2024 Eyes of History® Still Contest: Picture Story – Politics

A series of pictures that depicts a story line or single theme devoted to U.S. politics or a U.S. politician. 12 photos maximum.

First Place

Doug Mills, The New York Times
Trump Retakes the Spotlight: Last year was a busy one for former President Donald J. Trump, who moved back into the spotlight. He announced in late 2022 that he would, once again, run for president and began campaigning in earnest in early 2023. At the same time, he is facing a civil fraud trial and is at the center of at least four separate criminal investigations. Colorado's Supreme Court and Maine's secretary of state have both ruled that Trump is not eligible to appear on the ballot in either state. And as of early January, many wondered if more states would follow suit and also if eventually those decisions would be overturned by the US Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Trump continued to make a case for the country to vote him back into his old job, holding campaign rallies all over the country. He opted to sit out of the RNC presidential debates, choosing to hold his own events instead. It is clear that this presidential election year will be like no other before it.

Second Place

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images
Parade of Politics: The summer before a presidential election year, it is a tradition that all the candidates for president of the United States visit the Iowa State Fair. It is an opportunity for the politicians seeking the “highest office in the land” to go to Iowa because the state hosts the first primary season election. The candidates often cook pork and eat fair food, shake hands with the local people, answer questions from voters and — at least pretend — to have a good time. In 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, millionaire Vivek Ramaswamy and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley all attended the fair. Former President Donald Trump also went to the fair but he didn’t cook, avoided shaking hands and flew in his private jet over the fairgrounds.

Third Place

Win McNamee, Getty Images
MOTION TO PLACATE: 2023 saw the culmination of conservative forces inside the U.S. House of Representatives reach an apex of conflict. Rep. Kevin McCarthy was elected as speaker of the House in January. He was voted out of office by members of the far right only nine months later. His removal led to a complex contest to replace him with multiple candidates being nominated and then being tossed aside. In the end, Rep. Mike Johnson was elected as the new Speaker of the House following a turbulent process that shows no signs of ending anytime soon.

Award of Excellence

Jonathan Ernst, Reuters
The Talented Mr. Santos: The Talented Mr. Santos — U.S. Representative George Santos arrived in Congress under a cloud of suspicion — and before the year was out he was expelled by his fellow members following federal indictments on fraud and money laundering, among other alleged offenses.

Award of Excellence

Brendan Smialowski, Agence France-Presse
: Enveloped US Secretary of State Antony Blinken engages in Iron Diplomacy. A reference to the rail line from Poland’s boarder to Kyiv used by select few of Ukraine’s closest allies hide in plane sight to travel through the night in secret trains into the heart of the conflict with Russia. Secretary Blinken traveled for high level closed door talks, meetings with war fighters, and visits with the Ukrainian people. At the core of the discreet trip was an overt showing of solidarity. However political pressure, concerns about corruption, and a looming US presidential election threaten continued US financial support for the conflict.

Award of Excellence

Kent Nishimura, Los Angeles Times
Madam Vice President Goes to Africa: Vice President Kamala Harris landed in Africa, kicking off a week long trip where she clocked more than 4,000 miles between Ghana, Tanzania and Zambia, where she leaned into aspects of her identity and biography more than at any other point in her vice presidency. In Africa, she announced billions in aid dollars, convened high-powered meetings and waved off worries that America’s interest in Africa is just part of its larger plan to combat China’s influence. Yet, the trip was more than just that for the first woman, and woman of color to hold the office of the American Vice President. She broke away from resisting being confined by the adjectives that have described her historic appointment, as she leaned into her identity, even if it was not explicitly referenced, often in intense and profoundly personal ways.