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November 2, 2010

When Politicians (Not Just Pictures) Actually Spoke To Two Americas

<cite id="captionCite">Larry Downing/Reuters</cite>
Larry Downing/Reuters

I’m not sure if what we’re seeing here is an act of devotion or mental illness.  Still, the scene of this man kneeling in front of Obama’s limo as the Prez leaves Valois, the very modest cafeteria in his neighborhood, is suggestive of the awesome gap between the have and increasingly-despairing have nots in this country.

What is even more notable about the picture, in a midterm election that pandered so shamelessly to the fast-sinking American middle class, is how the poor and indigent really never did rise above the gutter in this election cycle.

  • D Creed

    Obama’s candidacy inspired many urban, minority, and poor citizens to participate in the political process for the first time; those folks are largely responsible for his victory.

    I see this photo through the narrative of Obama turning his back on that voting bloc. Bloggers call it “hippie-punching.”

    I see a President taking measures to separate himself from people like the man on his knees. Windows rolled up and tinted to prevent visual and voice contact between citizen and President.

    The other people in this photo are interesting for their lack of expression / enthusiasm / interaction. Photos from 2008 showed screaming excited onlookers. Now the Presidential visit is recieved more as a curiosity; he is to be viewed, not interacted with.

  • Nina

    Devotion. Prayer. Thanks. If he were mentally ill, not sure he would put the newspaper under his knees. These are Obama’s former neighbors. He used to be able to eat at Valois with them. It’s touching because he’s no longer able to interact, hidden in the black SUV. The picture serves as a reminder of the constituents that will be shut out of any GOP landslide.

  • Nemo

    Obama probably does not have a choice on which vehicle he gets to travel around in.

    But the first thing that struck me about the picture of the man was “reverence”. The King is passing by, seek his help; for others, take a picture. Either way, it symbolises a “on high”.
    Whatever common touch he had was been wasted in 2 years.

  • http://doran.pacifist.net doran

    It’s not surprising Drudge spun this as a man begging Obama for money.

  • thatmichaelguy

    The man is thankful that he in his life time has seen a Black president in the US of A. It’s a moving expression of not devotion but belief. I only wish our president would care more and act for folks like this gentleman than for the Wall Street eunuchs.

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