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August 5, 2007

More YKos Candidate Forum: Taking A Look At Dennis



One thing I better appreciate after Saturday is how candidates intuitively know where the cameras are, and how they monitor their expressions (or not) given the immediate of focus of attention and particular paths-of-sight.

At first, I was frustrated about my position on the extreme right flank.  What it afforded, though, was an “out of view” angle.  The first shot is representative of many taken while Kucinich was speaking — especially that look from Obama.  Although Hillary’s expression here seemed one of amused good humor, these images might potentially be captioned: “Hey Dennis, are you on crack?”

  • nyoki

    does anyone know what is on Edward’s lapel?
    looks like he’s taken up the visual ID of the republican flag lapel pin . . .
    curious to know what group/ideology the circle signifies . . .

  • Chris

    How about, “You mean you don’t agree that we should keep an invasion of/nuclear assault on Pakistan on ‘the table’? You know the one…we took impeachment off it a while back.”

  • margaret

    I find it interesting that they group the “top three” together, marginalizing the others. That is a MSM habit which I have always resented. It means that the “marginal” ones remain marginal throughout the campaign. We ought to be hearing a lot more from Kucinich. He is the one original thinker in the whole durn group.

  • jtfromBC

    The Bag said in the ‘Lobbyist Moment’ that Hillary “..seemed a little tired by the time the debate rolled around..”, if this is true then those drooping eyelids suggest she is more likely to fall asleep than harbour thoughts about Dennis.

  • readytoblowagasket

    This photo makes me laugh. It’s probably the only time Dennis Kucinich has ever looked taller than Barack Obama. (At first I thought Kucinich was standing up for some reason, but then I thought maybe he’s just sitting on a Cleveland telephone book.) I think he should be sent a copy. I think he would get a huge kick out of it. That’s because Kucinich is a much taller and braver man than Obama.
    In 2003, when Kucinich was running for president, the NYT Magazine wrote an unintentionally great cover story about him called “The Optimist.” Here’s an excerpt about his height:
    But he is not commanding and he is not handsome. He is charismatic, but only up close. Even while giving a speech, he does not catch the eye — and in high politics, that is a lowly crime. At 5-foot-7 inches, he is the shortest person in the race except for Carol Moseley Braun. When the media have not completely ignored Kucinich, they have mentioned his size. And though he typically caroms from questions about his height into how he and he alone can beat George W. Bush, his staff is irked to read articles in the Beltway pol sheets that list their man’s height as a sole descriptor.
    The article had great weird photos of him, too, but I don’t know how to find them. They were unflattering, of course, but they only endeared Kucinich to me.
    Since Kucinich won’t be elected this time, either, call/pressure your Rep. in the House right now to support Kucinich’s House Resolution 333 to impeach Cheney. Why wait to elect a new one when the one we have can be impeached? If you need to get your nerve up before you dial, read Bruce Fein’s beautifully exasperated and eloquent piece in Slate.

  • The BAG

    I’m glad you mention the groupings. The BloggerPower people, who put on the convention, explained that the seating order was determined randomly. I believe them. I also think it’s completely weird, however, that once again, Gravel and Kucinich end up on the ends.

  • PTate in FR

    Indulge me in a reminisence. I once saw the King of Sweden. I came upon a roped off path through what used to be Daytons department store in Minneapolis with a group of people waiting. They were waiting for the King of Sweden! I didn’t know that the King of Sweden was in Minneapolis. Actually, I didn’t even know Sweden had a king. I had no idea what he looked like. But since I couldn’t cross the ropes, I started waiting with the others.
    For a long time, nothing happened. Then a few people started trickling by. I asked my neighbors, “Is THAT the King?” No. More people walked by between the ropes. “Is THAT the king?” I asked. No, that wasn’t the king. A small crowd passed by. King? No. Then, four big men came down, plainly dressed, watching the crowd carefully, two on each side. Between them, walking down the very center of the red carpet, a small, young, neatly groomed man in a beautifully cut navy blue, double blazer. Walking beside him, an older, taller man in tweeds, who turned towards the younger man and nodded his head deferentially. Behind them, four more big men, guarding him from the crowd. He didn’t have a crown, but it was absolutely clear who was King by the behavior of everyone around him.
    So, also, Dennis Kucinich. Hillary patronizes, Edwards looks skeptical, Obama is astonished. We know Kucinich is not King by the behavior of everyone around him. Forget issues! Short, white, & male, he strikes out on all key dimensions. In 2004, even Al Sharpton got more respect.
    These are much better, more telling photos, BAG.

  • Stella

    I’m afraid we’ll all see what we expect to see in their faces. Thus, to me Hillary is arrogant & patronizing. I believe Obama is a thoughtful man and that’s what I see. Kucinich and Edwards have a history from the last campaign, in which Dennis urged his supporters in Iowa to go to Edwards if their caususes were too small. I think both men are listening to someone they know is worth listening to without suspicion.

  • jtfromBC

    nyoki, I think its an Outward Bound pin which belonged to his late son Wade.

  • Gahso

    This is how off track we are. The only party (D) running in opposition to pure evil (R) can’t speak the truth, due to it’s own ground rules and assumptions — and without the truth, there is no opposition.
    Our history is very bloody and violent. (If you don’t think so, try Chompsky sometime.) Most politicians get swept into the current – corporate money, American “interests” abroad, panering to some base or other, and lots of lipstick for the ugly piggish imperialism we’ve embraced. This is the way it’s done.
    Kucinich speaks from his heart. He believes in peace and prosperity for the people in the world. He doesn’t believe in American domination of the planet. He doesn’t believe that fighting and war can ‘keep us on top’. He believes that politicians work for people. He believes that laws and justice are for the common good. He believes in cooperation, and the duty of a nation to behave with honor and integrity.
    Kucinich is not playing the game. He is trying to actualize the government that’s “by the people, of the people and for the people”. That’s not what the others are doing. The looks are saying, “Oh, Dear! No, no, no! We’re not trying to be good, you idiot– we’re trying to WIN. Stop speaking the truth, it’s just making the REAL candidates look bad.”

