Last weekend, this photo greeted me outside my room at the stylish Hotel Lucia in Portland, OR, where I spent the better part of the week on holiday. I knew the man on the right looked familiar, but it took a minute before it clicked. Yes, it’s a young Don Rumsfeld at a 1974 state dinner in Kyoto, being entertained by a geisha.
The photo is one of 680 on permanent display at the hotel, all by Pulitzer-winning photojournalist, former White House photographer and Oregon native David Hume Kennerly. I wasn’t expecting the bonus of a full-on art exhibit with my hotel reservation, but that’s what I got. I wandered up and down hallways on several floors, soaking up Kennerly’s crash course in diplomatic and political history.
As it turned out, this was the one image I couldn’t get out of my head. I should mention it’s part of a series of four; Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger are also pictured playing the same game of “pass the chopstick.”
But there’s an edge to this one, light playing against dark. I posted it on Facebook and one friend immediately shot back, “Woah.” Exactly.
Sexism and hawkishness: the measure of a man.