Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Done With Dithering?

Allergy sufferer Hillary Rodham Clinton...  choking back a sneeze?

What's going on in this picture?

Where does your eye fall, who do you see, and who strikes you as the leader of this group of people?

My eye went immediately to Hilary Clinton, and returned there a number of times. She has the most dramatic presence in the shot. Then my eye strolled about looking at the various managers and officers. But to tell you the truth, I looked at this photo three or four times before I realized president Obama is in the shot. Yeah! There he is, sitting low against the far wall!

A White House "insider" reportedly had the following exchange with Socy Berty's Ulsterman:
"What changed the president’s position and enabled the attack against Osama Bin Laden to proceed?"

"Nothing changed with the president’s opinion – he continued to avoid having one. Every time military and intelligence officials appeared to make progress in forming a position, Jarrett would intervene and the stalling would begin again. Hillary started the ball really rolling as far as pressuring Obama began, but it was Panetta and Petraeus who ultimately pushed Obama to finally act – sort of. Panetta was receiving significant reports from both his direct CIA sources, as well as Petraeus-originating Intel. Petraeus was threatening to act on his own via a bombing attack. Panetta reported back to the president that a bombing of the compound would result in successful killing of Osama Bin Laden, and little risk to American lives. Initially, as he had done before, the president indicated a willingness to act. But once again, Jarrett intervened, convincing the president that innocent Pakistani lives could be lost in such a bombing attack, and Obama would be left attempting to explain Panetta’s failed policy. Again Obama hesitated – this time openly delaying further meetings to discuss the issue with Panetta. A brief meeting was held at this time with other officials, including Secretary Gates and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but Gates, like Panetta, was unable to push the president to act."
I have no idea how reliable this inside source is, but knowing the characters in this particular production of Hamlet, I have to say...

... it sounds about right to me.

With a tip of the fedora to Jill over at Pundit and Pundette.

Update 5/4/11

Well, Chris Cillizza has weighed in on the photo, and surprise, surprise, has taken an entirely different view. I looked at this and when I finally saw that Obama was in the photo, I saw him as peripheral and voting "Present". The man who earlier was scratching his head to try to figure out how Palin came to have a low approval rating saw the photo like this:
"The image powerfully portrays the tension and seriousness of purpose of the people gathered in the room. And, while the picture wasn’t taken with politics in mind, the message that it conveys — serious people doing a serious thing — is politically powerful, reinforcing the idea of Obama as a strong and sober leader."
Serious people doing a serious thing.. like that surprised him. What was that Costella told Abbott?

"What makes balloons go up?"

"Hot air."

"So what keeps you down?"


  1. My eye generally goes to the center--that USAF general. Obama is to the left of center--no surprise there.

    I'm sure they had other versions. Most likely some where Obama and some of the other administration officials are not there at all. Plausible deniability, you know. What we are seeing is a redux of the media narrative of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Plenty of photos of JFK in the middle of the action looking suitably concerned and presidential.

  2. Yeah, I didn't see him. He's not at the table, but off to the side, like one of those minor characters in Rembrandt's The Night Watch

    He seems concerned certainly, but in charge? I don't know. What did you think of the WH "insider" story, and all the push to postpone action driven by Valerie Jarrett, along with the internal tug of war with a president who is still looking to break 90?

  3. Even after being told that Our Zero (Who art The Won) was in the picture, I had to search to find him. Our Zero ... the Incredible Shrinking (alleged) President.

  4. Yeah, me too. I'll tell you what I don't get - the "powerful portrayal of Obama as a strong and sober leader". Sober... okay, maybe in the sense of not inebriated, but sober in the common sense of being serious? And strong... no, I'm sorry, strong just flew right out the window.

    Beauty in the eye of the beholder? Certainly. Darrell apparently picked out Obama on the fly, but he's our own "Zero Factor", so that doesn't count.

