If you click through the slideshow at the Denver Post, you’ll see how Bloomberg and WAPO made a point of situating their branded mugs in front of every candidate during last night’s GOP debate on the economy. Fair enough, as far as “product placements” go. After all, they are the sponsors and they shelled out the big bucks.
What’s a lot more telling, however, especially since the Occupy train got rolling, is what this particular photo tells us about how the 2012 presidential contest is shaping up in the current political milieu. Now, it’s one thing for to see a photograph of a candidate with the mug taking space on the table. It’s something else, however, when we see the candidate; the front-running candidate; the Mr. Corporate-Sometimes-Fixer-Upper, Sometimes-Asset-Redeployer (previously referred to as “raider”); the guy who proclaimed this summer that “Corporations are people,” Mr. Mitt Romney (R – Wall Street), actually sipping from the cup of the large-scale business publisher and Wall Street systems provider.
Romney, of course, did pay lip service last night to the pain and frustration people are feeling right now. But what the photo speaks to, as photos incisively do, is the imbibing truth that Mr. Romney, as a captain of the Kool-Aid factory, isn’t all that clued in to how much the American public is affected by the associations and interconnections between the Mayor of New York, his dual identity as leader of the city and leader on-leave of this major corporation and namesake, and to just how much he, at the core, is always mugging for Wall Street culture.
(photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images caption: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney takes a drink during a break in the Republican Presidential debate hosted by Bloomberg and the Washington Post on October 11, 2011 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Eight GOP candidates met for the first debate of the 2012 campaign focusing solely on the economy.)