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October 17, 2012

God Bless Damon Winter

God bless Damon Winter for this brilliantly timed surgical strike on political romanticism at that point in the campaign where the faithful are never more so, most everyone else is climbing off the fence, and political junkies everywhere are on a binge diet of pols and their manic crowds. Adding the hyperbolic touch of the split room (split screens currently the rage), we get to share in the recessed knowledge that campaigning and engaging the public is ultimately a dirty business requiring constant re-sanitization.

With photographers constantly worried about finding insightful angles on this interminable marathon, Winter avails himself of a tool in the toolbox that he makes look simple but is otherwise not easy to use. It’s called: unexaggerated honesty.

(photo: Damon Winter/The New York Times. caption: Mr. Obama got a squirt of hand sanitizer from a White House trip adviser Marvin Nicholson after shaking hands and posing for photos with a line of supporters backstage before he spoke at the Cleveland State University. October 5th, 2012.)

  • Lance Thruster

    I like the moment; it’s real real (not Ryan real).

  • Catherine McCallum

    I’m a classroom volunteer. We use buckets of hand sanitizer. This does not strike me as odd – it’s the beginning of cold and flu season…

    • Michael Shaw

      That’s the point. It shouldn’t strike you as odd, it should strike you as “not odd.” Obviously the Prez goes through buckets of Purell also. What’s great about the photo is how it pokes holes in all the adoration and romanticizing. In the next four weeks, we’re going to be inundated with imagery of candidates and the public making love. Credit to Winter for the field trip to the condom factory.

  • Mary Trapp

    I thought he was giving the President some change for a soda or something (also an honest moment). I wouldn’t have figured out it was sanitizer w/o reading the explaination.

  • Cactus

    I see this one as a triptych and as such a snapshot of the
    campaign itself. On the right is the behind-the-scene activity of campaign
    workers. One guy is explaining something to a person or a phone caller. In the
    BG, it looks like one guy is doing some computer research/input with another
    worker looking over his shoulder and carrying some equipment.

    On the left is the calmer side where Obama can relax for a
    minute with an aide (secret service?) who is carrying a very large bag (that
    phone?) and the ever present (but unseen) hand sanitizer.

    In the center, flanked by the flag and the tent pole, is the
    podium which will be the center of attention in just a few minutes.

    Basically we have encapsulated here the campaign activity, the
    short quiet moments and the public forum. Brilliant.

  • Catherine McCallum

    Oh. Well, I’m glad I got it. (To be honest I really didn’t. I hadn’t given the subject of adoration a thought, what with all the down-and-dirty.)

  • LanceThruster

    [T]he field trip to the condom factory.
    Well put.

  • Michael Shaw

    Not to worry. It’s actually not so easy to get.

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