Does this lighting get your vote?
US Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally at the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio on March 3, 2008. Barack Obama Monday intensified his bid to end Hillary Clinton’s White House quest, as finger pointing rocked her campaign leadership on the eve of vital nominating clashes in Texas and Ohio. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)
Does this lighting get your vote? And other hard news questions about the politics of lighting and “electability.”
The pundits are salivating…who’s more electable? Who’s more likable? Who’s more strategical? Who’s more inspirational? Hillary or Barack? Now that McCain has clinched the nomination he will receive less attention – but alas my friends, we’re not here today to discuss the election. I’m curious about how lighting, which can make a candidate look great or not, influence how we feel about them. Does it make them more likable and therefore more electable?
One of the things I love about my job is when I have questions like this sitting around in my head I can go to Getty Images and set off on a discovery process. Interestingly enough, we’ve got a considerable amount of coverage of the three candidates.
After looking at loads of fantastic and amazing photos – yes, of course I’m biased – I discovered the candidates have the same situations in common and therefore the same lighting. I like to call them:
Show Time: spotlight on the face, passionate candidate delivery
US Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama addresses supporters during a primary night results rally in San Antonio, Texas, March 04, 2008. White House hopeful Obama was defeated by rival New York Senator Hillary Clinton in the crucial Ohio and Texas nominating contests. (Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks during a primary election night party at The Columbus Athenaeum March 4, 2008 in Columbus, Ohio. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Clinton are facing off in the crucial Texas primary. Clinton is the projected winner of the important Ohio primary and also in the Rhode Island primary. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)
The Show Time light between Barack and Hillary was pretty consistent – spotlight, warm tones, focused on the passion of the delivery. McCain, however, made a different choice at a Texas town hall meeting at the Dell Headquarters. He went all technology blue, with a purple cast. It was a curious choice to me. He doesn’t look good, it’s not soothing or inviting. Is it republican blue or futuristic on some level? Who made that choice and why? Did it effect the emotion in the room?
Presidential hopeful U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) speaks during a town hall meeting at Dell headquarters February 29, 2008 in Round Rock , Texas. McCain is campaigning ahead of the March 4 primary. (Photo by Ben Sklar/Getty Images)
Show Time American: add the American flag
US Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting with veterans at the American GI Forum in San Antonio, Texas, on March 3, 2008. Barack Obama Monday intensified his bid to end Hillary Clinton’s White House quest, as finger pointing rocked her campaign leadership on the eve of vital nominating clashes in Texas and Ohio. (Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and his wife Cindy wave to supporters after securing the GOP nomination on March 4, 2008 in Dallas, Texas. McCain seized the Republicans’ White House mantle with a promise to defeat Islamic extremism and keep the US economy open to world trade if elected president in November. (Photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks during a campaign rally at the Beaumont Texas Airport March 3, 2008 in Beaumont, Texas. With one day remaining before the Texas and Ohio primaries, Hillary Clinton is campaigning through Texas. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Show Time American Light is all Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A. – stand up for the American people and look good. Apparently, once you are nominated, you can add your spouse. And if you are Hillary, you’re not going to be outdone. She has not one but two American flags behind her. Now, this is more about the prop than the light, but look at the difference in the photos.
Both McCain and Obama have the American flag lit brightly and nearly equally to the message being delivered. Now look at Hillary – tight spot on her face, the flag is secondary to her and her message. Clearly someone made a conscious decision here. Did the people respond accordingly? Well, she did just win Texas and Ohio…
Show Time and Show Time American are situations where it looks like the candidates have some control, but I wonder. How do you respond to it when you see it? I’ve made a little collection of images for you to take a look at – the rest of this post will make more sense if you check them out.
Stump Campaigning: the unfortunate baby and the plane
US Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talks to members of the press on her plane before take off from Hopkins International Airport in Cleveland Ohio on March 2, 2008. Behind her at right is supporter and actor Ted Danson. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)
US Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama disembarks from a plane upon arrival in San Antonio, Texas, on March 3, 2008. Barack Obama Monday intensified his bid to end Hillary Clinton’s White House quest, as finger pointing rocked her campaign leadership on the eve of vital nominating clashes in Texas and Ohio. (Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)
In Stumping the lighting is not in control and it can go horribly wrong. I am naughty, I admit it. I can’t help but highlight a screaming McCain, a jaundiced Hillary and a confused Obama as they each struggle under the fluorescents to cuddle with the future of the U.S.A.
Republican presidential hopeful John McCain hands a small girl back to her mother after the child started screaming as he arrived for a rally at Furman University 16 February, 2000 in Greenville, South Carolina. McCain is campaigning heavily in the southern state against Texas Governor George W. Bush for the February 19, 2000 Republican primary. (Photo by Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) holds a baby during a town hall meeting at Grace E. Metz Middle School February 10, 2008 in Manassas, Virginia. Clinton continued to campaign for the upcoming Potomac Primary. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama holds a supporter’s baby during a town hall meeting at Westerville Central High School in Westerville, Ohio, on March 02, 2008. Obama is on the campaign trail to try to clinch the Democratic Party ticket in the race to the White House. (Photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)
Does a campaign manager cringe when the fluorescents are in multiple, the airplane lighting yellow and sun too bright on a weathered face? And I guess, more importantly, do the American people subconsciously like someone more or less when they look good? I think I know the answer, what do YOU think?