AL.com’s coverage of yesterday’s Airbus groundbreaking in Mobile featured almost 100 pictures. Photographer Mike Brantley snapped some excellent images of Senator Jeff Sessions, Congressman Jo Bonner, 8th grader Victoria Corob who many said “stole the show” at the groundbreaking, and many others.
But it wasn’t at the Airbus event that the best picture of the day was taken. That happened a short distance away from the Airbus festivities at a grand opening event for Safran Engineering, Airbus’s first Mobile supplier. AL.com reporter John Sharp was on hand covering the event, and in the process took what I am dubbing “The Most ‘Bentley’ Photo Ever.” While the Safran crew and other elected officials celebrated with glasses full of champagne, Governor Bentley toasted with a florescent glass of orange juice.
I don’t want to make a bigger deal out of this than it is (too late, Cliff. — I know, shut up.), but on some level I think this is a small example of how Bentley came to possess the intangible, teflon-like quality that he has shown at times during his first term.
He is who he is — for better or worse.
A lot of people inside Montgomery can’t figure out Bentley’s appeal to voters. But that’s exactly it. In spite of being in elected office for over a decade now, he’s not seen as a creature of Montgomery or a member of its political class.
Pundits during campaigns often talk about which candidate voters would most like to “have a beer with.” For Governor Bentley, a glass of orange juice seems to be working just fine.
What else is going on?
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