January 24, 2007

SOTU '07 Wrap Up: Jim, Nancy, George, Hillary, Barack, Dennis, Chris, Wesley, Laura and More


War Cred

Offering the “State of the Union Democratic response,” Senator Jim Webb (who NewsMax calls the “Warrior Poet”) holds up a photo of his father, a cargo pilot during the Berlin airlift.  Addressing the cost and the seriousness of his father’s service, what does Webb do in this one scene?  (Speech text –see top of page 2.)

The image and the story, among other things: challenges Bush’s comparison of Iraq to WWII; highlights the lack of military experience in the Administration; contrasts the Administration’s steady stream of posed and tired military photo-ops with something much more familial; and (unique since Bush has dominated the national narrative) links the waging of war to the concept of sacrifice.

As a writer and story teller, Webb’s crafting of imagery to address the war highlights not just the importance of an overall policy picture, but how badly the Democrats can use one.


Dealing With House Guests

If there was any question before, it was clear last night that Bush was a visitor, and it’s Nancy’s house.


Study In Contrast

Not to play up colors and outfits, but the difference in Washington couldn’t be more black-and-white.  And then, comparing The Speaker to the boys in the terror-war brand lapel buttons, doesn’t Pelosi’s use of color (certainly a political tool) set up a plain and simple good guy/bad guy narrative, or a pessimism/optimism read?


The Media Primary

Again, the visual coverage reveals the MSM’s already set handicapping of the Democratic race.  Counting all photos on YahooNews under the search term “state of the union” (including duplicates) as of  5:50 am EST, the photo counts was as follows:

Clinton/Obama: 22

Obama alone: 8

Hillary alone: 8

Kerry: 1

Hillary/Biden: 2

Biden 1

(dark) Kucinich: 1

(grumpy) Dodd: 1

and: Repub McCain: 4


Staying The Course

After strongly reaffirming his war commitment, the President contradicts his own message by choosing — for the first time in three years — not to spotlight an American soldier (or, specifically, the family of a fallen soldier) during the SOTU. (But, I guess we saw that coming.)

Instead, all eyes were directed upward and homeward (the new Administration strategy, it seems) toward a domestic hero.  In light of the hypocricy, this photo captures the contradiction.  In it, we see Bush guest, Iraq veteran Sgt. Tommy Reiman, set off in the background as Mrs. Bush and Mrs. Cheney make a fuss over subway rescuer, Wesley Autrey.

(The SOTU captured so many new looks, political shifts and studies in contrast, The BAG isolated just a few.  Besides your reactions, I’d be particularly interested in the view from your angle.)

(photo credits to follow)

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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