Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Minor Musing About The Political Imact Of Photgraphs

This is not an original thought: photographs are powerful political tools.

From this afternoon's reading on the interwebs, there seems to be a lot of debate about the advisability of Democrats nominating Hillary Clinton in 2016. (Do we really have to start talking about 2016? No I'm not being hypocritical. I just want to talk about he photos.) I have included the photographs from five posts below.

Photograph A:
Original Caption: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured in October, has become one of the most powerful people in Washington. . . .[no credit given]

Photograph B:
Original Source: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Photograph C:
Original Caption: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reacts during a ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. on February 14, 2013. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty)

Photograph D:
Original Source: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/GettyImages
Photograph E:
Original Caption: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the Vital Voices Global Awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington on April 2, 2013 Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
Let's take a quiz: What are two photos that accompanied the posts contending Hillary Clinton would be a terrible candidate in 2016? If you guessed A, B, or D, you have earned an "A." Photograph A hints at an age problem. Photograph B, admittedly, is relatively neutral but it too seems to emphasize wrinkles. Photograph D gives off a weird lecherous vibe that will confirm the worst for those who would never vote for her.

As I said at the start, this is not an original observation, but reading these posts in a short time span and seeing the photos made it obvious that every photo on Facebook or Flickr is a valuable political tool. Every cellphone in the crowd has the potential to sink a candidate. No wonder so much of our politics has become scripted and lifeless at best.


larry kurtz said...

Photograph B is certainly the least flattering, D is a scream. My favorite is A: those blue eyes have seen it all and her maturity is only a negative for new or younger voters.

Kal Lis said...


I showed your comment to my wife. She agrees that "A" shows age. I'm unsure what young voters will do. the young'uns in my classroom all look at me like I'm going to die next week when they find out I'm 55. That's older than their parents. They may have trouble with a 70 year old woman even if the eyes have seen it all.

By the way, my wife als agrees B is certainly the most unflattering.