So the question is, why is this photo attracting so much buzz on the social nets? Answer: it elects to define Obama’s standing coming off Labor Day and the conventions. While Nate Silver rummages through the post Charlotte data and hints about a statistically significant shift Obama’s way, the picture’s already ahead of him.
It doesn’t take an MSNBC panel to tell us that Obama: is feeling a lift; experiencing a bounce; seeing things looking up. All it takes is one photo off the ground with visual metaphors. So there’s the spatial and directional allusions. Then, the hug is also hugely significant. It may not be that Obama’s the answer to our hopes, as he detailed in his convention speech, but the comparative inference is that people do not feel a lot of warmth for or from Romney. Instead, Barack’s the guy we can get our arms around. The main hook in the story, though, is that Scott Van Duzer, the pizza parlor owner and weight lifter, is a Republican. Ignoring the fact he voted for Obama the last time around, the other bit of symbolism here is of Obama as the cross-over favorite. Of course, we’ve got a strong Main Street, small business, man-of-the-people vibe in play here, too. And then, with the game on and brew at the ready, these kinds of trapping have been so thoroughly woven into the campaign fabric (we know he doesn’t drink beer; does Romney even watch sports?) that nobody even notices them anymore.
The pundit class can pretend it’s anyone’s battle but I see take off.
(photo: Doug Mills/New York Times via Twitter)