Tuesday, October 21, 2014

And You Want To Be My Governor?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and it’s interesting to consider what pictures say about Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. I first noticed Dayton’s unique photogenic qualities way back when he was a United States Senator and was captured calling bingo by a local community newspaper.

The distorted mouth and eyes wide open have sort of become a Dayton hallmark over the years. As has the thousand yard stare.

Is Mark Dayton happy? Surprised? It's often difficult to determine what (if any) emotions he is experiencing in these pictures. Or if he's feeling anything at all.

The man either has ice water in his veins or has lost all sensory perception.

Politics is about connecting with and reaching out to voters.

Not sure how I would react if I was on the receiving end of one of these looks. Hardly confidence inspiring.

When you Google up images of Mark Dayton (proceed at your own risk) you find a lot of connections with the Minnesota Vikings. Usually an incumbent candidate's prospects for reelection are tied to the health of the economy. With Dayton it should be the success of local NFL franchise (currently 2-5).

It's hard to decide which of the Dayton/Vikings pictures is my favorite.

The first is a classic which has been widely hailed.

While it is no doubt a brilliant shot, Dayton is sharing the glory here with an especially zealous Zygi Wilf.

This one is all Dayton: the goofy smile, the big eyes, and the stare at some object on the far horizon.

Now you might say that this is not a fair way to judge Mark Dayton. People who are in the public eye are photographed constantly and even the most photogenic among them will inevitably end up looking bad in a certain number of those shots. And I'm sure if you scoured the archives you could find pictures of Tim Pawlenty, Jesse Ventura (duh), Arne Carlson, and even Hjalmar Peterson looking goofy that would cause you to question their fitness for office.

That's a fair point and we should consider more than simply the eye test when trying to determine who best should lead our state in these unsteady times. So don't just look at the candidates for governor, listen to what they say and how they say it. And then decide who you really want to be your governor.