Rush Limbaugh Speaks Out on New Official Obama Portraits - 'Faded Watercolors'


Conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh had a lot to say Monday about the unveiling ceremony for the official portraits of former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.

In addition to blasting the mainstream media’s adoring coverage of the portraits, Limbaugh also took aim at the paintings themselves — particularly Michelle’s — noting that her portrait looks like “faded watercolors.”

Limbaugh explained that he is by no means an expert on art, but still, the former first lady’s portrait lacks “style” when compared to paintings that have been put up in the White House.

“I’ve seen presidential portraits because I have been in the White House. I’ve walked the hallways, and there’s a bunch of them there, and this don’t even get close to any of the — I mean, in style, I’m talking about,” he said on his radio show.

Admitting that he’s no “artiste,” Limbaugh had a hard time coming up with a description of Michelle Obama’s portrait, but he finally settled on one.

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“This to me looks — I don’t know, faded watercolors. It doesn’t look like — that’s it. I’m going no further,” he said.

Limbaugh was far from the only one to criticize the portrait.

Others noted that the painting had one glaring problem — there was barely any resemblance between the face in the painting and Obama herself.

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The portrait was created by Amy Sherald, a Baltimore-based African-American artist who is known for infusing social justice themes into her work.

Twitter users also had fun with the painting.

Limbaugh didn’t much care for Barack Obama’s portrait either.

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“What in the world is that?” Limbaugh said of Obama’s portrait, which was painted by Kehinde Wiley.

“It’s Barack Obama sitting on what looks like a wooden throne without a high back, and he’s sitting on that throne as you might sit on yours,” Limbaugh said. “Except that this throne looks like it’s up against the ivy outfield wall at Wrigley Field.”

“It looks like he’s out there in the weeds,” he added. “It’s a better facial reproduction of Barack, but he doesn’t look happy.”

Again, Twitter users seemed to agree.

Limbaugh also took aim at the mainstream media’s coverage of the unveiling ceremony, which was was held at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

Specifically, he called out CNN political commentator Brian Fallon, who served as a spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“I think the Obamas throughout the eight years of the historic presidency were always well aware that as huge and historic a step as Barack Obama’s election represented, the country still has a ways to go with tackling the problem of institutional racism,” Fallon said on CNN during the network’s coverage of the ceremony.

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“It’s always refreshing to see the Obamas out there,” he added. “It’s a reminder that we can have a President and first lady we as a country regardless of party are proud of and that carry themselves with grace and dignity and a sense of purpose.”

But Limbaugh mocked Fallon’s fawning words.

“Oh, my God, this is so wonderful, to have braininess back, to have intelligence, to have people we can be proud of, the people that can unite us,” he said, imitating Fallon.

“You people in the drive-bys are so predictable,” Limbaugh continued.

As noted by NewsBusters, CNN did indeed provide overwhelmingly positive coverage of the unveiling ceremony.

“‘CNN Newsroom’ spent nearly the entire 10:00 a.m. ET hour Monday morning gushing over the release of the Obamas’ presidential portraits that will hang at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery,” NewsBusters said.

“Based on the media’s coverage, the portraits definitely gave members of the media a collective thrill up the leg.”

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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