December 18, 2009

Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the climate change conference in Copenhagen.



Interpretations? Captions?

This is a photo from Obama's own Flickr site, so it presents Obama as Obama's people want him to be seen. Obsequious? Abasing? Or steady and serious in a difficult process of persuasion?

104 comments:

quilbilly said...

"The time for talk is over. By the way, do you speak English?"

john said...

HE'S BOWING AGAIN!

kentuckyliz said...

How much carbon went into growing those off season flowers in a climate controlled, lit greenhouse?

Adam said...

Unmoved (L) and Earnest discuss world issues.

TMink said...

She has these enormous carbon offsets.

Trey

PatCA said...

A bubble over Jiaboa's head: "We still hate you, but we hate everyone else worse."

edutcher said...

Bambi leans forward, concerned; the red Chinese leans back, relaxed.

The key to the picture is remembering how much of our paper Red China holds.

Penny said...

Blogger john said...

"HE'S BOWING AGAIN!"

Why, YES, he is!

So now what the hell are you going to do, big man?

David said...

The Obama people published this?

I do not see him as bowing to Premier Wen, but he is making no connection. Obama's eyes are closed. He is absorbed in his own gestures and words. Wen is upright, stiff, hands tightly clasped in front of him. This is a fending off posture, not a receptive one. The look on Wen's face is tight. You could say it's a skeptical look but I think it's more contempt or superiority.

Wen, a much smaller man than Obama, looms over him.

This is not a reassuring photo. The leaders of our friends and rivals are getting to know President Obama. They are not impressed.

JohnAnnArbor said...

"Dude, whatever. We gots the coal and we's gonna BURN it!"

Ron said...

"...so like I told the arresting officer, I admit I was naked...but it was my own house."

JohnAnnArbor said...

To be clear, Wen's who I'm quoting.

David said...

kentuckyliz said...

"How much carbon went into growing those off season flowers in a climate controlled, lit greenhouse?"

None. They were flown in from Brazil.

BJM said...

@edutcher - exactly.

Obama's eye line is the tell, he's toast and he knows it.

wv: sackd = Obama is 0-2 in Copenhagen.

dennisr2 said...

Obama: "You have to understand. I really LIKE Chinese Checkers, but I'm just no good at it."

WV: piasing, as in the Chinese are piasing all over the climate change conference.

Freeman Hunt said...

He looks condescending. Oh well.

ddh said...

Obama desperately tries to make the sale, but no joy tonight.

reader_iam said...

A bubble over Jiaboa's head: "We still hate you, but we hate everyone else worse."

One of the most sensible comments on this site w/r/t to foreign affairs in the larger sense than I've seen in ... oh, never mind.

Quayle said...

The man in control watches the profligate spender try to con him one more time.

"Yeah, I know our debt is secured by our future production, but, listen, like I said: my guys are telling me that we can cut our carbon emissions by 75% and still grow our GDP at 4%, maybe 5% if we're lucky, each year for the next 10 years."

Paul Bubel said...

Obama looks like a teenager desperately trying to convince his father that he really, really needs a larger allowance.

lucid said...

The nonverbals here are clearly uncertainty and appeasement on Obama's part and supeiority and condecension on Wen Jiabao's part.

Meade said...

"Dad, if you can just loan me thirty more dollars until next Tuesday... I've got my stereo up on Craig's list and I've lowered the price so I'm sure someone will buy it... Mom still owes me four dollars for the B+'s I got on my last report card. Pleeeze, Dad, I neeeed the money and I promise to pay it back, if not next Tuesday, then by one after that for sure."

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vbspurs said...

This is a photo from Obama's own Flickr site, so it presents Obama as Obama's people want him to be seen. Obsequious? Abasing? Or steady and serious in a difficult process of persuasion?

No, Ann. Kennedyesque.

A year later, the world as we knew it was almost destroyed because Khruschev smelt the inexperienced vanity of the man.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

Adam wrote:

Unmoved (L) and Earnest discuss world issues.

LOL! It's got a certain Oscar Wilde sensibility about it.

tonejunkie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tonejunkie said...

Obama's saying, "If there was something I could do to please Althouse and most of her commenters, I would do it, but I can't just let Sarah Palin take over for me which is what they really want, so as you can see, Wen, it's a tough situation."

Palladian said...

Obama's already starting to look like hell, only one year in.

Verification Word: boozy

What I've been since 11/4/08

vbspurs said...

PALLADIAN! I wondered where you were all day.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

B.O.: Listen, Wen, I got your money. I got it right... ummm... I mean... I just gotta take care of a few things and...

W.J. stares, says nothing.

B.O.: I just gotta take care of a few things and then I'll... I know! How about I write you a check?

