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February 18, 2009

Autograph Seekers

Obama-House-Repubs-WH.jpg

Like yesterday, I find the White House caption (as a reflection of the Administration-mind) as interesting as the photo. A few takes:

1. I’m impressed with the way Obama faced up those legislators, eliciting intense skepticism from the white-haired guy, the patronizing smile from the guy on his left, and the tinge of wariness from the women. If the use of the word “surround” here is not completely innocent, I have to wonder who really has who surrounded?

2. The caption implies a hypocrisy for wanting autographs, then steamrolling the vote. If the connection itself is dubious (Obama, red or blue, representing one hot autograph), drawing it makes the White House sound thin-skinned. Like: we gave them their damn autographs and then they stabbed us in the back.

3. By the way, is that Eric Cantor in the distance? If so, perhaps it’s no coincidence the GOP’s budding Congressional star reflects a power position, similar to Obama’s, in the room.

WH slideshow: The story of the economic recovery package

(image: Pete Souza/White House)

  • http://www.victorfitzsimons.net Victor F

    These Republicans look extremely condescending.
    So they get Obama’s autograph and they have something historic and collectible. What are they going to tell their grandkids when the recovery plan gets the US out of the economic pits? “I was totally behind Obama every step of the way. I always did what was right for the country.”

  • stevelaudig

    A bunch of sad sack losers from a failing demographic who cannot read the writing on the wall without an authentic smile amongst. Dreaming white power and Anglo-Saxonism

  • theruester

    Michael Shaw,
    I had fun writing this one. Hope you get a laugh too
    theruester -(posted on newsvine)
    The GOP Hustle Backfires, Again
    This was better than watching Redford and Newman in the Sting. There is no way I can make up a story like this. I am not that smart. This hustle was flawlessly executed. It was absolutely beautiful. The masters beat them at their own game. Team Obama did a squeeze play, tar baby, and rope-a-dope mix on the GOP with the finest form of class and brilliance I have ever seen.
    To Dave, Rahm, Axe man, Robert (the G man) Gibbs, and all of the staff, I bow before you, oh great ones.
    These politicians, including a few Democrats, have been so far-out-of-touch for so long, they did not see it coming. If Capitol Hill set aside their egos and stopped their silly games of posturing, I would not be writing this article of how the hustler got hustled. Gawd, this is fun.
    The best part of this hustle is the fact that they did it to themselves. Their continued self-serving greed and party line defeatist attitude backfired. They got played like a fine tuned Sradivarius.
    Hold on. Wait for it. It is coming as soon as I can stop laughing and applauding.
    OK, now that I have gathered myself, here it comes.
    One of the key ingredients must be revealed out of turn. We voted for change. This time, we voted to no longer accept business as usual. We insisted on swift action toward cleaning up our mess without dragging our feet. It is the right thing to do. Hence, we created the squeeze play.
    First of all, if you know this group of narrow-minded clowns are out to try and hustle you, (which they are) knowledge of all their strengths and weaknesses must be complete and without speculation. This is an absolute.
    Step back and take a look. This brilliant crew already knew the behaviors of almost every member of the House and Senate. Rahm is from the House and Barrack is from the Senate. Collecting intel on the new members would not take long.
    Admirably, our new administration started, immediately after the election, creating an outline for the House to initiate H.R.1. The best of the best people, after long hours of hard work, provided expert input for this legislation.
    Team Obama knew, in advance, that when they handed this over to Miss Nancy, she would hog the ball on this legislative process. They knew the GOP complaints would follow. She did, and they did. Just like clockwork.
    Now the scenario is perfectly in place. You can play a player successfully, if you know how they play their play (hustle).
    Again, this whole hustle falls apart if both parties will stop arguing and work together on the task that we voters hired them to do.
    Knowing that he was going to get kicked to the curb, our President tried to reason with the opposition. The egos got bigger and the push-back intensified, hence starting the tar baby effect.
    The tar baby effect is when you put your finger into some sticky tar and can not get it out. In an effort to release your finger, you put your other hand in the tar. Now, with both hands stuck, you put your foot in the sticky tar. Now you are stuck.
    Obama told these Bozos they would get stuck. This is why he is a class act. He is a gentleman who treats others with respect. They were warned.
    The first squeeze play got Capitol Hill off their fannys and added a touch of drama. To solidify the tar baby effect, a second squeeze play was done in the form of a few town hall meetings. The strongest advocate for doing the next right thing is public awareness. The strength of this Presidency comes from we the people and public awareness. That strength is the rope-a-dope, and you just got clobbered with it.
    The Republicans grossly underestimated the intelligence of the Obama team. Public awareness forced the GOP to drop their drawers, bend over and show their best profile.
    We not only have a President who can spell and talk in complete sentences, he can beat you at your own game with a level of intelligence, class, and common courtesy beyond your comprehension.
    He will always be three steps ahead of you.

