Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
April 24, 2008

Out Of Touch?

Hillary Hi

Bho Alone

In the day-after-Pennsylvania coverage, does the visual comparison between HRC and BHO leave Obama looking, well, tainted?

These shots, in this order, opened the Chicago Trib on-line Election ’08 photo gallery.  (For  comparison, check out the Clinton versus Obama juxtaposition the NYT offered in back-to-back articles in its on-line Politics section.)

Of course, it’s possible Obama was largely keeping to his lonesome yesterday (although it’s hard to extrapolate from two pics taken so close together).  Either way, however, what comes through is a solitary, isolated and disaffected Obama.  (As in, “leave me alone to eat my waffle.”)

Conversely, of course, the Hillary here (and in the NYT link) is extraordinarily unguarded, inviting, personal, engaging and upbeat.  Part of the very real concern over “the kitchen sink” has to do with the depth, degree and, particularly, the durability of particular forms of characterization.  In this case, the image of Obama maps only too well with accusations of disconnection, ineffability and elitism (especially in the NYT photo linked above, of Obama reading the NYT).

Election 2008 photo gallery (

(image 1: Jae C. Hong / AP.  April 23, 2008. En route to Louisville, Ky. image 2: Elise Amendola / AP. April 23, 2008.  En route to Indianapolis.

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