Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Camera readiness: Know your venue

Media appearances are part and parcel of political life, and each appearance takes on perhaps even more importance for candidates for office. To be sure, there is only so much you can prepare for before an interview, both in terms of your look and your words.

But you can think about where you will be, and how you will look in that space. If you're going on the Rachel Maddow Show, you know that you'll be behind a desk, but a clear desk. Pants and skirts matter.  Maddow herself often wears jeans under that same desk, in a cultivated look of defiance.

Similarly, if you're being interviewed by Roll Call for the "Conversation With..." candidates video series, you know you'll be in front of a solid black curtain. You know what you shouldn't wear in front of a solid black curtain? Solid black.  Not one but two recent subjects didn't get that particular preparation note.

First was Suzan DelBene, running for the House seat in Washington's 8th District:

Not only is she wearing a black jacket, she has it zipped up so high, we can't see any color from the top she's (hopefully) wearing underneath. Lowering the zipper could have been a quick fix here. Again, assuming there's something appropriate under there!

Next was Jennifer Brunner, who is running for Senate in Ohio:

Her yellow top definitely helps break up the black, but she still starts to fade into the curtain behind her. This is another case where a great scarf could have saved the day, like this one from Isabel Marant, which also carries a Democrat-themed message. Well, maybe don't put the part about the shoes in front...

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