September 3, 2012

Romney Crowds Start to Eerily Reflect Norman Rockwell


With the white shirt and skinny tie with the shiny clasp, the crew cuts, the rosy-faced kids, the citizens lined up in a row with their eyes gazing upward, even the Romney’s audiences, now, are starting to look straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

For months, we’ve been talking about Romney and his campaign reflecting the look, the trappings and the mindset of a guy living in the 1950s or earlier. Now Obama — playing the “forward” theme against retro-Mitt and a campaign hinged more on generalities and nostalgia — has picked up on it yesterday, saying you might as well have watched [the GOP Convention] on a black-and-white TV.

Here’s a couple more, replete with flag and baseball:



In campaigns past, it was easy for left and right to engage in ideological battles over the blurring of church and state, women’s rights and abortion, or the blind application of American exceptionalism because the GOP and conservative candidates generally spoke to them directly, just like Mr. Akin did the other day. I’m not sure if it’s because Romney’s Mormon faith causes him to cloak his personal beliefs, his good works and his personality more specifically from the public at large but the obsequiousness of his campaign and the adherence to abstract value statements and generalities seems to be prompting a presidential race in which those conservative values, which would otherwise be articulated more directly, seems instead to be coming out, like we see in these pictures, almost impressionistically. Valuable for picking up tonal quality, it seems photojournalism is also starting to get a better fix on Romney and his campaign and the primary theme of nostalgia.

From photo story: Mitt Romney Attends Victory Rally In Cincinnati (Getty via Zimbio). More on Cincinnati’s Union Terminal.

(Note: modified ending. Removed one photo.)

(photos: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images caption: Supporters of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney look on during a campaign rally at Union Terminal on September 1, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mitt Romney will hold campaign events in Ohio and Florida.)

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Michael Shaw
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