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December 30, 2011

Chair Man of the Board

This Romney photo, from the last throes in Iowa, has been circulating wildly since yesterday. The question is, why?

(photo: Jewel Samad/Getty Images)

  • http://profiles.google.com/thomasgokey Thomas Gokey

    I assume that that’s Romney standing on the chair? There’s an element of “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” element to it.

    It does illustrate pretty well his precarious position relative to the base.

    A man without foundations.

    Also, in a creepy light, it reads a bit like an execution.

  • psychohistorian

    The gripping point of the photo is the look of focused concentration on the face of the chair man as well as his whole body positioning.  He was definitely earning his living, whatever that means these days.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • jonst

      I don’t think the kid (which is what he looks like to me) IS earning his living…today. I think he is preparing to earn it some time in the future. And I suspect it is going to be a good, or, high end, “living”. Those ‘inside the club’ must notice his earnestness and power of concentration. And lack of embarrassment. He bodes ‘well’ for the future.

  • Enoch Root

    1) Romney can’t simply stand there on the floor and talk like a normal person; he needs a chair to stand on.

    2) Given that Romney needs a chair, he has no balance.

    3) Given that he has no balance, some poor underling has to hold the chair.

    4) And this heroic effort by the underling is supposed to be ignored by everyone in the room.

    5) Which makes Romney’s plainfolk jeans and slippers look pretty calculated indeed.

    • Philip Perdue

      On 5), Romney’s jeans are jeans, but they’re not “plainfolk.” Not a wrinkle in sight, no any sign of wear that comes from doing plainfolk work, like stacking wood, taking out the garbage, fixing equipment, getting down on one’s knees, or even clearing brush! He probably hasn’t wiped his hands on his pants in over thirty years, either, always having a linen napkin between a gourmet meal and his lap. The shoes, too, shine so bright that the young fellow supporting the chair is probably looking at his reflection in a narcissistic trance.

  • karen h

    What fun this photo is! When I first saw it (a different version without the staff member’s face as visible), I thought “whoa, if he was only stepping ON the guy my day would be complete.” This version is almost as good. I can’t help but think of Romney’s privlege and his Bain background.

    In fact, it’s the unfortunate follow up to that Bain photo of Romney with cash stuffed in his suit. It could serve as a metaphor for everything the 99% fear about a GOP candidate.

  • BooksAlive

    After enlarging the photo, I see that the man on the floor is gripping the chair legs firmly. I’d guess he intends to do whatever it takes to help the Big Man. Then I wonder about his footwear. Mitt is wearing nice leather loafers, probably his uniform choice, but the treads on what may be boots adds to the more pedestrian role of the helper – ready for any sort of Iowa or New Hampshire terrain. Great discussion here.

  • Stella

    What is it that makes republicans put themselves above everybody else?  Obviously it can’t be done on a shaky platform without a lot of help.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=570058329 Catherine McCallum

    Why? Because it’s funny as hell, that’s why! Coat-and-tie-clad political groupie trying for all he’s worth to keep that fancy-but-inherently-unstable chair steady so the blue-jeans-and-loafers-clad candidate can stand on it – it sums up the GOP and their followers perfectly! Suspend disbelief! Pay no attention to the man on the floor! Don’t analyze the platform, just prop it up!

    I think I have to blow this up and frame it.

  • Aurora

    I’m lovin’ the look on the face of the seated gentleman on the L!

  • Aurora

    I’m lovin’ the look on the face of the seated gentleman on the L!

  • bystander

    First view, first thought:  I have no clue why.

    Second view, second thought: “Feet of clay.”

  • Glenn

    My first thought was – why? In a room full of seated people, why would a tall man like Romney need or want to stand on such a spindly little chair?

    It’s such an odd and risky choice – that fragile wireworks – the insubstantial base that needs grounding and a counterweight to avoid toppling over with its load.

  • dissector

    It reminds me of someone about to hang themselves, in this case, with a staffer trying to save the person on the chair. No gaffes Mitt!

  • Anonymous

    The “Christian” right think he is hanging himself due to the polls.  Thus they love the photo.  Look at the dead fish faces on the audience — quietly contemplating the death of a man who, after all, refuses to say that he accepts Jesus as his personal savior.

    My questions:  Who cut him down?   Why?  How long did he twist?

  • Anonymous

    The “Christian” right think he is hanging himself due to the polls.  Thus they love the photo.  Look at the dead fish faces on the audience — quietly contemplating the death of a man who, after all, refuses to say that he accepts Jesus as his personal savior.

    My questions:  Who cut him down?   Why?  How long did he twist?

  • Anonymous

    Look at his feet.  He is not speaking to them — he has turned his back on them.

  • Anonymous

    Look at his feet.  He is not speaking to them — he has turned his back on them.

  • michael johnson

    Nice LL Bean Grampaw jeans. Might as well wear those pajama jeans, you anial abuser.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ac.missias AC Missias

    I think it’s the combination of the “behind the scenes/off-camera” glimpse here with the oddly new/crisp “everyman jeans” that the candidate is wearing.  It appears to be about cultivated appearance and reality…

  • Vero

    My first thought is the age difference between the audience and the man supporting the chair. A young person is making Romney’s ‘position’ possible, but all the older people the room are ignoring him, taking his labor/effort for granted.

  • gulati

    Political fluffer.

  • http://profiles.google.com/fatunga robert e

    Yup. Eyes on the prize: the executive loafers.

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