Sometimes a photo meets a moment. Such is the case with this one, which was tweeted by New York Times senior editor for politics Carolyn Ryan on Wednesday afternoon.
Hillary at breakfast this morning at Mohonk Mountain House, upstate New York. Photo by my former NYT colleague Mike Smith. pic.twitter.com/yyrVQT43vt
— carolynryan (@carolynryan) December 28, 2016
It's Hillary Clinton at breakfast Wednesday morning, surprisingly alone and gazing into her phone.
To me, it harked back to an iconic Clinton photo from a few years ago — the one of the then-secretary of state staring into her phone in a similar fashion while on a military plane. But this time, it's in a wholly different context. It's a defeated presidential candidate looking mundane without mobs of people or aides around her, rather than a tough-looking, globe-trotting secretary of state getting down to business.
To some, though, it harked back to another picture of a would-be Democratic president: Joe Biden. Within minutes, both The Post's Paul Kane and NBC's Frank Thorp V made the comparison on Twitter.
A different version of that Biden pic staring out the window just daring to be captioned for ages to come. https://t.co/kxARHsSqGL
— Paul Kane (@pkcapitol) December 28, 2016
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) December 28, 2016
The Biden photo is from late 2014, before the vice president foreclosed on the idea of another presidential campaign. But it's been appropriated for use whenever talk of Biden's presidential hopes perks up again. It's as if he's looking out the window, wondering what might be or could have been.
The Clinton photo probably isn't as meme-worthy as the others, but it certainly fits the moment — especially given how much Clinton has faded from the spotlight (and society in general) since her loss.