W.J. stares, says nothing.

B.O.: I'll have to post-date...

W.J. stares, says nothing.

B.O.: Okay. Well maybe that's not such a good idea. But I swear! Really, this time is not like the last time...

Kurt said...

Wen is looking his direction and contemplating when he should ask Obama to kiss him like he asked Obama in the SNL skit.

Palladian said...

"PALLADIAN! I wondered where you were all day."

Drinking and scrounging for change.

chuck said...

"Really, it was the biggest cockroach I ever saw."

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MamaM said...

Wen to Obama, "Read my lips."

I wonder if Wen can press his lips any tighter together than they already are? He definitely looks unconvinced.

Penny said...

Tight, here.

Let's see how this plays out, ladies and gentlemen.

EDH said...

With very few cards to left to play, Obama looks like he's attempting to seize the advantage over his Asian counterpart by gesturing, "that's about how big mine is, how about you, noodle dick?"

Ralph L said...

Toonces does look like one of those waiters who squats.

Methadras said...

Ah, so solly missa presiden, we no berieve in brack jesuh.

Penny said...

You got it,
Methadras.

Penny said...

Now off to bed.

We can pretend to disagree tomorrow.

AC245 said...

Jiabao: Are those flowers on the table for me?

Obama: What?

Jiabao: I said, are those flowers on the table for me?

Obama: I don't understand. Why would I bring you flowers?

Jiabao: Because I like to be brought flowers when someone is trying to have sex with me!

AllenS said...

Obama: "I need to borrow some more money."

Jiabao: "How much do you need this time?"

Obama: "About this much."

Jiabao: "WTF?"

rhhardin said...

Obama's still doing the clean and articulate act that's gotten him a pass his whole life.

Nobody thinks of him as black today though, so it comes off as incompetence.

ricpic said...

"Yes, yes, for the thousandth time I apologize for Chop Suey."

Jason (the commenter) said...

"That's all very nice Obama, but how can you talk about any of this with a straight face when Climategate is going on?"

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

AC's right on. The only thing missing is the translator. This shot is right before Wen's historic utterance "Do I look like Mrs. Obama?"

section9 said...

Althouse:

This is the posture of the mature banker who is fending off yet another appeal by a bad creditor for money to open up another one of his "Lead-Pipe-Cinch, Sure-to-Make-Money, Used Car Lots". The only thing missing is Obama's plaid jacket and K-Mart necktie.

Jesus. That photo just screams "Contempt. Slight Regard".

The only thing that would have been funnier would have been a photo of Wen looking at his watch.

That the Obama people thought that THIS photograph put their guy in a good light shows you how clueless Robert Gibbs and Company actually are to the true state of things.

traditionalguy said...

Caption: Chinese Banker watching Deadbeat who wants another loan or he threatens to quit his job.

alan markus said...

"So, I grab Andy Stern's head like this and say 'the time for talk is over, sex me now!"

barry's blog said...

Bubble over Wen's head should say "Do I look like Mrs. Obama?"

former law student said...

Obama -- Y'know Wen, I could pull your head right off your body.

Wen [sits bolt upright] -- I see you fuckers are serious.

former law student said...

But really -- Obama's saying things that would be perceived as threats if he was eye-to-eye with Wen.

AllenS said...

fls--

I've read your comments more than once, and have come to the conclusion that you haven't had enough coffee yet.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I'm in the flower business, and know what it takes to have 'Daisies in Denmark in December.'

Not that flowers are wrong, but in this particular context they demonstrate that the participants are not really serious.

Everything is so Nice: luxurious flowers, fresh fruit, top-notch hotels, private jets and free call-girls for them ... and at the root of it they wish to force US per capita carbon production down to the levels of 1880 -- which is about the same as Haiti today.

Clearly they don't expect to live under such a constraining system. They intend to run it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"How much carbon went into growing those off season flowers in a climate controlled, lit greenhouse?"

None. They were flown in from Brazil.

By European Swallows. (Air speed debatable)

rdkraus said...

Bart

"Some animals are more equal than others."

From the one book every teenager should be required to read. Maybe the best book ever. Maybe my favorite book. Maybe I'll read it again.

bearbee said...

O:
But I DID bow lower than to you than I did to the Japanese Emperor!

Gimme another chance..........PLEASE!!!!!

Jibo:
We OWN you, Sucka!

bearbee said...

But I DID bow lower to you...

Pogo said...

So Ralphie gets his Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, and fires one that almost took his eye out, but he tells his mom it was an icicle. Then the Bumpus's dogs come tearing through the open door and knock the turkey onto the ground and tear into it, ruining the Christmas dinner, and they all went down to the Chinese restaurant and had Peking duck and the waiters sang Fah rah rah rah rah -rah rah rah raaah.

