October 5, 2011

Preview of Coming Attractions: Obama Jobs Roadshow Meets "Occupy Wall Street"

What I’m really curious to watch in these coming days is how the Obama roadshow intersects the Occupy Wall Street movement (and, of course, how visual media is going to message/massage it). It’s one thing to capture wage slaves bumping up against suits, Brooks Brothers or NYPD, in Lower Manhattan. It’s another thing when it’s Obama’s suit and/or all manner of enforcement folks on the campaign trail.

Anyway… yesterday the St. Louis Post Dispatch inserted the rather oblique photo above in the fifteenth slot of their otherwise rah-rah sixteen photo “President Barack Obama visits St. Louis” slideshow, the image at least acknowledging the protester were there. (And now I’m wondering — click the pic to enlarge, if you need to — what is best stock for me to buy to invest in cat food???) And then, did I mention Obama was in town for two fundraisers in one evening, one at $25k a pop?

On the newswire menu, AFP/Getty Images offered out this photo — one of the few I could find. Besides illuminating how “Occupy” is fast becoming the first word of choice for cities, states and power structures just about anywhere the rich and everybody else divide, the fact I didn’t see many other examples suggests the wire services are probably still finding their feet at this point on OWS, or that OWS is. Fact of the matter is, though (even if Press Sec Jay Carney finessed away a question about the fledgling movement this morning), that OWS and BHO are on course, in the coming days and weeks, to do a lot of co-occupying of the same space. (Imagine there’s a pun in there somewhere.)

Bottom-line, though: can you imagine the pill Obama’s communications people are having to swallow right now, the assignment being: how to tightly control the optics surround the jobs roadshow, as packaged as it is in a populist narrative, as the President comes in contact with the raw, real thing?

Click for Bag’s OWS Coverage to-date.

(photo: Johnny Andrews/Post-dispatch.com caption: Protesters and onlookers gather Tuesday to glimpse President Obama in his motorcade as he is driven to the Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel in downtown St. Louis. photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images caption: Protestors hold signs outside a Democratic campaign fundraiser event by US President Barack Obama in St. Louis, Missouri, October 4, 2011.)

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Michael Shaw
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