Or a story bigger than the story.... Back in 1998 Bill Clinton didn't resign. He clenched his jaw in this cover on Time magazine and toughed it out and didn't quit. Sound familiar? The iconic photo is relevant when it is reinterpreted? The headline of Time then, Double Trouble, takes on new meaning, now. The July issue of Vanity Fair has on it's cover the headline for a story, "Has Bill Clinton lost his mojo or his mind?"
As much as I'm looking for the perfect photo op of Republican candidate John McCain, the only one that seems to keep coming to mind is his now-famous hug with G.W. Bush, right, which has become the hug that just won't let go.
This could be a problem. The photo op/visual is iconic and powerful. McCain just might not be able to get this one important selling/branding technique mastered and it could be his downfall.
Dirk Halstead, Time's Senior White House photographer for 29 years, knew that the power of the photograph could isolate moments in time and he credited JFK with defining the photo op as a way of crafting his image. "What Kennedy's and Nixon's handlers realized was that a still image had a lasting impact when it came to public perception, far more than television," Halstead said.
John Kerry was branded by the Bush campaign as an elite flip flopper, with the image of him windsurfing to-and-fro. The visuals will tell the story. McCain needs more narrative in the visuals, my friends.
Books as Political Communication Tools
Political Marketing to Women: Bill Clinton's Personal Appeal
Political Art: Powerful Tools in the Icon Age
Hillary Clinton: Pop Iconic, Leading by Visual Image