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October 27, 2008

No Time For Cue Cards



Check out the juxtaposition between Obama, sitting down with Joe Klein for a wide-ranging interview, and McCain as the cover focus of this weekend’s NYT Mag “remaking of the candidate” story. (The TIME photo essay is worth it, by the way, just for Callie Shell’s sensitive camera work.)

At this point, Obama has more than proved — as the photo reflects — he can think on his feet, and move logically, thoughtfully and with clear judgement as and where the conversation (not to mention, critical issues) move. The illustration is between someone who can speak for himself and someone constantly cramming the last (revised) answer someone just wrote for him.

(image: Todd Heisler/NYT. Scranton, PA. September 2008)

  • Exredstater

    With the mounting bad news for their campaign, McCain/Palin will have no choice but to go increasingly negative in their attacks. Anybody else see this leaked 527 spot?

  • Phil Sheehan

    There’s an earlier Obama interview — I believe it was with George S — in which Obama says, “John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith….”
    George interrupts, “Your Christian faith.”
    Obama answers, “My Christian faith. What I’m saying is that he has not suggested that I’m a Muslim.”
    The unhurried, unflustered reply of a man who knows who he is and what he means. Can you imagine how McCain or Palin would have handled a similar situation?

  • Robin Farley

    Wow, that was a really great photo essay by Joe Klein. Everyone should see it. It’s exciting to contemplate Obama as President. Like Clinton he is obviously highly intelligent and imaginative but you just cant picture him being the protagonist in a series of 24/7 dramas. Refreshing and exactly what America needs. It’s like the Zen saying, when the student is read the master arrives.

  • Hariman

    Beautiful photography by Callie Shell.
    Only eight days remain until November 4, eight long days. . . .

  • SplendidMarbles

    Obama: thoughtful and contemplative.
    McCain: Where the hell are my glasses? Do I even wear glasses? – And finally, who sent me this note, anyway?

  • Victoria

    Nice catch, BagNews.
    A Klein points out, Obama actually had a real and thoughtful conversation with him. Meanwhile, McCain just keeps pounding away on the 3×5 talking points.

  • bystander

    Great photography. Thanks for the flag. T minus … and counting.

  • elfpix

    Nothing like a good model.

  • Marie

    In the NYT Mag cover, the colorful terms seem to float off McCain’s pile of notecards. Terms that he may shuffle through and pick out at will. But all of them seem to be floating away, not in the pile any more, not an option. McCain seems unconcerned, looking only what is in his hand.
    Then the title text in white (the making and remaking and remaking of the candidate) seems precariously balanced on the text underneath. It seems the cards have been piled high enough with the superlatives that the stack is in danger of falling over. And the text below gives us the reason why the stack is unbalanced: When a candidate can’t settle on a central narrative…
    The text asks the question. The type layout has already given us the answer.
    In contrast, the pic of Obama talking to Joe Klein seems a classic “open” and balanced composition. Obama is not keeping cue cards or other barriers between himself and the interviewer. The body language and expression of both men seems “open,” relaxed, and interested. I can’t help being impressed by what must be a common practice of setting reporters’ recorders right by the candidate to capture every word. It seems claustrophobic to me, but Obama seems unfazed.
    The contrast between the candidates – that McCain relies heavily on his cue cards while Obama talks freely about issues, his policy and philosophy without notes – is striking. It also says something about their relative accessibility.

  • Gasho

    The descriptors for McCain are being “floated out there” but are in tiny type face – they’re inconsequential.
    In the Obama shot, not only are they engaged and actively trading ideas, but the light shines down from above and both of them have a glowing light above their heads – like the iconic “lightbulb” thought bubble, or “the lights are on and somebody’s home” saying..
    McCain by contrast is in total darkness and the card he’s reading appears not to be very illuminating — even to him.

  • Tyler

    His ‘notes’ are electronic. I see the perhaps generational old media/new media juxtapositon of Kleins pile of paper for notes etc., vs. Obama’s pile of electronic devices. I don’t read ‘Obama doesn’t need notes’, but instead realize that perhaps much of Obama’s success can be attributed to his being very well versed with new/internet/paperless media.

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