A Tale Of Two Busts

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

To deflect attention away from the Romney fiasco that his trip to England has become, Charles Krauthammer resurrected an old story: “Obama started his presidency by returning to the British Embassy the bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office.” The inference is that this story demonstrates animus between Obama and Britain. The bust had been loaned to then-President George W. Bush from the U.K.’s government art collection, for the duration of his presidency.

As is common practice at the end of a presidency, the White House curator removed all the art lent to the departing tenant. The bust was returned and is on display at the British Ambassador’s residence. According to White House curator William Allman, the decision to return the bust had been made before Obama even arrived.

It turns out that there are two Churchill busts. Another Churchill bust, also by Jacob Epstein, was given to the White House during the Lyndon Johnson administration. That bust is on display in the White House residence and is seen in this photo of Obama with Prime Minister David Cameron.

While Krauthammer does his best to deflect attention from what the British press have dubbed “Mitt The Twit,” the facts don’t support his assertions. James Barbour, press secretary and head of communications for the British Embassy, said “[t]he Churchill Bust story is a silly diversion.” When the spokesman for the British Embassy refers to Krauthammer’s claim as a “silly diversion,” it should be embarrassing for any self-respecting journalist.

H/T: Dan Pfeiffer, Jake Tapper, The Telegraph, CBS News, A White House Diary (Lady Bird Johnson).

65 thoughts on “A Tale Of Two Busts”

  1. No one is going to turn me into a marmot when I die! I have already decided to be reincarnated as a badger.

    What? A Mormon? Really? Oh.

    Never mind.

  2. junctionshamus,

    How come the last part of your name is shamus?

    I am not in the witness protection program. And I have never lived in Texas. I’ve only been there a few times.

    It all began in Maine. You don’t know that, but it did.

    1. “It all began in Maine. You don’t know that, but it did.”
      @Matt – Now I have one more bit of semi-useful knowledge to add to the database, just waiting for the day Alex Trebek calls, and says, “Bob, come on down, eh!” Other than that, you’ve just written a classic opener for a pulp fiction/film noir story.

      junction = Grand Junction, CO
      shamus = A pulp fiction name for a private investigator

  3. @Matt Smith – Where it all began… the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra, New York.

    You know Matt, you seem to have been a lot of places…You in the Witness Protection Program or something? 😉

  4. And I thought it was about Dumas, Texas. Wikipedia says the city was the inspiration for “I’m a Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas” by Phil Baxter and Carl Moore. I thought the only song written about the city was “I’m Proud to be from Dumas (Dumb-Ass), Texas, performed by Timothy P. and the Rural Route Three.

    I know I’ve made this reference before; I just like saying “Dumb-Ass, Texas”…

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