FRAMESHOP:FRAMESHOP: BUSH'S PHOTO WITH CUB SCOUTS

Oddly touching or touching oddly? (source: WH) The White House has given its website a face lift and, as a result, I found myself this morning stumbling around in search of my usual cache of transcripts. Serendipity, thus, brought me...

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Jeffrey Feldman, Editor-in-Chief
Frameshop, 02/26/2007
Bush
Oddly touching or touching oddly? (source: WH)

The White House has given its website a face lift and, as a result, I found myself this morning stumbling around in search of my usual cache of transcripts.

Serendipity, thus, brought me to an odd photo of President Bush caught in the midst of hugging a 10-year-old Cub Scout. 

The photo has a decidedly "creepy uncle" air about it that made me wonder about Bush's tendency to touch people--literally--in unexpected ways and places. 

The caption reads:

President George W. Bush hugs Cub Scout Bryson Hicks, 10, of San Diego, Calif., as he is given a statue of a Cub Scout in the Oval Office Monday, Feb. 25, 2007. In 2005 Bryson rescued his 4-year-old cousin, who waded into a lake after a remote control boat. Byrson used skills he learned in Scouting to save save his cousin. The scouts presented the President with the Boy Scouts of America's Report to the Nation, highlighting the organization's accomplishments during the past year.

Bryson Hicks is a top notch kid, but why did White House Photo Director Eric Draper choose to show the President of the United States at the exact moment of pressing his cheek against the head of a 10 year old boy?

In fact, Bush does this all the time.  Where other Presidents would shake hands, Bush has this habit of catching visitors off guard during photo ops by giving out unexpected, extra touch:  a kiss on the cheek, when only a handshake was expected; a cheek on the head, when only a pat on the back was expected; a neck rub, when nothing was expected.

What Americans see in these moments is the physical equivalent in physical interaction of Bush's endless string of linguistic flubs.  Intending to say, "nuclear," Bush says, "nuke-lee-ur" instead.  Intending to put an arm around a kids shoulder, Bush locks heads with a boy age 10.

One would think, after all this time, that there might be someone in the room who could take Bush aside and say, "Maybe we should avoid any sexual ambiguity in the photo op with the prepubescent Cub Scouts.  Just shake their hands."  One would hope there might be someone in the room who could say that.

But apparently not.  Despite the anxiousness of the other boys--and the beefy adult chaperon--Bush gives the extra touch anyway, no doubt believing that his physical embrace of a child will have some resonant meaning that will inspire a life of deciding.

 

Who knows what Bush is really thinking in this photo.  All I know for certain s what I think when I look at it:  creepy.

© 2007 Jeffrey Feldman, Frameshop

© Jeffrey Feldman 2007, Frameshop

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