Most people associate image management and the visual packaging of politicians with the rise of television.
The visual packaging of politicians, however, dates back to the midnineteenth century and the invention of the photograph. Abraham Lincoln's election chances were visibly enhanced in 1860 by an impressive-looking campaign photograph doctored by the prominent New York photographer Matthew Brady.
Lincoln, a gangly man with a protruding Adam's apple and deeply furrowed face, was less than photogenic. So, Brady modified Lincoln's appearance with a couple of photographic tricks and retouched the print to remove his harsh facial lines. The embellished photograph made Lincoln look much more physically attractive; according to photographic historian Susan Kismeric, “Lincoln credited Brady's portrait in large part – for his election to the presidency”1