  • http://mxrk.net Mxrk

    I’m more in love with photo #22 (Obama with Blue Dog Democrats), which couldn’t look any more like the Last Supper. These are incredibly savvy images.

  • Stella

    Wow! Sometimes I look at Bagnews for the writing, even though the pictures are interesting. Thanks for sending me to look at #22, Mxrk – amazing. I had fun reading theruester too.
    Muchas gracias to the Bag for maintaining one of the best places on the web.

  • http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/02/08/opinion/08richlarge.jpg yg

    thin-skinned? hypocrisy is fair game.

  • http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2009/02/23/090223taco_talk_hertzberg yg

    this quote from a tennessee congressman fits the scene above:
    “This was not a drive-by P.R. stunt, and I actually thought it might be,” Zach Wamp, of Tennessee, told the Times after he and his Republican House colleagues finished a long session with the President. “It was a substantive, in-depth discussion with our conference.”
    contrary to the rightwing noise machine claim that obama wasn’t being bipartisan.
    is that new congressman joseph cao in the forefront? staff captioning photos should id people.

  • jc

    Pretty pathetic that they can NOT do their jobs but can ask for a autograph.
    What a sorry state of affairs.

  • http://www.errolmorris.com/content/interview/stopsmiling0306.html yg

    which one is judas?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p00e5523476cc8834 DennisQ

    Republicans are dumbfounded by Obama. The look on their faces shows incredulity that such an ordinary guy keeps beating them so handily. But there’s no mystery to Obama’s effectiveness – he’s putting in the effort. Compared with his predecessor, the hard-working Obama seems like a force of nature.
    Going through the slide show, you can see how involved Obama is with a range of people. He’s good with them one-on-one, in small groups, and in large groups. Part of Republican incredulity is their growing awareness that they can actually work with the guy, but he insists that they actually work.

  • Marie

    I’m surprised that they have the gall to ask for an autograph at all. If they are not enough of a fan to support his legislation, why should they even want his autograph? It strikes me as very cynical. And rude.
    In the photograph, it seems that the Repubs are incredulous and casting themselves as the people who know better (trying to pull rank? Who are you to think you know better?). But President Obama is persistent and forthright. He does not shrink from the people who would look down their noses and sneer at him. That’s what I get from the image.

  • Alan

    I can’t agree with take #2 (in the original post.) I don’t think the White House is being thin skinned with the caption they gave this image. I think it has a pretty snarky tone – they’re making fun of the Republicans, who are obediently marching in lockstep with their non-support of the stimulus bill, but can’t help going up to the guy and asking for his autograph. How lame does this make them look? I think this is some pretty savvy messaging on the part of Team O.

  • Ryan

    I don’t see the autograph thing as an example of the White House’s thin skin. I see it as, hey, all these Republicans came up to Obama AFTER the meeting, of their own free will, and talked to him on a personal basis. They got his autograph. They presumably shook hands and shot the shit a little. They were chummy, going by the way the two guys on the left are grinning.
    Then, after being all Mr. Nice Bipartisan GOP, they try to torpedo the bill and run around screaming their heads off about how they never got a chance to tell Obama their ideas.
    The caption is a subtle dig at the Republican’s actions. They play nice in the presence of their peers, but as soon as they’re out of the room, especially if they end up in front of a camera, they start the trash talk.

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