Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
December 29, 2015

Foreshadowing the GOP Race From Hell

photo: Ron Haviv/VII. caption: U.S. Sen. Scott Walker (R-WI), front runner in New Hampshire polls, reflected in glass, meets people before speaking at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, New Hampshire.

With the media fixated on year-end photo retrospectives, a survey by the VII agency recently caught my eye. If it’s odd and abstract at first, this shot by Ron Haviv seemed to put the GOP presidential race in long term perspective.

The title of the photo story reads: “Weekend At The Republicans,” and the description reads:

Every four years, the political world descends upon New Hampshire for the “First-in-the-Nation” Presidential Primary. On April 17 and 18, all eyes were focused on the city of Nashua as 19 GOP presidential hopefuls spoke at the #FITN Republican Leadership Conference.

Because the race remains so volatile and unformed, it’s hard to imagine this photo is now almost eight months old. That said, what Haviv seemed to capture and foreshadow (besides the inflation of Old Glory) was the temperature of the contest. (In the caption below, you’ll recognize how Scott Walker’s prospects, polling first in New Hampshire at the time, have since burned to a crisp.)

Frankly, I’m not sure if I would have paid this photo much mind last April. I probably would have seen the heat, along with the edging darkness, the ghosting and the quality of descent as a quirk. Today though, it’s spot on. It embodies how much the angry and fearful GOP campaign is channeling the underworld.

(photo: Ron Haviv/VII. caption: U.S. Sen. Scott Walker (R-WI), front runner in New Hampshire polls, reflected in glass, meets people before speaking at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit in Nashua, New Hampshire.)

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