Yeah, I know that sounds all soft and girlie of me to say. But I think we need more of that in our politics...not less.
I attended the final Colorado campaign stop that Barack Obama made on 01 Nov 2008, a few days prior to the election. A few thousand people attended this rally in Pueblo, CO, to hear Senator Obama speak.
I actually cried taking this photograph...
I do believe this photo has historical merit because it shows a personal yet public moment from the last days of a long and arduous campaign. It exhibits love, which may seem an odd thing to convey in a political campaign, but actually may be the driving force behind why any politician, activist, or photographer does what they do.
It immediately reminded me of what John Dickerson wrote about President Obama's speech at the Tucson Memorial.
What do we want in a president? The office has become so misshapen it's hard to say what it doesn't encompass. Giving speeches isn't the entire job, of course. But if part of the job requirement is someone who reminds us that our public life can reflect our best private selves, then Obama showed that he is up to it. He has been thinking about that idea long before this tragedy called for a speech about it. The test for all of us is to do the same after the applause has died down.
One of my seminary professors used to say that we shouldn't measure the integrity of theologians based simply on what they said or wrote - but also on how they lived their lives. I guess that comes down to the old saying about "walking your talk." That same professor used to say that love is not a reaction...its a capacity. This picture is a small snapshot of that capacity being lived out by President Obama. And its why I treasure these photographs as well.