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November 1, 2008

Campaign ‘08 Final Weekend 1: Presidential Suspect Escapes On Foot

ObamaHalloween.jpg Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of nasty business going down this weekend.

Drudge never runs a photo credit so I don’t know where he got this shot of Obama and Sasha on Halloween. I couldn’t find it anywhere else.

What happened is that Obama had first admonished the regular pool crew to give him and his daughter some space. After they backed off, though, a Polish crew (that didn’t understand English) kept pursuing him. At that point, Obama, who had been walking Sasha to a Halloween party in his neighborhood, broke into a run.

The appropriately named Chi Trib “Swamp” blog had the cute idea to write up the incident in the form of a police report. You know, the kind where the black suspect is being pursued on foot until he makes a run for it. Here are snips:

Obama was wearing sunglasses, dark slacks, a dark jacket partly unzipped to show a white shirt, no tie. Sasha was wearing a white cape and what appeared to be a black leotard. This costume had been described previously as a “corpse queen.”

Michelle and daughter Malia’s whereabouts could not be confirmed.

Staking out the Halloween party now.

If you check out Drudge’s accompanying headlines (besides the testy/uppity allusion in the first one), the last one is particularly odious in the way it ties back to the photo. Besides the inference of a race war, it actually speaks of: a blood running in the streets.

The more damaging aspect of a pic like this,  In the hands of the right wing, what could be damaging about a picture like this is how much it  it might be used to challenge how temperate and contained Obama is and has been throughout the campaign.

It could be a long weekend.

(screen grab: Drudge Report. photo unattributed.)

  • shannza

    You mentioned that this image calls into question Obama’s temperament. I don’t think I agree. He is not facing or confronting the press, he is trying to escape it. And protect his young daughter. I saw the image and was reminded of Sarah Palin bringing her kids, including her infant, on stage yesterday in Halloween costumes. All of the major candidates have featured their children to some degree. But this image reminded me the the rest of them use them sporadically, whereas they are a permanent fixture with Palin.

  • elfpix

    The image and many like it are up on the Yahoo Obama gallery. Very easy to find, been there since yesterday afternoon.
    As I’ve said before, the lack of privacy is going to be real tricky for a man who cherishes his family and family life so genuinely.

  • Marie

    So not cool.
    One of many instances of having to fight for family privacy. So not cool to twist or distort it. There should be no “staking out” of a children’s event, humorous or otherwise.

  • Jack H.

    I think the appeal of Obama’s temperament is that he comes across as a guy fully in control of his emotions, but not as someone who doesn’t have deep emotions (see Gore). Controlled, appropriate displays of emotion seem like what we should expect from Obama as we did in the Halloween moment.

  • T.

    I disagree that this photo damages his image in any way. I see a man protecting his child, by any means necessary. I also saw a short video of this incident. I saw a man who was firm with those in pursuit of him and his young child.
    Delineating boundaries.
    Family first.
    This incident reminds me of that autograph seeker who behaved quite boorishly to Senator Obama during the Pennsylvania primary. The Secret Service was present but Senator Obama, firmly but politely, dealt with that situation.
    This is also evident in the GMA interview when he defends his wife by saying, “Lay off my wife…”
    Collectively, it says to me that this guy is no pushover.

  • T.

    One more thing.
    It’s as though he is saying to these bloodthirsty wolves: You can have me but you can’t have my child. I draw a parallel of between this and the line in his stump speech, “I can take 4 more weeks of attacks from John McCain, but the American people cannot take 4 more years of blah, blah, blah…”
    He offers himself up as the sacrificial lamb…

  • Bernadette

    He was going to a Halloween Party at the Ayers residence!

  • vmh

    I bet any money that all the while he was doing this, he was making it a fun game for his daughter.

  • jtfromBC


  • Mum

    I agree with Shannza and T and vmh. Obama was a father being protective of the little time he has with his children. You know probably better than anyone what they say about the “eyes of the beholder.” Any devoted parent would recognize that he was protecting that precious moment with Sasha. Imagine how he would have been criticized if he had chosen to stop and schmooze with reporters and photographers during the three short hours he had to be a dad before heading back on the campaign trail. So I disagree with you. I don’t think that it challenges “the truth of how temperate and contained Obama is and has been throughout the campaign.” If it does, then someone is definitely looking at the world through some kind of distorting lens.

  • The BAG

    I agree with the comments. I personally don’t see the picture as a sign of weakness or vulnerability either. What I failed to express in the last two lines is that this is how I saw Drudge and the like exploiting the picture. Clearly the press was out of line (in marked contrast, by the way, to the cushion of space Obama was afforded in Hawaii). I do think Drudge picked the shot, though, because of the racial overtones The Swamp was playing on, and also because he thought it looked weak for Obama to run.

  • jtfromBC

    If the above Drudge report provides nourishment for the bottom feeders this delightful prank on Palin has made my weekend.Its seven hilarious minutes but hasn’t reached Youtube yet.
    Palin falls prey to Canadian pranksters

  • Spencer

    If the image was just of Obama, the scumbags could riff on the “black man flees on foot” thing they’re trying to create. But within half a of seeing the picture, it sinks in: this is a guy protecting his daughter. That’s powerful, in a very good way.
    In the way that this would be a whole other image without his daughter, it reminds me of the picture of Barack on a bicycle, which looked kind of nerdy when it was cropped to show him alone, but when you saw the (far less prevalent) image that showed he had his daughter in tow, it became really heartwarming.
    And then you realize how many more political points he could be scoring if he dragged his daughters into more photo ops, and have to respect him all the more for forgoing that tactic as much as he does.

  • jtfromBC

    Its arrived,
    Palin falls prey to Canadian pranksters

  • elfpix

    Sombody found a photo of one of the girls in the sidecar of the bike? Where? I looked for days. That seemed to me to be the one time that Alex Brandon let the visually alert viewing public down.
    But back to this situation – I’m glad someone intervened with the Poles. Still it’s going to be real tricky for the girls to go on being kids if he’s elected.
    Just looking at today’s images in Columbus on the Yahoo gallery, one can see that even Sasha is getting it. It’s no longer Dad’s thing. And Malia, who’s only 10, carries her self with such adultness in the pix today.
    It’s kind of sad.

  • mycolover

    Ok. I don’t know how much more inaccurate this can be. “a Polish crew (that didn’t speak english) pursued”… what a freakin’ joke. Like a bunch of polish people, who don’t speak english, are going to go chase down Obama. If they are employed by the media or within the media in any way, they speak ENGLISH, and at least 2 other languages. That’s the norm for most polish people.
    Whoever wrote that up is such an idiot….. doesn’t even know how to lie.

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