Beyond spin, talking points and talking heads, a close eye on the day-by-day (even hour-by-hour) image stream offers all kinds of clues as to the strategic, tactical, and emotional shifts of the campaigns.
Given how poll driven these campaigns are — and how suddenly Romney’s “big mo” has leveled off — it seems there have been a number of signs (literally) in the last 24 hours to suggest Team Romney is starting to identify itself as the underdog again. Although the choice of these two photos is admittedly subjective (and isolated among the flood of more boosterish imagery), they hint at Romney’s place in the campaign.
Garrett Jackson, Romney’s body man and uber–Instagram-mer, posted the above shot 20 hours ago from Ohio. Diminutive as the Mitt appears here, it’s compelling to see the pic as “a tell,” both in terms of how large Ohio looms (the periscoping suggesting it’s all down to this) and how immediate the threat is to make the candidate disappear.
The second photo was shot yesterday and posted on the Getty wire. Behind in the polls earlier this year, you might recall Team Romney using this “comeback phrase” to serve a double meaning. On a manifest level, it referred to bringing the country back from Obama’s allegedly poor stewardship. But also in the mix was the underlying morale boosting/stiff upper lip message that the campaign, as America’s team, was good for a surge.
At this stage of the campaign, things can change in an instant. But for the moment, at least, signs suggest Romney and Co. are fighting the feeling of underdogs.
(photo 1: Garrett Jackson/@dgjackson2012 – Instagram caption: Victory in Ohio. photo 2: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images caption: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign rally at Defiance High School on October 25, 2012 in Defiance, Ohio. Mitt Romney is campaigning in Ohio with less than two weeks to go before the election.)