August 17, 2008
How to Win Friends and Be Influenced By People
If I were to run down just the better pics of Bush initiating a hug with Putin, I’d probably miss the convention. So I’ve chosen one of my favorites, something I posted back in July ’06 taken before the G-8 Summit in St. Petersburg. (Here is the latest — from the Olympics just before the Georgian counter strike.)
… Of course, the flinch could have just been the sun in Putin’s eyes, but it well reflects a quality in many other shots (1, 2). That’s the sense of Putin shining on Bush while Bush shines for the camera.
What I can’t understand is how much the media narrative not only overlooks Bush’s fantasy friendship as a key to Putin’s empowerment, but how much the two share the same ideology when it comes to power.
And with Putin looking less huggable (and Bush more gullible) than ever in light of the Georgian hostilities last week, Newsweek really had the temerity to run this cover?
(image 1: Grigory Dukor/Reuters. Strelna, Russia, July 14, 2006)