September 20, 2008

Taking Counsel

Obama Volker Etc

I was interested in juxtaposing this shot with something representative of McCain’s response to the Wall Street cataclysm.  Currently, however, the McCain fare consists of (pardon the pun) “more of the same” — involving shots of Mac and his Veep doing aircraft hanger rallies, a campaign face virtually interchangeable with the week before.

This shot from yesterday, of Obama with a Wall Street brain trust (Volker/former Fed and Rubin/former Treasury on either side) communicates and reinforces the impression of one candidate getting after the crisis and demonstrating the capability of actual deliberation in the face of all hell breaking loose.  Beyond brilliant PR, it’s indicative of why Obama trumps McCain as the man you want holding the keys when real judgement and intelligence is required.  (The symmetry of the sconces and the wall geometry also doesn’t hurt in projecting a sense of order.)

Perhaps most powerful however, is the “Kennedy hook,” given the reference — especially, in contrast to the paucity of leadership coming out of Washington — to “the best and brightest.”  Finally, from a purely iconographic sense, more power flows from this biblical comparison.  Not to draw the analogy too closely, but the visual parallel also heightens the gravity of the moment, as well as the notion of fate and even risk of the counselor.

(image: Damon Winter/The New York Times.  September 19, 2008.  From: “Dazed Capital Feels Its Way, Eyes on Election” – link.  caption: Senator Barack Obama discussed the economy on Friday flanked by Paul A. Volcker, former Fed chairman, left, and Robert E. Rubin, former Treasury secretary)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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