Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
December 11, 2010

Return of the Big Dawg

J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press
J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

No surprise the NYT used a theatrical phrase — “Return Engagement” —  to lead it’s caption of this print-fronting photo.

Touted as a major Friday afternoon White House PR surprise aimed at pulling wavering Dems into the fold on “the great GOP Tax fold/compromise,” did Clinton provide any new argument or “substantive anything” to validate his presence in the WH Press Room?  Not all all.  In fact, what the photo mostly does is confirm just how much celebrity has subsumed substance when it comes to governance.

In short, it’s all about “the glow.”  But then, to the extent we are all fooled into thinking that form is substance, how well did it work on the “sizzle, not steak” level?

Well, the move was a win to the extent a.) the media played up the mini-spectacle of Obama “bringing out the big guns” / “turning loose the Big Dawg”, etc., and worked even better in  b.) successfully pre-empted Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’ concurrent, umpteen-hour C-SPAN fillibuster of the tax compromise.

  • Enoch Root

    Bill Clinton was jokingly touted as the first black President.

    Is it true?

  • susan

    Bill, just lovin’ the limelight, takes command of the conversation. Obama walking away makes him look weak and ineffective.

    ” A brilliant engineer and highly capable organizer, George B. McClellan just wasn’t an army commander.”

    A brilliant attorney and highly capable community orgaizer, Barak Obama just isn’t a President.

  • michael

    Does America regret not electing Hilary Clinton yet? Or is a little bit of Bill enough?

  • jmac

    Bill Clinton cannot save Obama. He’s going to be judged by his actions – instead of listening to liberal economists he listened to Reagan conservative economists. He turned his back on the middle class – let them eat arugula.

    He praised Reagan as he slammed Bill Clinton in the primaries. Escalating the war, the economy, DADT, health care, education, prisoners, torture, energy, etc etc- Dems might have been better off with a Republican with a conscience. (any left?)

    And it’s all about 2012 now.

  • Gasho

    visually, this looks a bit like a collage. The two dark jackets can merge in your eyes.. then Obama becomes a little miniature figure whose being held in the hands of the grandfather, Clinton. The flag is on the far right, and on the left is a blank wall where Obama *had* been.

    When I heard about this, I couldn’t believe he left the room. That’s such an invitation to interpreting this as a failure. Walking away.. turning your back.. abandonment.. the ideas it brings up are ALL bad. If Clinton is going to defend you and stand shoulder to shoulder in this tough time.. don’t frickin’ walk away!! If you have to go, then cut it all short and go WITH him.

  • momly

    My take is Obama is giving the press the president they want – a glad hander who knows how to shine for the cameras – while he goes back to the office to keep working.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama isn’t thinking to himself, “Man, I shoulda done this MONTHS ago.”

  • Joeyboy


Refresh Archives

Random Notes