Photo-Ops 1A

by Victor Davis Hanson

There is a general recognized rule for presidential candidates, and especially affluent and/or Republican ones: From June 1 to voting time in November, they should not be photographed wind-surfing, yachting, on jets skies, in either spandex or wetsuits, or in natty golf attire on the links — in any public landscape that suggests aristocracy, affluence, leisure, aloofness, or metrosexuality. We expect that the most avid golfer in presidential history will not be seen in the next 120 days in his customary shades, polo shirt, gloves and bright colored cap and slacks as he was for nearly four months of the past three-and-a-half years, and so, by the same token, one would have thought Romney would have avoided the jet-ski shot. The rules from here on out are factory, tractor, and hay-bale backdrops, and recreation such as bowling, horseshoes, checkers, or, Reagan-style, chopping wood or chain-sawing. Romney’s team needs to go up to the Reagan ranch and watch those videos of the blue-jeaned and sweaty Reagan at work, and then watch John Kerry wind-surfing and road-biking in spandex, to review the distinctions.