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March 4, 2009

Your Turn: Karl Has Young Repubs For Lunch

Rove Young Republicans.jpg

This photo (that Rove apparently posted himself on Twitpics the other day) has all kinds of delectables for the sharped-eyed BAG reader. According to Karl's tweet, he was hosting lunch at his house for a group of College Republicans.

Help yourself! (And honorable mentions for ID'ing the art work and/or cuisine and/or the decorator.)

(image: Karl Rove. Original page here.)

  • Hubris Sonic

    crikey, it looks like some kind of prepackaged crap. arent those plastic containers. Chicken Pot Pie?
    and 3 women, or girls rather. Thats a lot for the CY.

  • stevelaudig

    who’s the dead white guy on the wall? future war criminals, one and all

  • Andtonio

    Hard to tell since so many of the faces can’t be seen, but so little joy! I can’t find one smile. On the other hand, hunched shoulders, heads bowed, eyes downward (perhaps even the young woman standing, more on her in a bit), except Karl. But even he seems diminished in the scene, despite his obvious role.
    As for the young woman standing, with her gaze unclear, the most salient aspect is the scratching – a sign of bewilderment or realization of the mistake she’s made by joining this group?

  • truth

    The cups look like plastic too, big bottle of diet Coke in the middle of the table, cans of soda/selzer, water bottles. American throwaway consumerism run amuk in the tiny dining room of an overpriced McMansion.

  • Rafael

    A small prince holding court among the babes. Or grooming the next generation of manipulating, self delusional scumbags.

  • Rightwingsnarkle

    The “food” – Boston Market chicken quarters with mac/cheese and corn bread; communal diet coke, as already noted, plus one kid who insisted on caffeine free diet coke; municipal tap water repackaged in small plastic bottles.
    The “art” – a cheap paper print of a dead white guy (or, alternatively, a mock painting of Rove as Ben Franklin, done in PhotoShop and printed out on cheap paper); and a cheap fake antique botanical print with a matte/frame that cost way more than the cheap fake antique botanical print.
    My main question – why is this guy still not in jail?

  • acm

    I wonder how important you have to be before you merit real tableware in the Rove household?
    (or maybe Karl planned this event without consulting his wife, and was thus left to fend for himself, where he clearly knows nothing about how the kitchen works! heh)

  • gulati

    GOPAC hired a cook for the Rove household, however Karl said, “thanks, but no thanks.”
    This photo shouts BORING! Is this how you inspire new energy and new ideas?
    I see a redhead and possibly an Asian, but where’s the photo-op black guy?

  • Jen

    These kids look to be eating eating with about as much zeal as those Puritans did in Babbette’s feast.

  • Tena

    It looks like it was decorated by Holiday Inn or a stage manager on a very limited budget. It doesn’t look like a real room -it looks like someone hung those pictures 5 minutes before the photo was taken. And what’s with that shirt Karl is wearing?

  • grokgov

    1. Portrait of Dorian Grey on the wall?
    2. Rove presiding over the table of children that is the GOP?
    3. What’s that they’re serving — is it… crow?

  • Alan Chin

    OK, I’m going to be contrarian, but I am writing from Virginia en route back to New York amidst the snow and ice, so being of gullible mind, I will say that this looks like a fine antebellum home (renovated, or faked), possibly built by slaves (or under-paid, non-union, un-documented workers), and since I am quite hungry right now, that meal looks just fine. It may not be haute cuisine, but aren’t all those Harvard educated liberal Democrats in power now who are hoity-toity and elitist? The real People eat off of plastic, never found a microwave we didn’t like, and don’t like to pay more than what Wal-Mart charges for its generic brand TV dinners. And as for the College Republicans, I always wanted to date College Republican women. So well-dressed, demure, and like Hillary Clinton back in her Goldwater Girl days, just waiting to break out and on to greater things. The boys…well, I must say, leftist guys have more fun. We grow our hair longer and seduce those girls away (see above) from these guys with our Che Guevara machismo or at least willingness to be pro-choice. To be a College Republican right now lunching with Karl Rove would seem to me akin to learning about shipping and maritime safety from the builders of the Titanic. Good luck and God bless America.

  • Cary Conover

    Aren’t those the same light blue cups used by Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru in the original Star Wars? I also like the turquoise folding chair.

  • ivyleaves

    Caffeine free = Mormon

  • bystander

    Karl Has Young Repubs For Lunch

    I wonder if Karl found them tasty and tender?
    Thanks, Alan. I was also looking at the height of the ceiling and the windows, and the decorative molding around the ceiling.

