April 19, 2008

The Wimp Factor-y


As many of you know, it was pictorial nonsense like this in ’04 that stimulated The BAG to adopt its current mission.

With honorary lifetime seats in the swiftboat, the visual media continues to pick at Kerry’s bones.  In this case, however, the sallow, ducking, baggy-eyed, over-lit Senator is not just beaten up again, but offered up as the model for his potential wimp-successor.

It’s not that “Obama is starting to look more like Kerry,” however, so much as “The Factory” is starting up its own campaign to make it look that way.

The Democrats’ Wimp Factor – Hirsh

There They Go Again: Saturday’s Installment of the NYTimes’ Kerry Campaign Photo Coverage (Campaign ’04 – BAGnewsNotes)

Times Still At It? (Sunday edition) (Campaign ’04 – BAGnewsNotes)

Why The Long Face (Jan 31, 2006 – BAGnewsNotes)

(image: Dita Alangkara/AP. From: Newsweek. April 17, 2008. newsweek.com)


Update: April 20, ’08: More Kerrying On


Two days after Newsweek tied Obama to Kerry in their on-line lead under the headline “The Wimp Factor,” they are back at it.

Forty-eight hours before the Pennsylvania primary, Newsweek reinforces the association with a home page feature titled: “The Surrogates.”  In this case, Newsweek juxtaposes Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell with Kerry when the the logical pairing, giving the battle of Pennsylvania surrogates, would have paired Rendell with Obama’s most prominent Pennsylvania advocate, Senator Bob Casey.

It’s true that Kerry is campaigning this weekend for Obama in Western PA, targeting Catholic voters.  Still, he is only one of a handful of prominent surrogates stumping the state, and his effort has not been highlighted by any other major media.  In the meantime, Ted Kennedy and several others are also working the turf right now.

Looking at natural juxtapositions, this Sunday’s news shows feature Ed Rendell vs. Bob Casey (Face the Nation); Mayor Michael Nutter vs. PA Representative Chaka Fattah as well as Bill Bradley for Obama vs. Gov. Jon Corzine of New Jersey (CNN’s “Late Edition”) and Dick Durbin (for Obama) vs. Charles Schumer (“Fox News Sunday”).

Visually, it’s interesting how Rendell is shown in full declaration while Kerry stares into space with his mouth hidden beneath the title screen.  By the way, did I mention that the first article listed under the lead above is titled: “Can Obama Repel ‘Swift Boat’-Style Attacks?”

(also, notice prominent Kerry-Obama pic leading Surrogates article: Obama or Clinton: Which Candidate Can Best Take On McCain? (Newsweek)

Obama: Can’t ‘Swift Boat’ Me (Newsweek)

(images: AP)

Post By

Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

The Big Picture

Follow us on Instagram (@readingthepictures) and Twitter (@readingthepix), and


A curated collection of pieces related to our most-popular subject matter.


Comments Powered by Disqus