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March 31, 2013

Burgh Optics 2013: Musical Chairs and Body Language

From the Post-Gazette, another great visual on the 2013 Mayoral evolution in Pittsburgh.

In every situation, there's winners and losers, champions and goats, and my hero is the unknown worthy who arranged these chairs. Take-away for untold staffers: make sure your guy's chair is generously spaced, possibly with wooden blocks or paperbacks between them. Because the photo-ops always come down to the little things, and do you think some of these demigods would prefer to not be squished if there was a Control-Z button? (that's Undo for you Mac folks who'll be voting Peduto)

Especially compared to the optics of Wagner's previous lineup of Angry No-Neck White Men, this is just a tremendous photo and happily it looks like what a Democratic slate is supposed to look like, instead of that bunch of Romney-Zombies that Wagner lined up to hold their hands crossed over their zippers.

Also, it's an appropriate setting because this is a season of Musical Chairs and probably next time, we won't see all these folks still sitting down together; the number of chairs will dwindle.

What I find fascinating is the body language in the photo. It's subjective, I'm no expert, and I'm probably just projecting; your opinion may vary, and you're welcome to contribute in the comments. But going Right to Left, here's what I see:

  • Mike Lamb will not look over at any of these other people; he will only look straight ahead and. he. is. not. amused. He looks like he's got a lemon wedge stuck in an unlikely place. He doesn't like being there, and he doesn't like this situation. (minus)
  • Bill Peduto looks like a plump staff-wonk but he's managing to smile into the room and he's confident that he belongs. He's uncomfortable at his proximity to the people on either side of him and he's holding his perimeter with the hand-knee boundary. (even)
  • AJ Richardson is damn happy; something might come out of this downstream. (even)
  • Jack Wagner is doing his Yinzer George Hamilton imitation, showing the polish of an experienced politico with the easy smile and uncrumpled demeanor as he sits wedged between the two big men; he looks old in contrast. (even)
  • Jake Wheatley looks comfortable, confident, and amused. He's not there to be mayor; he's there to advance his cause and his constituency, and he's doing well. (plus)

The Post-Gazette was right when they headlined how the unexpected Luke withdrawal throws racial factors into play, and (as always) Nullspace has the most trenchant data-based, historical analysis on that front.

Speaking of Jack Wagner, his staff put out this tweet which must mean that

  • they're still not prepared for this
  • they're still shooting from the hip
  • nobody's vetting their messaging
  • VietNam Jack is in his first SocialMedia campaign


Anonymous said...

I really have no idea who I'm for. Are there debates scheduled? Something to help us casual voters make an educated selection?

kilwer said...

Good call on Lamb. Do you think he plays poker? I'm all in!

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