Kid Rock and Nugent, Part 2: Clowning at Hillary Clinton Portrait Stirs Rebukes
April 20th, 2017, 10:21 PM
Wearing street hats alongside a president in his iconic office is just one reason Kid Rock and Ted Nugent are zinged as crude, callous and classless by Twitter critics.
A photo of that protocol-bending attire was posted proudly Thursday by Sarah Palin, who's also in the shot. Souvenirs from a White House dinner and tour include these two other images of the two Michigan rockers and former Alaska governor.
As the trio stands in front of a gold-framed Hillary Clinton oil portrait, measuring four feet tall and three feet wide, they display exaggerated expressions and gestures suggesting . . . well, you decide.
We go with disdain, derision, contempt and ridicule. Glenn Thrust of The New York Times describes Palin as "sneering."
Yes, yes -- she's a liberal Democrat and they're feisty, fixin'-to-fight conservative Republicans. And politics isn't for sensitive snowflakes -- we get that, too.
But White House guests typically observe a temporary cease-fire to respect the decorum and dignity of our executive mansion. That respectful tradition is on the minds of Twitter users who see the posted photos as inappropriate.
"There's class and there's this," Detroit media executive Ron Fournier tweets with a link to the photo at right. He's editor and publisher of Crain's Detroit Business, and was a frequent executive mansion visitor for briefings, interviews and social events receptions when he was White House bureau chief for the Associated Press.
A current White House correspondent for The New York Times reacts in a tweet shared more than 1,700 times in eight hours:
Doesn't matter what the political party is, it's the White House, not a rally, and it's an official portrait, not a cardboard cutout.— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 20, 2017
These are among other responses:
Letting guests take smart-ass photos with official portraits is beneath the dignity of presidency. White House should formally apologize. pic.twitter.com/IfYcvDCsx7— Greg Saunders (@waltisfrozen) April 20, 2017
Even if demanding an apology is a lost cause, there's political value in making Trump publicly own this classless breach of civility.— Greg Saunders (@waltisfrozen) April 20, 2017
Even Pete Souza, White House photographer during Barack Obama's terms, gets into the act.
On Instagram Thursday afternoon, he posts a dignified photo he took of Obama and former White House chief of staff Bill Daley conferring below Ronald Reagan's portrait. The pointed caption: "Being respectful."
We know the trio's mockery was aimed at the portrait subject, not the man who painted it and one of Bill Clinton unveiled on the same day in June 2004. But now that it's back in the news, it's worth noting that the artist is Simmie Knox, the self-taught son of an Alabama sharecropper chosen by the Clintons as the first black painter of a president's and first lady's official portraits.
And that, in our view, is nothing to sneer at.
Relatsed post today: