November 4, 2012
THE UNICORN RIDER IN WINTER:
A Face More Careworn, a Crowd Less Joyful (DAMON WINTER, 11/04/12, NY Times)
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 4, 2012 9:02 AMThis time around many of his rallies have a small-town scale but lack the grassroots feel of '08. They have a uniform, packaged gloss, typical of most presidential events. At a rally at a baseball field in Virginia the president came out swinging, literally, with an imaginary bat. But the crowd was squeezed into a corner of the stadium to give the illusion of density. Four years ago, he would have been speaking in the center of that stadium with supporters lining the field and filling the stands.In 2008, I observed him interacting with people more, not just as a solitary figure, standing at a microphone or shuttling from place to place. There is now a constant challenge to find candid, story-telling images. Every day on the trail is scheduled and scripted down to the minute, and covering it often feels like a carefully choreographed dance. In between rallies, there are a few "off the record" stops to local businesses and restaurants or official presidential duties, but most days are filled with this intricate series of repeating movements. Sometimes it feels as if we are just going through the motions, and I often wonder if he doesn't feel the same way.