Bibi and Barack, the stare-down — caption winner


This was by far the best of the handful I got in my contest to caption last week’s Bibi-Barack summit:

I’ll see your Lieberman, Bibi, and raise you a McCain.

Meantime, Laura Rozen at Politico tracks down evidence that their may have been a message in the medium — one, perhaps, encouraging Netanyahu to join the "peacemakers:"

The painting is of Lincoln with his generals Grant and Sherman, a commenter says, and she/he’s right. It’s artist George P.A. Healy’s painting, "The Peacemakers," showing Lincoln meeting with military advisors Gen. William T. Sherman, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, and Adm. David Porter March 27-28, 1865 in City Point, Virginia, aboard the steamer River Queen that brought Lincoln to the Union base down the PotomacIn the two weeks that followed the meeting portrayed in the painting, the South’s Gen. Lee surrendered to Grant, Lincoln thanked God for being able to see the end of the four-year civil war, and days after that, was assassinated. 

Acquired by the Truman White House, the Healy painting was displayed in the White House Treaty Room in the KennedyNixon, Reagan, Clinton, and George W. Bush presidencies. Not clear when "The Peacemakers" got moved to the Oval Office private dining room to be photographed hanging above Obama and Netanyahu’s recent tete-a-tete. It wasn’t there when he had this 2009 lunch with Joe Biden (that’s a portrait of George Washington, I think, that hung in the same place during this 2007 Bush/Cheney lunch);  and Obama had a far more pastoral looking landscape hanging there during his one-on-one meeting over tea with Jordan’s King Abdullah last April (see below). It was there during Obama’s October 22, 2009 meeting with Nancy Pelosi.

Does the Obama White House switch the painting hanging there depending on the occasion, for symbolic effect? Or, sometime between his Abdullah tea in the spring and his Netanyahu meeting last week did Obama have "The Peacemakers" moved into his private presidential dining room permanently.

So Abdullah gets the meadow and Bibi gets the generals.

Here’s the photo again, by Pete Souza:


Recommended from JTA