Yes, I was taken with the visual freshness and drama of the Edwards announcement (and it has nothing to do with the fact he’s an advertiser).
I’m not sure any other candidate could have made the New Orleans scene and setting actually work without coming off as patronizing. Maybe Edwards is that good a salesman, but he has staked his political future, without any equivocation, on the problem of “Two Americas,” and I think the pictures fit.
Even more so, however, the backdrop — with its radically different visual “vocabulary” — had a lot to say about the changing political atmosphere. Consider this shot of Edwards in 2004 (also off yesterday’s newswire) compared to the shot from the candidacy launch. The flag, the suit, the stage, the artificial light, the hand held mike: it’s vintage post-9/11, war on terror, rah-rah, Bush, macho political evangelism.
With the flag spent, what the eye is looking for now is what the flag stands for.
(image 1: Bill Haber/AP. December 28, 2006. New Orleans. Via YahooNews. image2: AFP/Getty Images. 2006. Via YahooNews.)