July 22, 2008
The Trip: Begging The Comparison
MCCLELLAN: Okay, just to update you on the flyover. He was — you’ll have the still photos that will go out from the stills that were up there, you’ll have pictures of him.
— White House briefing, August 31, 2005
While the images are parallel, the attitudes are reversed, Obama seeking to get the lowdown, Bush feigning concern. Yes, both are photo ops, but Obama is fact-finding and zeroing in below while Bush is merely posing, facts on the ground bearing little relevance to an Administration in which compassion or engagement is always confined to its appearance.
History, and the expression in the last image bears this out, with Bush seeming far more concerned about the status of the image — and how to present himself — than he is drawn in any real way to events beyond.
(Updated 7/23 10:41 PST)
(image 1: Ssg. Lorie Jewell/U.S. Army, via AP, image 2: AP/Susan Walsh. Air Force One of New Orleans. August 31, 2005. At YahooNews. image 3: AP/Susan Walsh. Air Force One of New Orleans. August 31, 2005. At YahooNews)