04/13/2007 08:00 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Reading The Pictures: The George And Nancy Show



The Great Campaign Of 2007-8.

Hillary vs. Obama? McCain vs. McCain?

Try again.

The most dramatic and bruising political battle going on right now is the George and Nancy show (or, should I say, the Nancy and George show) for claiming rights to Washington's ideological heart and mind. Over the past few weeks, Nancy Pelosi has been on a mission to contest the Bush/Rove authority over media space, and to damage, if not cripple, the Bush PR machine.

A few highlights?

Two-and-a-half weeks ago, Nancy gave Bush a mother's scolding for "acting up," and failing to negotiate with the Democrats over war appropriations. She then visually played him the same evening at the Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner, sending a message about who, between them, would have the last word.

A few days later, Nancy's trip to the Middle East served to dramatically emphasize that a head in the sand is no way to approach Mid-East policy. In making the point, she modeled how to walk through a Middle-Eastern souk, or market (1) -- a striking parallel to the PR debacle caused by John McCain (1), Bush's proxy, in a Baghdad market two days before.

Which brings us to this week, where -- within two days of each other -- Nancy and Prez were crossing the newswires with the classic fodder above. Call it a draw? This time, maybe. Content-wise, Bush was in Yuma, doing a full campaign-style photo op with border patrol agents, then U.S. marines, in his almost daily glorification of militarism. Pelosi, actually posing with a kid (her grandson) she's related to, was marking a gift to the Presidio, the vast city park transferred from the Army to San Francisco thirteen years ago.

Still, keep your eye on Pelosi. Given her discovered visual acumen, Bush is running for his life.

For more of the visual, visit

(image 1: Jason Reed/Reuters. Yuma, Arizona, April 9, 2007. via YahooNews. image 2: Eric Risberg/A.P. San Francisco, Wednesday, April 11, 2007. linked image 1: Pelosi Souk. Damascus April 3, 2007. REUTERS/Jamal Saidi. via YahooNews. linked image 2: Sgt. Matthew Roe, US Army/10th Public Affairs Operations Center/Handout/AP via MSNBC via MediaMatters. Baghdad. April 1, 2007. )