17 December 2007
Right here, that's it, this is the most significant photo taken in the year 2007. Think it will win a Pullitzer? Whichever photog snapped this photo effectively ended Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
There's no recovering from that, image isn't everything, but it counts for a lot, and her image in that photo isn't the image most Americans would want us to project as a nation. You don't have to be wrinkle free to be president, but you can't look haggard and bedraggled, either.
Drudge captioned it "The Toll of the Campaign", but campaigning as arduous as it is, is still nothing compared to the toll that actually serving in the roll these folks hope to fill. Sen. Clinton has had some scary pictures in the past, but none have escaped that looked like this one.
She's done, whether or not the intention of the person behind the lens was to alter the path of the election or not, that's what this snap will do. She may have been too negative, too managed, and too divisive to ever convince the primary voters to choose her. So her winning was far from assured, but just as the "Dean Scream" solidified the concept of Gov. Dean that many voters already had of him, and just pushed away a ton of undecided voters, this photo will turn off the people who were on the fence regarding Hillary.
In some ways, she's lucky the writer's strike is still going on. If all the Late Night talk shows were ongoing, you know they would have had a bit of fun at her expense with regards to that photo, thus exposing this image to the millions of folks who don't read Drudge daily or have yet to begin really paying much attention to the campaign. Even the Daily Show probably would have piled on (given Stewart's fawning during Sen. Obama's appearance, they seem like they're in Camp Obama rather than Camp Clinton).
Maybe it won't have the impact I'm expecting, maybe I'm shallower than the Democratic Primary and Caucus voters, but somehow I doubt it.