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.
(image: White House/Eric Draper. Heiligendamm, Germany. June 7, 2007. whitehouse.gov. 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.)