  5. If he'd curled up into a tighter ball, he'd have disappeared into that chair.

  6. My biggest issue with the photo is the upper right. At my first glance, it looked like some sort of American Colonial had been p-shopped in--odd things pop out to me. On closer examination you can see that it is two men, with jackets hanging on the wall that make it look like a costume. Minor staffers have squeezed into the room to be captured in the photo because of the historic nature of the event. PR with the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

    As a kid, I always solved those "Game Of Seven Differences" puzzles in the newspaper, and I started developing and printing b&w negatives and prints around fourth grade. I guess that sets your mind to pay attention to the details, without even trying.

  7. Alternative explanation--Obama is in the smoking section.

  8. Also revealed (by Leon Panetta May 4th): The video feed of the event cut off for 25 key minutes, and the President and others were not able to see what was going on.

    So what exactly are they watching? Desperate Housewives?

  9. As I understand it, there was a 25-minute time delay -- so they weren't even watching in real-time -- and then the video stops when the actual assault on the compound begins.

  10. That shocked look on Hillary's face? She now states that she was not reacting to anything at all... just her allergies acting up.

    Oh, right, take a Claritin or something. These guys are unreal.

  11. Just when you think Hillary is actually human -- nope, just pollen.

  12. My read - she felt the pained expression on her face separated her from the boys in the room and made her look (in her eyes, not mine) weak. Thus the ridiculous, sorry-assed lie that her allergies were acting up and she was holding back a sneeze.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton is a hell of a lot more ballsy than Barack Obama, and that isn't changed because she shows some emotion over the violence that they had ordered. The country would have been better served with her as president rather than Barack, but that's another story.

  13. But remember the satellite feed was off and the picture was totally a reaction to nothing. Hillary was having another "corkscrew landing, dodging sniper fire" moment for the cameras. But she was smart enough to head that off at the pass when she figured the truth was coming out with all those retractions (72 Versions).

  14. So you think her retraction is to a staged reaction? "I retract that faked reaction"?!

    That's too much!

  15. Perhaps she'll float that she was holding back a yawn. How about a dental filling fell out and she had a sensitive tooth. And she would have been at the dentist having the tooth issue addressed, but she had to sit in this boring room looking at ... essentially nothing!

  16. Since that iconic "JFK and Bobby during the Cuban Missile Crisis" photo was mentioned that night, I would expect that it was talked about prior to that photo being taken. Now, for all I know, that was not a true candid either. People don't want to be thinking of a camera in the room when there is real work to do--much less life-and-death decision making. Most of these types of photos are staged to some extent--some are actually recreations after the fact.

    But I still think that Hillary wanted to pull back from her pose and give herself plausible deniability. I know it's a pose because no one in the room is looking at the photographer. And the angle of the shot indicates that the photographer was in a prominent position in plain view of those in the room--not crouched down looking for a candid moment of honest reaction. If that hand was meant to prevent snot from dripping down or to increase heat to the nose to stop it or make it more comfortable, it would be covering the nostrils. And she would have momentarily removed it when the photo was taken.

    It could have been worse, though. It could have been a video and she could have been screaming "Oh, the humanity!!!!" Or "Oh, the humidity!!!!"

  17. The whole thing is so weird, and yet apparently so commonplace - a produced reality for the consumption of the voting public. Bill Clinton reflecting on the cost paid for freedom, then having thoughts broken when he "happened to come across" a group of pebbles on a Normandy beach, which he dutifully arranged in the sand to form a cross, USS Iowa looming in the background. Move forward a few more years and there we find Bill and Hillary dancing together in the moonlight. Staged and again staged, which is to say, they are lying to us.

    Isn't this like finding out your spouse has been sleeping around. Why take them back? How many times are they going to pull this stuff before someone calls it for the manipulative crap that it is? Time for us to say we don't want to hear any more from you. About anything. Ever.

  18. When the Press is in the bag for a single political party, there is very little hope for things getting better soon. Sure, there is Fox News and the several handfuls of bloggers, but that reach is far too limited. This administration is pushing the boundaries of deception to inconceivable limits. The only thing they can't control are rising prices, layoffs, and shrinking discretionary income. People see that for themselves as taxes and prices rise with no end in sight. That will be their downfall. Unfortunately, it will get harder and harder to pick up the pieces and make things right when the looters are out of office.