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Ticket Replay: Obama White House loved the magazine cover of him walking on water

NewYorkerObamaCoverWalkWater2-1-10

During the holiday season, as in years past, The Ticket is republishing some of our favorite items from the previous political year. This story was originally published on June 26, 2010:

Ever since the Obama White House got rid of that British colonial era bust of Sir Winston Churchill on-loan from Great Britain, they've been on the lookout for new less offensive art.

Now we learn, thanks to Howard Kurtz on CNN, that Obama adviser David Axelrod made a call to the editor of the New Yorker magazine requesting a copy of the Feb. 1 cover of the magazine showing No. 44 walking on water. (No, not the newly-resurfaced Gulf of Mexico.)

The only stipulation: The cover art had to be autographed by artist Barry Blitt.

Here's the exchange between Kurtz and magazine editor David Remnick on "Reliable Sources":

REMNICK: Well, they wanted a signed version of the cover. And, you know, there were other covers maybe they didn't like as well. But I think they got over it. In fact, they got over it a lot faster than some other people.

KURTZ: What did Axelrod's office tell you about Obama's personal reaction?

REMNICK: I think Axelrod and Obama were laughing hysterically over this cover. And the fact to their credit, within a matter of weeks, that they reversed the really sinking trend that they were experiencing, and they passed health care. And the White House certainly reversed its downward trend pretty quickly after that cover. I'm not saying the cover was anywhere near responsible for it.

KURTZ: Well, it's a good thing you didn't have him sinking all the way into the water after Scott Brown's victory.

We'll add below one of the other Obama covers that Remnick alludes to, referencing Obama's alleged Muslim ties from the 2008 campaign.

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-- Andrew Malcolm

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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