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May 24, 2008

Your Turn: Politics With A Personal Touch


So, what do you make of this front page triptych in this morning's NYT? (It's titled: "Politics With a Personal Touch.")

(Not to draw too much attention to this one fact, by the way, but notice the prominence given to the secret service coverage in the middle pic.  Bringing the dynamics of layout into the conversation, also check out -- in this front page capture -- how the story about Clinton's Kennedy/Obama assassination remark appears just below and a write-up regarding McCain's "robust health" leads alongside.)

(image 1: Stephen Crowley; image 2 & 3: Damon Winter for the New York Times)


Looks like the intent is to portray a ticking time bomb. The candidates are so vunerable in spite of the half dozen M.I.B. (Men in black) What are they really able to do with this crush of humanity except look focused and concerned. This Times article screams that something bad is inevitable, but still there is a Russian Roulette aspect to it all. Like spin the bottle. Who first?, ennie, meenie, minnie, mo.

Like the Eagles said:

'Somebody's gonna hurt someone
Before the night is through
Somebodys gonna come undone
There's nothing we can do'

T-Minus Six Months (until November) and counting.

McCain: Has been pushed by the gigantic right hand hand from the sky, and is falling backwards. All are amused.

Obama: Reaching up and touching, making eye contact. Surrounded by stiff grumpy old white guys who are not happy to be there.

Clinton: Looks downbeat and is being compassionately but firmly led away while all avert their eyes.

The irony is that the composition of the top shot seems to make McCain look the most "vital" of the three candidates... though characters in Brueghel paintings also look "vital," in a groteque, distorted kind of way.

Obama's expression looks kind of plaintive, as if he's trying to reach out to those human-scale, personalized audiences at the top before he recedes too far into the inevitably detached, impersonal vantage point of the head of state, sequestered behind all those Secret Service men, aides, officials, and other hangers-on. Almost like Obama yearns for the personal touch of the early campaign, but has to face the reality of the modern Presidency: The President is always roped off and segregated from the people s/he serves. Looking at this middle shot, the cozy living-room banter of Iowa seems long ago and far away.

On Clinton, I have nothing to add to "~" above, who pretty much nails it.

Sort of following the above comments, but, and maybe it's my mood, they all appear to be in positions of danger:

McCain: falling or in the midst of a heart attack grasping for help
Obama: Camera angle is almost that of a sniper, Obama unaware of the danger
Clinton: Being dragged away by an unseen foe while her security just looks on

McCain looks like a baby who's glad to see his mommy come and take him away from an unpleasant situation.

O'Bamma looks like a man trying to reach everybody and knows he will not succeed.

Hill looks like she has learned to stay rooted in place even when manhandled.

To me, it looks like McCain reaching out into a void; Obama reaching out to throngs; and Clinton closed in, being comforted rather than comforting.

Without suggesting that the following labels accurately describe the respective campaigns...

photo 1 - Evangelic

photo 2 - Messianic

photo 3 - Funereal

"Wuv me! Pweeeze!"

"So am I your nominee yet? Yes or no already?!"


The third works best I think as the MIBs give inward focus... which is certainly the case right now for Hillary. I don't like the unnecessarily wide framing of number two. It seems like a cheap shot, and a closer crop would make a better photo visually. Guess I could also be wrong on that one.

#1 - McCain's penis not visible, but I can imagine that it's pretty withered by now.
#2 - O'Bama's penis covered by coat, but it's probably huge.
#3 - Hillary's tits not visible, and I don't like thinking about a woman's 60+ year old tits.

Thanks for the scoop on Politics. It's nice to see something worth reading.

McCain appears to be reaching for a prize, which he is, and the crowd surrounding him shows that he is succeeding to a degree..though the look on his face shows his total concern.

Obama appears to be amazed that he is the center of attention in this though he really never thought he would get to this point. The courage in his reaching out though is apparent. Taking all that this election encompasses one has to really stop and think about how very hard it had to be for him to run. The wide angle and secret service show once again what is at the basis of his race, the target he willing has made of himself to help this country...and some try to call him elite. That's laughable.

Clinton looks tired and if she is giving her back to us now. People are averting their eyes almost in shame but I am not sure of it is because of the American people or because they are ashamed of her actions and apparent lies during her campaign. It's almost as if they feel sorry for her like one might a grandparent that has become an embarressment.

I happen to be at the Obama rally where the photo was taken. Though it looks like a lot of Security is around Obama I was actually amazed at how little there was at the event. I noticed either Secret Service or Security people down on the floor surveying the west and north side of the inside of the arena, but I couldn't notice any constant survailance of the east and south side of the arena. It looked inadequate to me. But what do I know? Anyway there is one thing I do know, no one would have been turned away for wearing a pro-Hillary or pro-McCain T-shirt. Anyway it was a great event and the crowd was beautiful I hope that it was our next President that I got to see in person that day.

McCain - lurching like Frankenstein's monster, arms outstretched.
Obama - appears almost under arrest, surrounded by his bodyguards.
Clinton - a disembodied arm, clutching; desperation.

Those exaggerated large hands in the top photo are creepy. I wouldn't like those hands coming towards me like that. The left one is pointing inward (I realize it's due to his wartime injuries).

The third picture really does look like HRC is being led away/comforted/upheld by someone unseen and to the side.

Very interesting.

What I noticed first is that while McCain and Obama are shown reaching out to people, Clinton is being touched by someone else. Actually, the shot of Clinton kind of reminds me of someone being dragged off a stage.

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