  • Blake Incarnate

    This Kos Event opened up a whole new perspective for me on the candidates. Very unsettling! I saw the top three in completely different lights. Hillary was too laid back, “trying” to appear poised and self confident, but it was false. I didn’t like it. I lost a lot of respect for her. Her spoken indifference to lobbyists influence in front of that group, of all groups, reminds me of shrubs indifference to US Soldier and Iraqi civilian deaths. A huge turn off, and this occured right when I was starting to warm up to her. That was one of those campaign moments that is going to be served up with a huge side dish of crow to her over and over again.
    John Edwards was really on point, passionate and focused with every word. To an extent, so was Barak Obama, but his inexperience in debates and forums was a little obvious. That is what we are looking for… A burning desire to serve as opposed to a desire to be worshipped. Strangely bush-like in this respect.
    I really believe now that Edwards would make the best President, and it’s discouraging to see Hillary feeling so confident and annointed this early in the game. This happens in Super Bowls when a team has a 24 point lead by half-time only to lose 57 to 24 in the end when the other team becomes desperate and determined. Hillary is about to be blindsided and she has no idea it is coming.

  • readytoblowagasket

    As far as interpreting everyone’s facial expressions, I’m with jtfromBC: Everyone looks incredibly tired. No story here.
    It’s hard, when you’re tired, to hold your face in place. Some people, like Obama, end up frowning. Others, like John Edwards, try to hold their eyes open wider. Still others, especially women, learn to freeze a “smiling” expression while at a public function. The photos tell us nothing definitive (except that all Democrats seem to have jowls). There is no evidence whatsoever in these photos (except for our incessant projections) that they are dissing Dennis. If they were dissing him, they wouldn’t bother to look at him while he spoke.
    He is worthy of their respect. They know him better than we do, and I suspect they respect him. Why wouldn’t they? He’s super smart and has a long history of old-school public service.
    But again, let’s all regurgitate how the media has characterized Kucinich and then see it (OMG! Look, the Virgin Mary is crying real tears!) in these photos. Read the article I posted upthread (or Google “The Optimist” by Marshall Sella, NYT Magazine, 12/21/2003), where Kucinich is painted as a nutburger by a writer who wants to hate him but just can’t. It’s a very funny, complex, interesting piece. It’s ultimately about how frustratingly likable Kucinich is.
    Sorry, but this is not a “gotcha” moment.

  • Jackie King

    Yes, very insightful, the whole lot of it. This coverage is far past the traditional MSM perspective in depth.
    I detect a Queen-like demeanor with Hillary and her gaze upon Dennis. It is not the look of someone who is interested in other view points and wants to engage in conversation, to have the dialogue, as she frequently claims to desire. It is the look of a tolerant superior upon an floundering inferior, and that would be a grossly incorrect self-appraisal on her part.
    Politically, my new dream team is an Edwards/Obama ticket. In fact, that is my prediction (and my prayer). We need to break this Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton cycle. It is similar to the incestuious inbreeding of European royalty in centuries past. That becomes more painfully obvious with each passing public spectacle.

  • readytoblowagasket

    Jackie King: I detect a Queen-like demeanor with Hillary and her gaze upon Dennis.
    Of course you do. But actually, Hillary is looking at Obama in the 2nd photo because Obama’s the one who’s talking. See how Obama’s left jacket sleeve wrinkles from lifting his arm to stab at the air to make a point? Kucinich isn’t even speaking in the 2nd photo.
    You beautifully illustrate my point. Thanks. I think.
    The Virgin Mary’s tears keep flowing.

  • Jackie King

    Jackie King: I detect a Queen-like demeanor with Hillary and her gaze upon Dennis.
    Ok then, her gaze upon Barack, whomever… A Queen casts her glance like this upon all her subjects. The point is not the object of the consternation, it’s the intent with which it is deilvered.
    BTW – with a name like Saddam, as in Barack Saddam Obanm, Rove has to be thinking, ‘this is good’. The light you see at the end of his tunnel is a train.

  • ummabdulla

    His name is Barack Hussein Obama. I know that many Americans will immediately associate that with Saddam, but Hussein is a common Muslim name (the name of one of the Prophet Muhammad’s beloved grandsons). Obama doesn’t have “Saddam” in his name.

  • Harley

    Again the pain of Edwards is evident. That kind of pain, and the love he obviously has for his wife, make the pseudo-people very uncomfortable. They just don’t know how to deal with real raw emotion because they are so constipated.
    But does it occur to others that the expressions of Clinton and Obama more or less set for their intended, projected meme. Clinton the tough cookie eternally smiling to counteract that image, although not too successfully since she always manages to look superior to every one else in the room. Obama the inexperienced one looking extremely serious and intent to counteract the inexperience.
    I like Kucinich, he’s a tough little scrapper with a sense of humor. But I remember reading some years ago an article about who gets the jobs, written for personnel directors. When all things are equal, the tall light-skinned male will get the job. And sometimes even if his qualifications are not up to the others’. Now we are interviewing someone for the most important job in the country and we are all personnel directors. The fact that Kucinich is probably better qualified than the pack will not enter into the consideration.

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