  • matt

    this seems to be a strategy session for how to avoid congressional subpoenas.

  • mcmama

    There’s a decorator? Oh, you mean Karl’s wife, who chose some nice yellow paint and those tab-top drapes from Kmart.
    I think they’re eating El Pollo Loco entrees. And they look depressed because if they’d just gone to El Pollo Loco by themselves, they could have had the same lunch without having to sell their souls. I bet every one of them is thanking their lucky stars that the big Dick (Cheney, of course) declined the invitation to lunch. Because if he were there, they’d have not only lost their souls, they’d be missing their manhood (and the odd pair of ovaries), too.
    The girl standing up has just realized that this is all a big mistake, and she’d rather have lunch with Barbara Boxer.

  • Megan

    They’re all studiously avoiding eye contact with him, and he isn’t pulling their attention (their bodies aren’t oriented to him). If there is a centerpoint that they’re all oriented towards, it is the bottle of Coke.
    Why doesn’t the standing woman have a place at the table? Didn’t she just leave it to fill her drink? Perhaps not. Hovering back there, she looks like serving staff. Hand to the back of the head is the classic tell for confusion and personal dismay. Why isn’t the host easing her situation and helping her to a place? (He doesn’t notice or care. Someone has always handled details like that for him.)
    The botanical print looks pretty scary at this level of detail. It is probably just some tropical plant, but at this fuzzy level, it looks like a red-mouthed monster.
    The only second-rate odd seat, cheap and plastic, is filled by one of the two seated women.

  • Victoria Trostle

    I have a deep prejudice against serving “the kids” less than you would serve peers. So I’m wondering if Rove would do the plastic cups, etc. for his FOX colleagues. – Somehow, it is particularly poignant that those “boys” showed up in jackets and ties for this.
    The room: devoid of imagination or vibrancy.

  • g

    Looks like Lean Cuisine trays on the plates.
    At first I thought they were praying, but then I realized that they were using their forks, so no. but they all have downcast faces. Can the food be that good? Or the conversation that awkward?

  • stevelaudig

    It was supposed to be a picnic in the backyard but the weather got bad.

  • Dale

    Notice the formality of the youngsters relative to Rove himself, who looks like a vacationing fiftysomething in golf pastels. It’s the usual way of reinforcing the pecking order.
    I half expected someone like Rove to have a less fussy dining room. You’d think he’d be all into all kinds of conspicuous consumption, everything coated in gold leaf, the table hewn from the poached ivory of elephant tusks and rhino horns…

  • Kevin

    What’s with the backs of the dining chairs? Is it the design…are they tattered…was someone shooting spit wads from the kitchen?

  • Public Scatology

    That flower portrait on the back wall is disturbingly phallic. It seems like a practical joke.

  • the littlest gator

    Plastic, shallow, unappetizing.

  • mjf

    If Rove released this then he is happy with composition and context. It is on Twitpics and its intended audience is probably aged around that of the young Repubs. Its tone is one of informality, inclusivity and familiarity – reinforcing the known, safe reliable world. Coke is central. Rove is a fatherly figure at the head of the table (he could be the only one talking) but he is not authoritarian – check short sleeve shirt, no suit, this is reinforced by the young man sitting very close to him – jacket over chair. Looking at his guests, apparently engaged with the younger suited man opposite end of the table who is in the process of looking down. His guests appear engaged listening and respectful. This is also about belonging – being part of a group, being included – a family at the table. The discordant element is the young woman standing. There are not enough chairs. The table (discourse) is oversubscribed. It is exclusive and limited but informally so. She belongs (blue cup) but represents an observing outsider. People this age value belonging and being part of the group. She may have waited too long to join, arrived late – you could read an element of distress in her posture/gesture. She is framed by the two suited tie wearing males and is backlit by strong (natural?) light, reflected white ceiling; she links the two framed wall pictures but is overwhelmed by the orb on the chandelier. Rove believes that he can create a reality separate to facts and that which actually exists independently of himself about himself. My guess this is heading to the production of a series of images of Rove as ordinary, decent, patriotic American victimised, pursued and persecuted. There is nothing in this image which suggests or reinforces that he is powerful or influential – plastic cups. He is presenting himself as caring and inclusive. He is deliberately making the point that power and influence are to be found somewhere else. It doesn’t work because everything about the informality is just too staged and deliberate.

  • mad_nVT

    It looks like the chandelier has a disco ball hanging from it, so that when it’s time to party they can just push the chairs back and party hearty.
    Which one in this crowd will be the first to dance on the table?

