Sometimes a picture says it all. This is one of those times.
The photo above – snapped by Getty photographer Alex Wong – catches President Trump and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer in a quasi-embrace during a meeting to discuss the debt ceiling, government shutdown and disaster relief aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey.
The end result of that meeting was Trump siding with Schumer – and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi – in agreeing to a three-month extension of the debt ceiling and funding for the government in exchange for the $8 billion in Harvey relief dollars the President had requested.
By any account, that deal was very good for Schumer/Pelosi and very bad for Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Ryan and McConnell were pushing for a longer debt-ceiling extension – perhaps all the way until after the 2018 midterm elections.)
The photo captures all of that although – full disclosure – we don’t know for certain that the pic was taken after the deal was reached.
But, let’s assume it was. And let’s break down the photo – Jon Gruden telestrator style!
We begin with Trump because, well, he’s the president. A few observations:
1) He’s grinning like a Cheshire Cat.
2) He’s got his left arm on Schumer’s right arm at the bicep – a classic Trump power move.
3) Trump’s right arm is at the Maginot Line between Schumer’s shoulder and his neck. I think it’s actually on Schumer’s shoulder although the neck grab would be even more amazing – a sort of “Hey, this guy….” move.
Now, for Schumer:
1) He’s using his right index finger to point at Trump in what almost certainly is a sort of “you aren’t going to regret this” moment.
2) His glasses – which are familiar to anyone with a grandmother – are epic.
3) I spent some time looking to see where Schumer’s left arm is in the shot. I never did figure it out.
Also: The purple flowers framing the picture – blurry in the foreground – give the whole shot an artsy feel. Which is a nice touch.
Before you ask: Yes, I spent an inordinate amount of time studying this picture. Don’t judge me.