Sometimes, a few iconic images come out of a presidential campaign. More likely, the images we think of now will be forgotten in a few short years. When historians look back on the 2012 presidential campaign, will they take the time to note Joe Biden’s cue ball comments about a soldier who lost his life? Probably not. But I suspect Big Bird might make the cut.
For me, the most memorable image of Joe Biden is his Joker-like grin from the vice presidential debate. Sure, you could choose him throwing up his hands at the latest questionable statement from Paul Ryan, or you could catch one of his many guffaws in freeze frame, but I prefer the weird triangular grin.
Speaking of debates, I think there are a couple of memorable images. From the town hall debate, you see the implied aggression by both contenders in this shot with each pointing their fingers. Didn’t they ever learn that it’s rude to point? I found Obama staring down Romney in the third debate to be unsettling.
On to more serious topics, some of the most haunting images this election season are related to the 9/11/12 Benghazi attack on our consulate. The night time images of a burning embassy are striking, but not quite as striking as the burned-out building from the next day or the bloody handprint on the wall. Both of these images represent a colossal failure of leadership, as I suspect we’ll learn in the coming months.
And who can forget Clint Eastwood’s empty chair monologue from the Republican National Convention? In retrospect, Clint’s interrogation of the empty chair was a fairly accurate representation of President Obama’s four years of failure. For anyone who immediately identified with the empty chair analogy, the response to the Benghazi terrorist attack wasn’t much of a surprise.
As they say, past is prologue. Everything that came before leads naturally to the culminating events of the 2012 presidential election. It appeared in late October that Romney was moving confidently to victory, as seen by the crowds like those at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado.
In the end, there is one image worth remembering. This single image – a map very similar to the one painted in 2008, blue penetrating the red heartland of America like a knife. This last image summarizes the entire story of the 2012 election more than any other.