Man, what a great movie.

Xmas said...

So, you want me to grab your thighs just above your knees like this, and get my nose all the way in there?"

Shanna said...

Obama has terrible posture in that picture. It makes me hurt just to look at it. Sit up straight!

Florida said...

The photo is very telling. And that they put it out says so much about how tone deaf the junior high school kids are who are running the country today (yes you Rahm).

When Obama believes he is winning, his head is never bowed. He's looking right down his nose at you. He doesn't want to just beat you, he wants you to know that he utterly disdains you.

It's complete and total arrogance. He's constantly looking down his nose at the country. It's quite off-putting.

It's plainly obvious in this photo, however, who is the man in charge.

The Crack Emcee said...

Nice one, Meade. My caption:

"Now when you call me a 'nigger',..."

DADvocate said...

From the position of Obama's hands, it looks like he's discussing the length of something. Wen Jiabao is aghast.

paul a'barge said...

Obama is going down on the China guy ... man, he'll do anything for attention and approval.

Quilly_Mammoth said...

In the car biz we would observe salesmen's posture to get an idea how the deal was going. If we saw this we would send in a floor manager. Obama is trying very hard to sell a position that Wen is not buying. He's no longer looking at the customer but is immersed in his pitch.

Byron said...

"From the one book every teenager should be required to read. Maybe the best book ever. Maybe my favorite book. Maybe I'll read it again."

Why? Why read about it when we are living it first hand?

Canada Guy said...

Copenhagen has failed. The UN has failed to address the most important crisis in human history. This is now the time for sanctions, boycotts and embargoes. A new alliance is needed. An alliance of hope and peace and justice must be built to oppose the axis of pollution, extinction and self destruction.

http://www.selfdestructivebastards.com/2009/12/beyond-copenhagen.html

Gary said...

"I honor you with what were the original words to the ode-poem from the prophet Bob...

'The answer my friend is bowing to the Wen...

The answer is bowing to the Wen.' "

Rialby said...

Adam:
Unmoved (L) and Earnest discuss world issues.

How about:
The long lost Jim Varney film, "Ernest Grabs His Ankles"

Elliott A said...

I think Obama was explaining to the Premier what would happen to him if he kept him waiting a THIRD time.

Pogo said...

Is this the scene from Deliverance where he squeals like a pig?

JohnG said...

Haven't read all the coments closely - maybe someone else has raised this:

Is Wen sitting like a woman sits?

His legs are crossed and his hands are clasped together in front of his kneecap.

I've never seen a man sit with that posture.

Matt Eckert said...

I think he is talking about Al Franken's dick move.

Puddin said...

"It's like I said Wen, we'll pay back every dime... no worries. Why don't you stop by the White House for a beer later?"

vbspurs said...

JohnG wrote:

His legs are crossed and his hands are clasped together in front of his kneecap.

I've never seen a man sit with that posture.


If you're American, and especially if you're male, you're not used to that pose but I can assure you it's quite common for men around the world -- it's considered more elegant to cross your legs. That number 4 over the knees is considered vulgar.

Cheers,
Victoria

K T Cat said...

Obama: "By borrowing a hundred billion dollars from you and handing it out to kleptocracies around the globe, I hope to create a steady stream of income and pay you back very soon!"

Wen, thinking to himself: I'm selling my Treasuries as soon as I get back home. No, check that, I'm going to text my broker as soon as I get rid of this bozo.

FloridaSteve said...

All the Presidents from my lifetime LBJ Kennedy Nixon, Carter Reagan, Clinton, Bush 1 or 2, hell even Carter.... I can't imagine any of them in a photo that conveys such weakness being officially released by their handlers. This is stupefyingly foolish and weak.

Conor said...

This reminds me of how Edwards looked in the vice-presidential debated with Cheney: he's a teenage who has been sent to the principal's office.

Bruce said...

Looking at the large version, it seems Wen is indignant and disgusted, but also having some sort of revelation, as if he's seeing something new (it's not good). And of course he's carefully trying to hide all this by portraying himself as in control.

I view this as a highly trained, very talented public official looking down at an undisciplined commoner who's making a long list of obvious mistakes and probably unintended insults. Eegads, he thinks: China talks about being run by ordinary people, but that place really is.

Patm said...

Saw a comment from an O supporter, on this pic. She said, "clearly China is closed, and America is open." She ended with effusive praise for Obama.

So, apparently this is the perspective they have.

John said...

BHO: "Please, sir, let me have something so I can call it a win. I can't come home from Copenhagen again having lost. Anything. Just a little morsel."

