10/04/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Reading The Pictures: Killing The Republican Clone-vention


You remember the transmitter controversy, regarding the alleged bump under Bush's jacket and the rumor that Bush -- like a pod person -- was receiving his debate answers directly from Rove?

Watching the RNC on TV, you quickly get the feeling -- especially when it comes to Sarah Palin -- that maybe everybody in that convention is also wearing the transmitter, so uniform are the talking points.

It's for that reason Todd Heisler's photo last evening of the Bush tele-speech managed to effectively distill the whole situation down to one shot.  I mean, it's all there: The "cowboy" party.  The "white" party.  The "everything's black-and-white" party.  The "shifted over to the right" party. The "pretend Bush is relevant" party, and the "pretend Bush didn't have time to show up in person" party.

Given that McCain didn't want Bush here in the first place, it was also a fitting farewell for a photo-op Presidency.

For more of the visual, including our coverage of the RNC, visit

(image: Todd Heisler/NYT.  September 2, 2008)