October 1, 2012

Romney's Pre-Debate Rally: Anxious Last Gasp?

Romney Denver rally Toddler aloft

Romney Ryan shooting t shirts

I’m not sure what’s stranger here, the intimation (amidst fighter jets) that presidential politics is a test of potency, or that all that remains of the Romney/Ryan payload here at the Denver Air and Space Museum are t-shirts.

This sense of and desire for excitation in Romney’s last appearance before the first debate does not seem that outlandish, however, on the flipside of all the confusion and anxiety surrounding this campaign. Certainly, these Instagram images from Charles Dharapak convey a situation that is less unified and exciting than unsettled and unnerving:

Romney Denver rally Toddler aloft

Romney Rally Denver reaching

Thinking about the last photo, one might want to look at it as religious, but perhaps it’s mostly just about reaching. It’s hard to tell how much Charles is picking up and relating this quality or editorializing, especially with the bug-eyed shot. Perhaps, though, there’s a last gasp quality at play? Certainly, it’s a fascinating portrait of this confused and careening campaign — especially the pledge moment, and the odd, chaotic and unexplained range of expressions surrounding a worried child suspended in the air.

revised 9:45 EST

(photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images caption: Campaign workers shoot t-shirts into the crowd before Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum on October 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. Mitt Romney arrived in Denver ahead of his first debate with U.S. President Barack Obama which will be held on Wednesday October 3. photos 2 – 3: Charles Dharapak/Instagram – AP on the Trail)

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Michael Shaw
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