I was drawn in by this photo from Rick Perry’s Flickr site for a number of reasons.
First of all, it was one of the few taken with African Americans on his book tour, this scene from Ft. Worth. Also, notice the intensity with which the Mom tries to “pull Perry into her family.” Look how intent she is about it, as if Perry was her husband — her real husband forced to the periphery (in the spot the politician would more likely be). I’m also interested in Perry’s expression. It’s the candidate’s glued-on smile accessible in a heartbeat for tens-of-thousand of snapshots (although I’m wondering if he’s just slightly flinching because of this woman’s pull. Maybe, maybe not.) And then, the expression of the daughter is priceless, maybe the body language of a kid with an all-too wannabe parent; one of those Moms far too concerned with appearances. And then, poor Mom. Someone else would seem at least a little pleased she got the scene she wanted. Instead, she only looks depressed, upset and frustrated, like the proximity to her fantasy only exposes the futility of it all.
Ultimately though, the photo is simply a look at the mundane, endless, grind-it-out, dog-and-pony routine that the political-celebrity goes through. In this case, the author of the government-bashing FED UP (far right), Palin’s-pal Perry is doing insta-book duty as 2012 comes into view and he emerges as a potential national player, just one-of-several opportunistic GOP governors doing some early positioning.
From Rick Perry Flickr site: November 11, 2010. FED UP book tour/Ft. Worth. Flickr Set here.