Reading The Pictures: Palin's Place (Revisited)

05/25/2011 01:10 pm ET
  • Michael Shaw Publisher of the visual politics and media literacy site, Reading The Pictures.

Bristol WHNPA Mara.jpg

Bristol and Levi Johnston have broken up? You're kidding!

This recent award-winning image by photographer Melina Mara takes us back to Campaign '08's biggest snow job. I mean, it's all there: the smirk; the fact sister Willow was mostly the one schlepping Trig; and the irony -- since Bristol's since had her own baby -- of being left holding the bottle. (And then, contributing to the family values, remember First Dude's tendency -- out of the spotlight -- to put all kinds of distance between himself and little Trig?)

(With a few more winning shots in mind) I imagine Sarah -- simply a natural when it comes to children -- must be thrilled.

Blast from the not-so-distant past:

(Update: Embarrassingly, and thanks to the correction of my readers -- who I hope have otherwise at least partly acquired their sharp eyes from me -- I have mistaken Willow for Bristol in the photo above. Please forgive my mistake and enjoy Ms. Mara's excellent images, and have at it, as you will, in this look back at the Palin clan. With the correction, what the photo does is realize how then 17-year-old Bristol would soon be lugging her own baby (without Levi around). And, as for Willow (center), maybe Bristol's experience might actually help her avoid being left holding a bottle.)

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(image: Melina Mara: Winner of the White House News Photographers Association - 2nd Place/Political Portfolio)