Reflecting on a presidential image

Canberra Times    |    9 August 2013

This is a fine bit of writing on the “optics” of the election campaign by Hamish Boland-Rudder of the Canberra Times.  It’s been republished in other Fairfax Media newspapers and picked up by the ABC’s Gruen Nation. 

President Jed Bartlett slides softly into a plush Air Force One seat beside his wife, Abbey, who asks him, “What are you thinking about?”

“Tomorrow,” he says, staring pensively out the plane window with the light slowly moving across his face.

For anyone familiar with political drama of the highest order, this is instantly recognisable as the last scene of fictional US television show The West Wing. But even for those not in the know, it feels like a familiar scene – much like an image at the end of a new Liberal Party campaign ad.

Presidential Tony

The Liberal ad, titled New Hope, comes to an end with a powerful still of a thoughtful Tony Abbott staring pensively out a plane window, perhaps thinking about Australia’s tomorrow.

The photo itself is an editorial image, taken by Fairfax photographer Jason South during the 2010 election campaign, and sold to the Liberal Party for commercial use by the Fairfax Syndication service.

Obviously thinking about The Greens' tomorrow.

Obviously thinking about The Greens’ tomorrow.



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