Move Along, Nothing Sforza To See Here

I haven’t been paying too close attention to the imagery of the current presidential campaign, but looked at through a Sforzian lens, the McCain campaign stop is mind-bogglingly bad news. The photographs are from McCain’s daughter Meghan’s campaign blog which, by some meaningless sleight of hand, is considered to not be a part of the campaign.
Though the flags and the banner provide wire service photographers with some generic background shots, a look at their product shows they’re free-ranging around just shooting whatever. Not a signature image in the bunch. “Town hall meeting” apparently means “speech in the round, no podium.” Which meant that McCain is lost in the not-that-big crowd, a tiny white-haired dot in the wide shot above.
McCain Blogette’s backstage photos at a recent campaign stop in a warehouse-like arena in York, PA show some slack roadies and handlers hanging around, which is fine, if a little pathetic. Not exactly a tightly run ship, the Straight Talk Express.
None of which means there aren’t interesting/revealing shots. AFP’s Paul J. Richards picked up a sweet product shot of McCain’s not-famous-enough $520 Ferragamo loafers, for example, but that’s not all [via afp/yahoo]:
That rug doesn’t just say “McCain 2008” on it; it says, “Paid for by John McCain 2008” on it. Unless the FEC requires disclosure be included on all indoor/outdoor furnishings [“I’m John McCain, and I approved this rug.”], I think someone just took a screengrab from a campaign commercial and sent it to the rug printer.
I’m still trying to decide who made this sign, though. It’s “M-C-C-A-I-N” spelled out in tap code, a cipher used by prisoners in solitary confinement. It puts the letters into a 5×5 grid [minus the K]. So M is third row, second column, etc. This sign, in other words, says “JOHN MCCAIN, POW.” I can’t figure out if it was printed by the campaign and handed out, or if this guy just happened to make it himself. [It doesn’t have the two-color printing of the official McCain signs, and the blue is slightly off. But would a random guy put at otherwise meaningless star on the top, and the campaign URL?] Whether it’s supposed to telegraph McCain’s POW bona fides to a knowing audience, or whether it’s meant to imply that McCain’s POW experience somehow qualifies him for the presidency, the relentless playing of the POW card seems beyond the pale.