Wen: "I will grant your request but I better never hear any complaints about poisonous toys from China ever again."

Wen, in an aside to his translator, "Do not these barbarians know they are dealing with the Middle Kingdom? They are such childish fools."

Franco said...

So, we have this lockbox, and that's where we have the money to pay but it's temporarily locked and in a very secure place, and we just need a few more trillion to tide us over till we can open it."

vbspurs said...

"Obama: When you pay off the first baseman every month, Hu gets the money?

Jiabao: Every dollar of it."

tim maguire said...

Obama thinks he's talking seriously about a serious issue and Premier Jiabao is receiving a supplicant. Obama is wrong as usual, but this time for reasons different than his critics normally accuse because this time Obama has no idea the role he is playing.

Fat Man said...

I'll gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today.

wuzzagrunt said...

Obama: Dude, this isn't even gambling. My cousin Vinny knows this guy whose sister is married to one of the trainers. This is a lock. I just need a little seed money and I can pay you back, plus the vig.

Paul said...

Here's a photoshop version in lieu of a caption: http://optoons.blogspot.com/2009/12/white-house-releases-photos-of.html

gs said...

Reprimanded by China's Premier Wen Jiabao, President Obama moves to kowtow in apology.

Chef Mojo said...

It's not a bow. It's worse.

Obama is trying to look intelligent. He’s in “professor” mode, attempting to lecture the student on his rude behavior during a lecture. He’s trying to put forth a posture of earnestness; that he’s acting in his student’s best interests, while maintaining an air of detached authority.

One problem. Wen Jiabao is not the student. Wen has been through the political crucible of the Chinese Communist Party, and has seen and done more than Obama can ever dream of. He’s a pure political creature in a way that Obama could never hope to master.

The look on Wen Jiabao’s face is that of utter contempt. He is insulted by the presumption telegraphed by Obama’s posture. Wen Jiabao must be thinking, “How dare this dog - this bitch - lecture me on my economic priorities. I own this pathetic naif!”

Nate said...

"And then once, at Community Organization Camp..."

JohnG said...

Victoria

It's not the crossed legs that I'm puzzled by - it's fairly common this side of the pond for American men too.

It's the combination of crossed legs and the placement of clasped hands at the knees that I find unusual for a man.

That's a quite common posture for a woman but is unusual, perhaps unique, for a man.

knox said...

Obama's face is classic Passive-Aggressive.

kevinpaulk said...

Wen, I respect you, and Ima let you finish. But Al Gore made the best schlockumentary ever. THE BEST SCHLOCKUMENTARY EVER!

vbspurs said...

It's not the crossed legs that I'm puzzled by - it's fairly common this side of the pond for American men too.

Common, yes. But frowned upon as effeminate, I thought, John.

It's the combination of crossed legs and the placement of clasped hands at the knees that I find unusual for a man.

That's a quite common posture for a woman but is unusual, perhaps unique, for a man.


Yes, I do agree with that. Frankly, he looks nerdy to me, more than submissively feminine. He may think himself in a position of power (and he is), but there is something about him I cannot take seriously. I daresay Obama doesn't either, despite the bowing posture.

fernstalbert said...

The man of the left being dissed by the "real" man of the left. Obama is not in a position of power and he knows it. I would be surprised if the Chinese aren't already giving Obama his talking points and policy positions. Why does Obama not realize that "a picture is worth a thousand words?" Cheers.

Hello Birdy said...

In the future Obama will be regarded as we in Canada regard Pierre Elliot Trudeau, (also a Marxist) as the man who ruined our country.

America may not survive that evil idiot.

Paul said...

Wen Jiabao: Describe what Wen Jiabao looks like!

Obama: What, I-?

Wen Jiabao [pointing his gun]: Say what again. SAY WHAT AGAIN. I dare you, I double dare you, motherfucker. Say what one more goddamn time.

Obama: He's Ch-Ch-Chinese...

Wen Jiabao: Go on.

Obama: He's short...

Wen Jiabao: Does he look like a bitch?

Obama: What?

Wen Jiabao shoots Barack in shoulder.

SFX: BANG!

Wen Jiabao: DOES HE LOOK LIKE A BITCH?

Obama: No!

Wen Jiabao: Then why you try to fuck him like a bitch, Barack?

M. Simon said...

Let me try that explanation again.

K T Cat said...

Linked!

Morris Kappes said...

On the left, a statesman. On the right, a disrespectful, childish American hunkering down for some informal, down-home patronizing and gossipy, water-cooler-style chit-chat.

BlackX said...

Condescending.

mavzoley said...

мультфильм
электронная почта без регистрации