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November 28, 2012

GOP Optics: Men on the Hunt

Yesterday, U.N. Ambassador Rice met with GOP Senators McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte to discuss the government’s original talking points on the Benghazi attack. It seemed pairing Ayotte with the two amigos was aimed as much at taking the “bully boys” edge off. (The other day, we showed you how the GOP leadership in the house was using gender and race to provide a little post-election window-dressing.)

Still, although there were any number of photos of the three GOP Senators briefing the press after the meeting, including this grouping from the AP, the photo that got some choice circulation yesterday was the one above. To me, in this instance, the body language seems random. I haven’t seen video, but perhaps McCain stepped back a little or else Ayotte was just looking off to the side for a moment. Whatever it was, however, the photo still has the sense of McCain soaking up all the oxygen while Ayotte — who was otherwise as antagonistic toward Rice as either of the men — appears to to retract from McCain and almost recoil. (Not that there is any meaning to this point, either, but I still like the fact the photo was taken by a woman.)

In tandem with the news yesterday that the GOP appointed exactly zero women to run any one of its 19 House committees, I just don’t see how the Repubs campaign against Rice, especially as it comes with a Secretary of State nomination looming, is going to do any wonders for the white man party.

(photo: Susan Walsh/AP caption: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, center, flanked by fellow committee members, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., right, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, following a meeting with UN Ambassador Susan Rice. Rice met with lawmakers to discuss statements she made about the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that left the ambassador and three other Americans dead.)

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