December 9, 2011

Heartland Hope and Motorcade Love: Osawatomie Through a White House Lens

Considering how Obama’s speech in Osawatomie was touted by the White House as a populist high water mark, the talk embracing many themes of the Occupy movement, it’s odd how the White House complements its “photo of the day” gallery with the image of “motorcade love,” the well meaning but door-locked President that remote and separated from “we, the people.”

Perhaps, with the people rising (try this on!), no politician can visually take the chance of getting too close to the public right now unless the setting or the shot is that controlled.

Along those lines, this second Osawatomie image from the White House – taken during the speech and accompany its blog post of the event – is much more strategic. In these days of brass tacks, Pete Souza’s lens isn’t looking for Kansans in the fold (just as he cuts off the African-American who, in any slight approbation, might suggest too much affinity, and in any slight distance, points to solidarity issues with a critical base.) No, the strategy here simply is to capture and demonstrate that those red state, bedrock, pearl white, family-oriented and God fearing citizens of the heartland are still willing to hear out (and even look to) the President despite of all the frustration and skepticism.

(photo: Pete Souza/White House caption 1: President Barack Obama waves to people gathered along the motorcade route from Osawatomie High School to Osawatomie-Paola Municipal Airport in Osawatomie, Kan., Dec. 6, 2011.) caption 2: Members of the audience listen as President Barack Obama delivers remarks at Osawatomie High School in Osawatomie, Kansas, Dec. 6, 2011.)


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Michael Shaw
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