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February 9, 2012

The Barely Noticeable Assembly Line Worker in the Background of the All-Consuming Political Campaign

Where’s Studs Terkel when you really need him?

The frankness and honesty of this photo captured by AP’s Evan Vucci immediately reminded me of the Santorum church photo we looked at the other day. It conveys the same kind of authority in exposing the stagecraft of the political show.

Given we’re all masters of the horserace now in that interminable spectacle known as the presidential campaign, it’s easier to identify with how cool an American industrial backdrop these factory workers in Cleveland must offer than it is to identify with the women themselves. Seeing the scene from this angle, Newt’s back marks quite a gap between the invited guests in the shimmery light and automatons on the clock, symmetrical not just in the machinery and piece parts of their assembly work but the alignment of each women to her own American flag. Of course, while the candidates pontificate by rote, by now, for the betterment of the working man, these citizens are likely too bound to meeting quotas to afford to stop and witness democracy in action.

(photo: Evan Vucci/AP caption: Employees of Jergens, Inc., continue to work on the assembly line as Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a campaign stop, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012, in Cleveland, Ohio.)

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