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March 5, 2008

Our Man In Ohio #5: Taking It To The Bank

This is the last in a 48 hour series of Ohio primary dispatches from photojournalist and BNN Contributer Alan Chin.

(click any image for larger size)

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In Hillary’s triumph, this old hall gives the moment an historical feel, the confetti conjuring a ticker tape parade, or even a convention balloon drop.

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In a bold, if largely overlooked statement, Bill Clinton — though thanked by name — was, for the first time, completely erased from a primary evening.

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The spotlight on this TV producer — stoic amidst the emotion — speaks to the stark contrast between two beasts feeding off of (and, on) each other, one being big media, and the other, the contemporary presidential juggernaut.

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In spite of the celebratory mood, the victory speech was tough and mocking.  At one point, Clinton parroted her opponent’s "narrative of hope" by talking in near-rhyme.  At the conclusion, the Obama call-and-response "yes we can" was refashioned into "yes we will."  Or, was it: "yes she will?"

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The intensity of emotion and the release of energy was apparently nothing that could be gleaned through television.

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Clinton was awe inspiring — perhaps, with an emphasis on the awe.

(image: ©Alan Chin. Columbus, Ohio. March 4, 2008.  Used by permission)

  • jmac

    Shades of Chris Matthews – that last picture gave me goosebumps.

  • http://bagnewsnotes.typepad.com/ ‘tude

    Shot #1 – Nice pedestal. She stands above, not with, the crowd. just Chelsea and her, now that Bill’s been banished. But she is pretty doll-like and it’s hard to tell anything beyond her being a very small woman on a very large pedestal.
    Shot #2 – Better. more like an actual candidate with her child. The black woman seems happy to be onstage with them, as does the guy in the middle but the one on the right…not so much. That virtual corner of the eye glance makes him looks uncomfortable.
    Shot #3 – Again with the bad lighting and glaring spots next to the face. This shot is just odd and perhaps shows us less than you would like to think. That blank stare could mean anything. Or nothing. More likely the latter.
    Shot #4 – Another unflattering face. (She is an attractive enough woman, why do all the photos I see make her look like a hag?) Glaring,bright facial plane and a bunch of shadowy (mostly men) behind her. Plus that scolding finger. (Do Obama’s people say ‘yes we will’ or ‘yes he will’? Do you even care?)
    Shot #5 – Could be orgasm, could be childbirth,could be the anguish of watching women being reduced to cliches.
    Shot #6 – What a dreadful face – in that literal, full of dread sense. “Awe-inspiring–perhaps, with an emphasis on the awe” You know, you don’t have to be inspired but every woman in this shot/series except the one in the foreground seems to be. Look at those faces, the posture, they could be in church. The woman in front…she doesn’t fit the crowd but she’s your focus. I sort of like the girl looking suspiciously at the photographer. Can’t imagine why.
    In thinking about my recent rant on the ‘one of our own’ page and these images, I am reminded that you ARE the media here, right? You sent someone out and had them take these photos and bring them back to report on. This is very different from the old-Bag where you dissected other people’s work and the change in perspective shows.

  • chimproller

    Lots of women, in fact, only women.
    It seems that the only people who support Hillary these days are:
    1. Women
    2. Dem Party Hacks

  • margaret

    It’s off topic, or maybe, not: when people refer to the “experience” of each candidate, I think it might be useful to remind voters of Hillary’s poor judgment in marrying Bill Clinton, who was a womanizer from an early age. So, I don’t trust her ability to make a decision at 3:00am that would have any less repercussions than marrying a man who betrayed his family and his country by his poor judgment.
    I still say: Clinton is not inevitable.

  • lytom

    This thought came to me while reading some of the “unfriendly” comments.
    Is there a “higher purpose” to conquer and divide the US voting and even non voting public? Certainly with this bickering there will be some results…
    Who actually determined what candidates for the president were left to run? OK, so you think the process is working well…hurrah for democracy!

  • Alan Chin

    Please note that in photo #2, onstage with Hillary and Chelsea are Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (on the right), former Sen. John Glenn (left of Strickland) and Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (behind Sen. Clinton).
    Regarding “being the media,” I want to clarify that Michael is not “sending” me out to Vermont or Ohio in the traditional sense, but that I am transmitting him my photographs as I shoot, and we discuss them after he gets a chance to look. I am absolutely open to criticism and discussion, that’s why I support and enjoy being part of the BAG.
    Many times, Michael may wonder if I’m having too much fun being a “photographer” (what some call “bad lighting” I prefer to call “glare and flare”) and not enough of a “journalist.” That’s a constant dichotomy in what I’m trying to do, as we have sometimes discussed in these threads before with some of my previous work. What I want to convey is the emotional and visual sense of being there in that hall, unfettered as I am by the need to shoot the “straight” photo of the candidate that most of my colleagues have to do. Sometimes this will hopefully work for you, other times it will not. That much I’m certainly aware of as I seem to stray further off the reservation of “news.”

  • jtfromBC

    ~ *being there* in that hall ~ was a feeling i can relate too, enjoy b/w’s so refreshing after the standard glossy color images, anyone who thinks The BAG can afford your work definitely needs to be brought up to speed ~ fwiw keep on glaring and flaring
    # 1 that confetti cascade was cunningly clever
    # 2 just us girls
    # 3 working women ~ only one must smile !
    # 4 thus spoke ~
    # 5 a face of rapture, a hand capturing ?
    # 6 the scripture moveth us in sundry places

  • James

    Alan,
    I am a huge fan of your work, always. I loved this series; you always manage to strip it down to its essence — this is classic Democratic politics and it conjures the memory of the timeless battles and victories and defeats of old-time politics on the stump. The confetti drop is brilliant. What a shot!
    #4 is interesting — victory speech but all alone in the victory?

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