March 24, 2015

High Hopes for '16 Optics … as we Launch by Cruz

If you want to see an edit of the Ted Cruz presidential announcement photos, you can see the Getty shots here or the AP shots here. As for the setting itself, doing the announcement at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University placed the extreme and iconoclastic senator into a visual frame that probably works better for him than “legislator.” It’s “televangelist.”

I have to say, though, that I am less interested in the setting, or even the body language — Cruz with the appealing palms, those looks toward the heavens (interspersed with quick scowls) — than I am with the dance, the perennial one, between the visual media and the presidential circus. Knowing that photographers and the public are expecting more creativity, more storytelling and more editorializing out of their news photography these days, I’m hopeful Campaign ’16 will allow for visual reveals, push backs and personality discrepancies commensurate with just how choreographed and bankrolled the candidates are.

With that in mind, I like the picture of the candidate prepping his children for the key event. Of course, we understand full well how candidates use their children as props – Sara Palin setting the standard (1, 2, 3, 4). It being such an implicit thing, though, I like that this photo kicks off the campaign by taking us into the kitchen. Behold the candidate (in glasses!) frozen in that self-absorbed and almost inescapable revival pose as we steal a glance at some spell-binding.

(photo: Andrew Harnik/AP. caption: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, brings his daughters, Catherine, 4, right, and Caroline, 6, left, on stage during a walk-through, to tell them what to expect for Cruz’s Monday morning speech where he is expected to launch his campaign for U.S. president, at Liberty University, Sunday, March 22, 2015, in Lynchburg, Va. Cruz will be the first major candidate in the 2016 race for president.)

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Michael Shaw
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