  • Peter H.

    Download Karls_Place.jpg (60.0K)

  • Fern

    The guy with his back to the camera forgot that he had only ironed the FRONT of his shirt before he took off the jacket.
    And dear lord, what a bland room.

  • ivyleaves

    There is an empty chair next to the woman seated nearest to the photographer, so the standing woman has a spot. When people are eating it is not unusual to be looking down. I mean this whole scene reminds me of the suburban homes of my youth – very small rooms. If this is a picnic that was rained out, why on earth would all the guests be wearing Sunday go-to-meeting attire?

  • Serr8d

    I wonder what sort of plate they’re eating off of?

  • stevelaudig

    where are the gentlemen to offer the lady a seat and why isn’t the grandmaster shaming a young man into getting up on his hind legs as a coerced act of gallantry?

  • james

    I immediately saw the painting as an image of Karl himself decked up in costume with a frilly white 17th Century collar. Looks like the same bald head and glasses to me….

  • Sosorry

    In my proper suburban youth we wouldn’t dare get up without returning our chair. These Republicans can’t even fake it well.

  • Sosorry

    Did she shoot it into a mirror?

  • KansasKowboy

    I think the girl in back is taking photos with her cell phone. She would probably rather do this because she doesn’t want to sit and eat the crap that is being served.

  • Rick

    There are so many interresting things about this photo, I don’t know where to start. First is the obvious young lady standing looking like she has been left out. This could represent how she may feel excluded from the Republican “boys club” power table in the future. Funny, but my first glance reaction was that she was the “hall monitor” watching over the table, like they used to do in my high school cafeteria making sure everyone was behaving properly. But then I noticed how young she is. Next, it seems obvious that Karl is trying desperately to fit in with the college crowd, at the same time that the college students are trying to fit in the grown up world of professional politics. Karl has served food in a manner that you would see at college, perhaps trying to make the kids relaxed, plastic cups and soda bottles. He is wearing a very casual shirt, more in line with what someone might wear on campus. Meanwhile, the students are dressed in very corporate looking standard business attire – navy blue blazer, white shirt, power ties. Each group is trying to fit in with the other. Lastly, the students are all looking down, probably all very hungry as they had to wait a long time for Karl to bring them in, but it shows to me that they are in the presence of “the king”, and dare not even make eye contact with him. So either his presence is incredibly intimidating, or they may find his pontifications so alarming or objectionable that they hold a posture of not listening. Someone earlier stated that they are in a posture of listening – I disagree. When listening in an interested fashion, some people at least will be looking directly at the speaker, many with admiration. In this case they are all in a posture of ignoring. Much like a teenager would do at the dinner table to his/her parents. In this case, this is shockingly suprising, because I would imagine they all were excited to meet the man, and he is their mentor. What I read here is that Karl (and his politics) will not be the leader of the next generation of Republicans.
    Lastly, it is clear that this is a photo by a non-professional. The lighting is terrible, the framing rotten (the wall cuts off several people), most of the people have their back to the camera or are looking down, the camera is pointed towards the bright light outside which gives the room a dark shading by comparison. I bet the photo was taken by Karl’s very own $99 Nikon Quick Pix. A professional would have gone to the other side of the room with the window glare at his back, where the whole table could be in camera, more elevated, and with a wide angle lens.

  • cenoxo

    [Post title correction:]
    Your Turn: Progressives Have Young Repubs For Lunch
    Now, Team Obama’s free lunch certainly has a bigger spread…

    …and rumor has it the main course will really stick to your ribs, but who gets to pick up the check?

  • JM

    I don’t think the chair to the woman’s right is empty. I think I see a person’s back in a white shirt there between her and the young man in the gray jacket at the corner of the table. It looks like the person in the white shirt is sitting on the very edge of his/her chair, and s/he is leaning over his/her plate.
    This just all looks so awkward. Imagine two of them talking beforehand:
    “Hey! Nice suit!”
    “Thanks! Great tie. This is awesome, right? We get to break bread with the man himself!”
    “I know! I can hardly wait. This could make us. Hey, what do you think they’ll serve?”
    “Well, you know it’s got to be something good. Probably catered, don’t you think? Filet mignon?”
    “Nah, we don’t rate filet. Maybe pan-roasted chicken breast or baked salmon?”
    “Whatever. Look, I don’t care if it’s takeout on crappy plastic plates. We’re going places!”
    “You got that right. Heh. Plastic plates. Good one.”

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