I have photographed every presidential campaign since 1968. Twelve of them. The only one I didn’t cover was the election of 1972 when I was in Vietnam photographing the war. [Click below to view my Pulitzer Prize Portfolio, which includes many photos from Vietnam]
My fifty years of coverage doesn’t make me an expert on the presidential selection process, but it does give me a singular frame of reference. Through my camera, I’ve spotted success and failure from every angle. I’ve documented candidates who were considered inevitable, those who seemed to appear out of nowhere and everyone in between. I’ve found that certain campaigns had their own personalities and others trudged along with a dreary sort of resignation.
However, through all those campaigns – the thousands of rallies and town hall meetings, the hundreds of victory and concession speeches, the dozens of conventions and inaugurations, I can safely say that neither I nor anyone else has ever seen anything like the Great Presidential Melee of 2016.
My coverage started in the primary season with Hillary v. Sanders, and Trump v. Everyone Else. And, of course, the unlikely winner and current president is Donald J. Trump. My coverage swung from 2015 where I photographed all the candidates individually, all the way through to the home stretch. I was on the Hillary Clinton plane when she first got word of FBI Director Comey’s shattering announcement about reopening the email investigation, then spent the last few days heading toward the finish line with Trump. I was in the ballroom in New York City where most people were anticipating a concession, but instead ended up with a Trump victory speech.
I’ve chosen a small sample of my Campaign 2016 photos for this gallery. The entire collection will reside in my archive along with the rest of my campaign and political photography. Together, these collections provide a half-century continuum of images that document the peaceful transfer of power in our country. I am grateful to have taken this wild ride and am even more grateful to be able to share this collection and the entire archive with those interested in taking a close-up look at how America has chosen its leaders.