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Joe Biden on stage

I chose a photo of Joe Biden for this assignment. I think that public perception of one’s running mate can be just as important and influential as the perception of one’s self. After all the way that a presidents VP or perspective VP, carries themselves speaks greatly towards the type of people that the president or candidate associates themselves with. This photo is really quite interesting to me. It is a full body, “candid” style photograph that paints Biden in what I perceive as a very relaxed, yet still, somehow very authoritative light.

First exploring the notion of the “relaxed” perception, Biden is standing in what one might refer to as a very “chill” stance. He seems altogether very casual. In fact, in all the “candids” that I have ever seen, regarding politicians, this one is a first. Biden is up on a stage just hanging out looking off at whatever with his foot up on a stool. Next on the list of features is the fact that he has removed his suit coat. That gives him a much more relaxed, less down to business, more down to Earth type of feel. We also notice that he is not wearing a tie. Again this gives us a more common man perception. The light blue color of his shirt presents a very non-confrontational front as well. His sleeves are rolled up, again giving off a more casual, than strictly business type of vibe. Also, he’s wearing sunglasses. Again, I’m not sure that I ever seen too many politicians in sunglasses. As one looks closer, one can see that Biden is smiling, what seems to be a very genuine and approachable little grin. Biden in this photo just seems to exude this aura of comfort and realness; he’s seemingly just an average everyday guy.

However, for all the elements that make Biden seem so “kicked back” and approachable in this picture, there are equally as many that give off a very “down to business” and serious vibe. One of the first things that I noticed was the fact that he has his hands more or less on his hips, that position screams sternness. Also, as relaxed as the whole foot on a stool thing seemed at first glance, I realize also that it could also be a “get serious and hash this out” sort of stance. The fact that his sleeves are rolled gives us a similar feeling. Even though, at first glance the sleeve thing can be seen in a different light. Next, although it’s removed, he has his suit jacket hung on a railing, reminding us that he was at one point wearing it. And the color of the suit itself, black, gives off a feeling of importance and power. His trade mark white hair, speaks volumes for a high level of experience both in politics and life in general. And lastly the way he’s looking off, though we’re not shown at what is reminiscent of the looking towards the future motif mentioned in Mythologies. All in all, Biden here has a very interesting blend of common everyman and serious politician.     Photo from barackobama.com

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