Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The new Mitt has a teasing smile

There've been  reports that Mitt Romney's handlers labored  many hours prepping his smile for his first debate, and finally settled on the one in the top photo. Their apparent goal was to give him benign personhood to replace his robotic style in earlier photo ops.    The previous authorized portrait, shown in the other  photo, was a bit too icy, too threatening, cosmetically speaking, when you are  trying to convince the 99 percenters that you're really a good guy looking out for their interests.

The Etch-a-Sketchers didn't make drastic changes,  leaving his head locked into an all-too- familiar tilted position.   But it did raise the corners of his lips a tiny bit to create the image of a friendly Dr. Welby.

This is hardly innovative for big shots  and may be traced all the way back to the pre-TV Renaissance, when great artists were hired to paint idealized portraits - at a price.  Costs were determined by how much of the King or Pope or any other VIP would appear in a pose in which the subject was always more fetching than he or she appeared in real life.  (A portrait with arms cost more, arms and legs still more, which produced the term, "it cost an arm and a leg).  Some generals wanted to be cast as powerful warriors, equestrians with swords and plumed hats to cast them as possessing   supreme powers. With the decline of the Hollywood westerns, we don't see much of that today. )

But I digress.  With Board Room Mitt, it was of great importance to have his smile teasingly relate to the common folks, even as he scrambled through his maze of non-facts.  Like Goldilocks' preferred soup, it wasn't too hot or too cold - just right.  Considering how much effort went into creating it, Mitt would  appreciate it if you remembered the smile and not the deceptions when you go to the polls.

1 comment:

David Hess said...

It's always best if one assumes a beneficent mien as one prepares to perform major surgery, such as amputation, on programs to help the sick, disabled and elderly. It's a form of anesthesia to mask the motives of the pain-giver. It also is intended to ease the anxiety of those affected by the coming of the axe, in the hope that they won't object or feel the pain until it is too late to change the outcome. Vice President Biden posed the crucial question the other evening when he asked, somewhat rhetorically, "Who do you trust" [to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security]."