Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
November 2, 2009

Lion’s Den

Obama Republican lunch.jpg

(Click for larger size)

It’s photo #35 in the very first set of the White House Flickr stream (First 100 Days) titled “President Barack Obama attends a lunch with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. 1/27/09.”

And, as you can tell from what Valerie Jarret had to say on the Sunday talk show circuit, photos like this now acquire the value of evidence as Obama, in the presence of “the poisoners” (and check those expressions through the middle of the picture) has repeatedly tried to reach out.

(photo: Pete Souza/White House)

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

    For all the abuse President Obama has taken from the Left, he really hasn’t given away the store the way they say he has. True, he hasn’t moved as quickly in some areas as some of us think he should have. But I find him trustworthy.
    Obama’s “book” on governance seems to rely a lot on establishing an adequate foundation. He knew from the outset that he didn’t have to be conciliatory to the Republicans. But the record shows that he made more than just a passing effort at achieving bipartisanship. As Valerie Jarrett noted, Republicans didn’t respond favorably.
    Will the right recognize the hole they’ve put themselves in? They need real leadership, not the collection of extremists they’ve got leading the band at the moment. And how much of the Republican decline can be attributed to Obama’s adroit leadership? It appears the Republicans have underestimated Obama the way Democrats once underestimated Ronald Reagan. So-called transformative figures (a term Obama is fond of using) make great changes look easy and natural. If Obama were no more than a gifted speaker, he would not be as well-positioned as he is today.

  • http://www.woodka.com donna

    I suspect Republicans will pick up some gains tomorrow in the off-year elections and this will fuel their extremism even more. What this photo really points out to me is the good old boys club the Republicans are, and how unrepresentative they are of America as a whole. This is what’s going to keep their power shrinking, that they refuse to expand on their little club and allow others power. Bush tried hard to give larger roles to women and minorities, but now the Republicans are losing even that, and shrinking back to the white male base. It’s going to cost them in the long run.

  • Jason

    Yes we can? The lack of “hope” in this room is overwelming. Obama should really be careful about who he ‘pals’ around with. Isn’t Vit a deviant? Is it my imagination or is that Ensign right in between the President and the David V? Moderates need not apply is my take on this image. The people in the photo wearing “name tags” on the right; They almost look a little nervous maybe,something in the air? I’m sure everyone had a great time. These men could be making conservative policy a permanent part of the nations new heath care system. Yet they choose to deny and delay. Happy Election Day! Vote!

  • Aurora

    Where are the women?
    one on the far right looking the a functionary…
    all white guys in suits…except for the Hispanic gentleman who again has the posture of a functionary…
    When will this kind of cabal be broken?
    Combine this with the previous photo of the War Room crowd…it’s been 40 years people.
    More than time to power share.
    What a terrible price in national treasure of hearts and minds the Bush/Cheney crowd wasted by 8 years of staffing our government with ‘their kind’.
    (looking at you, Condi, as a Major Token.)
    sigh.

  • Aurora

    After all this time, it is obvious I don’t know the proper place of women:
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-11-01/how-the-gop-loses-women/
    “The hostility to women’s liberation is central to the contemporary Republican Party, a party that surged back into power starting in 1968 based on three crucial developments: the conservative ideological revival; the alliance of the party with conservative and orthodox Western religion; and the takeover of—and by—the American South. All three of these forces are hostile to women’s equality. At the birth of the modern conservative revival, conservative intellectual icon Richard Weaver explicitly set out the role of women in the new conservative movement. Women are rooted in nature and intuition, he wrote; they made a terrible mistake when they traded their natural place in a stable hierarchy for a superficial equality with men.”

Refresh Archives

Random Notes