Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
January 2, 2008

Mitt Goes For The Uhh … Silver

Mitt-Olympics

It’s not surprising how, comes to crunch time, Mitt the Corporate Raider’s signature analogy involves the Olympics … and precious metals.  If there is a #1 loser in Iowa, however, it has to be Mitt, who blew $17 mil and counting only to end up in a dogfight with an essentially unfunded wacko playing a guitar.

Writes The Note:

Former governor Mitt Romney, R-Mass., is closing with a smile — and downplaying expectations even as he dumps more money into his campaign. “There’s no ‘have to win,’ ” Romney told ABC’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday. The former CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics predicted he’d win “either the gold or the silver and then go on from there.”

“To now be one of the top two contenders, with Mayor Giuliani and John McCain and Fred Thompson all the way behind me — people who are household names — that’s really quite an accomplishment,” Romney said.

(There’s not enough precious metal to go around. Per the New York Daily News’ Celeste Katz, Huckabee said: “I’m expecting to get the gold or the silver — and I’m hoping to get the gold,” Huckabee said.)

Dumping $17 million into his campaign may had something to do with Romney’s success — and he’s put more in, but isn’t sure how much more. (Really, his campaign said the CEO candidate is not sure how much he’s pumped into his own campaign, per ABC’s John Berman.)

With the $200 Million Dollar Man, the image I keep coming back to is the one above that ran last September in an introductory NYT campaign profile.

If you’ll pardon my rare dip into Freudian excess, my entry in the caption contest is: “ego ejaculation.”  I mean, the pic is not only wonderfully phallic, fraternal, inspirational, material and heroic, all at the same time, but it seems — based on Romney’s election eve remarks — to reveal the resulting association if one was to stimulate the “Me” circuitry inside his head.

But then, what can one say to the perfectionist candidate who for so long imagined a much greater “Hail the conquering hero” replay as he began flooding Iowa with benjamins so many months ago, except: Sorry, Flame.

In Olympics Success, Romney Found New Edge (NYT Romney Profile)

THE NOTE: Weary Close to Long Iowa Run

Romney planned for everything, except . . . (Mike LIttwin/Rocky Mountain News)

More of Romney’s fortune is plowed into campaign:

Candidate has outspent all GOP rivals in Iowa
(Boston Globe)

Salon.com: Presidential Candidates’ Net Worth (via Think On These Things)

(image: Jeffrey D. Allred for The New York Times.  nytimes.com.  caption: In 2001, Mitt Romney, as chief executive of the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, received the Olympic torch from Lambis Nikolaou, president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee in Athens)

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