This is the fifth installment in a 72-hour series of visual dispatches from independent photojournalist Alan Chin on the ground in New Hampshire.
Installment #5: The Chelsea Factor (Wednesday A.M. 7/9/08)
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What I was most interested in thinking out, given Alan's set of Clinton photos, was what happened between last Saturday, after the Clinton campaign had been battered in Iowa, and this Monday, the day before Hillary's poll-trashing New Hampshire rise from the ashes.
Based on the material on hand (which included no emotional roundtable discussions nor any mid-debate depiction of hurt feelings), I would have to say that the difference -- over and between those two days -- was primarily familial.
In addition to the sign-toting women at Saturday's sparsely attended campaign rally at the Nashua airport, Bill Clinton was a primary presence. (I elaborated on the problematic nature of this -- just like much of the media did -- way back on Friday at BAGnewsNotes.) Peculiarly, Alan's sequence catches Bubba in the pose of a field general, as if reprising his charge to the bridge to the 21st Century.
In comparison, Alan's best image from election eve day was the shot above from a rally for canvassers in a Manchester parking lot. (Bill, by the way, was not in attendance.)
When you include the woman pushing out the platform, the image provides the sense that the campaign is now totally infused with girl power. More significantly though, we see Chelsea -- like a beacon -- visually aligned with that platform.
If Alan Chin, rather than moving on to the Edwards campaign, had continued to follow Clinton that day, I'm convinced we would have an elegant and larger body of evidence that Chelsea, rather than Bill, had become the campaign's new inspiration (not to mention, its co-star).
Falling back on the visual media, however, you might check out this image which I set aside on Saturday, thinking it not only captured a powerful solidarity between mother and daughter, but between mother, daughter and the spirited representative of a key demographic.
Skipping to first thing Monday morning, look at this shot from a NYT Hillary Road Show (taking note of the announcement-like caption). Also, consider the expansive gesture in this Reuters photo from the same event Alan photographed above; and also this shot after the event which the NYT chose for its "Final Push" slide show.
The defining image, however, has got to be this one from Monday evening's final campaign event, revealing a tearful candidate simultaneously celebrating her own voice and the family circle's new secret weapon.
Last Up: Election Night At Obama Central
((All images © Alan Chin. Concord, New Hampshire. January 5, 2007 Used by permission. linked images: Hillary/Chelsea canvassing: Brian Snyder/Reuters. Manchester, New Hampshire January 6,2008. Hillary/Chelsea with college student: Elise Amendola/A.P. Clinton campaign bus. Durham, N.H., January 5, 2008.)
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For the full, expanded version of this dispatch, plus the previous five (Huckabee Rockin' ; Rudy and the Working Class; McCain/Lieberman '08; Mill Worker Mission - part 1 and part 2),
Our Man In New Hampshire
(...and stay tuned for one more)
Installment #4: Mill Worker Mission (Tuesday P.M. 7/8/08)
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These last few Edwards appearances have been extremely intense. If anything, it seems that most of the attendees are already solidly in his camp and mostly deriving sustenance from the gathering.
Alan reports that Edwards has the largest traveling party of all the candidates. It includes his father and mother (the third shot above) as well as the family of Nataline Sarkisyan, the woman who died because her insurance company wouldn't approve a liver transplant. Perhaps not surprisingly, giving the driving sense of purpose, Edwards was the only candidate to actually hold an appearance on the afternoon of the vote.
Next Up: Hillary
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Installment #3: BarackOMania (Tueday A.M. 7/8/08)
(Click photos for full size)
It seems the tone in the country is way too jaded and polarized to absorb the kind of passion and inspiration being generated right now by this politician. If the pictures seem corny, even exceedingly so, however, that's not at all what it's like.
For young people, the campaign seems to be generating an untold number of future "I remember when" moments.
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Installment #2: McCain/Lieberman '08 (Monday P.M. 7/7/08)
These shots were taken on Friday at the Derry Town Hall. It was the event in which McCain responded to a question about the Iraq occupation by warning of a 100 year commitment.
(Click the photo for full size)
Although the press seemed to ignore it, the McCain event in Derry was as much a joint appearance as an individual one. Shades of a ticket, Chin notes that Lieberman held the floor almost as long as McCain. Alan adds: "Lieberman stands at McCain's side like some ghost of electoral perversity. Imagine the thought of the vice presidential loser of one political party repeating the feat for the other party?
White waiting for McCain/Lieberman to take the stage, we see a former POW highlighted in the foreground. Although McCain was against Iraq before he was for it, this kind of flip-flopping is largely ignored by the press as McCain touts his war experience and milks "The Surge."
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Installment #1: Rudy Does Segway (Or: Screw The Working Class) (Monday A.M. 7/7/08)
Above, I offer you a sampling of the visual media coverage of Rudy at the Segway plant in Bedford, New Hampshire on Friday. You see Rudy standing on the scooter (not riding it, mind you, lest he fall off and join the visual ranks of Dukakis in the tank, or, perhaps, Kerry windsurfing). His grand entry suggests support from the employees, although the guy clapping is actually the inventor. The shots in the factory make Rudy out as an industrial and technologically-savvy leader.
So, what Chin does is turn the lens around, offering us the stark reaction of the rank-and-file.
About This Series:
Photojournalist Alan Chin is currently up in New Hampshire breaking all the rules. He is not there to sensationalize; he is not concerned with the candidate's carefully constructed story lines (with a mind to frame the message or tear it down); he is not interested in getting the best vantage point or sight line; he doesn't care about the money shot. What he is interested in is the campaign as an American phenomenon, and how people -- from the candidates, the handlers, the volunteers, the supporters, and everyone caught in between -- look, feel and act outside of all those carefully-edited images of what a campaign is supposed to look like.
Having covered Kosovo, freelanced for the New York Times in Iraq, and having produced some of the most powerful images of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Alan Chin is supplying us pictures completely bypassing the media filter.
Over the 48 - 72 hours from Monday through Wednesday, I will be updating this post twice a day with selected images as I receive them from Alan. (You will know the post is updated because the title will have been revised.) As well, you can find a full and expanded group of Alan's dispatches at Our Man In New Hampshire via BAGnewsNotes.
(image 1: Charles Krupa/AP. image 2: Steven Senne/AP. image 3: Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters. Hooksett, N.H., Saturday Jan. 5, 2008. all via YahooNews. image 4 ©Alan Chin. New Hampshire. January 2007.)
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