK, a Prime Minister can’t be Catholic.

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