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November 7, 2012


Why this photo? Because…

• Obama, although he delivered a stem-winder last night, is still pretty inward. (Maureen Dowd couldn’t hit him hard enough this campaign for being an introvert — like she felt swindled because he also has so much charisma.) When Obama, in the closing days of this race, would tell crowds: “you know me,” I think he was referring to this actually shy/self-effacing quality. As hard and as demanding as he is on himself, however (which, I believe, is where the smoking comes from), and as much as he’s felt the country’s problems demanded he tamp down the rhetoric, I was so glad last night to see him loosen the hair shirt.

• If he can be haughty intellectually (see: Denver debate), Obama really doesn’t allow himself much vanity. If it’s easy for him to feel proud of his family, it seemed last night he allowed himself to feel proud of himself, too. (At the same time, the exchange for the pride seemed to be that much more fuel for the change agenda.)

• The quality I remember most strongly from November 4, 2008, watching Obama very closely in Grant Park that evening, is tension. Certainly the new President, mindful of history, felt profoundly humbled and awed and delivered a soaring, electric speech that night, too. At the same time, I also remember all the bulletproof panels (suddenly daunted myself over the challenge of protecting the first black president, especially with all the hate it stirred up). More than that, though, with the economy in a total free fall, what I mostly recall was a deep sense of urgency coming off the man, clearly respectful of the need for commemoration but practically desperate also to get down to work.

• And then, like the man said, who doesn’t love his anchor?

(photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images caption: U.S. President Barack Obama stands on stage with first lady Michelle Obama after his victory speech on election night at McCormick Place November 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama won reelection against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.)

  • BamaGuy1024

    That photograph says it all for anyone who supports and loves our President, the extreme relief, pride and yes – joy! Now on to the hard work…

  • bks3bks

    Behind every successful man …


  • Scarabus

    Great to see that sort of genuine affection. (Or is it a “terrorist body hug”? Have to check with the experts at Fox.)

    Maybe it’s characteristic of a good slogan that it means different things to different folks. I thought the “you know me” referred to Obama’s relative consistency compared to Gov. Etch-a-Sketch.

    • Catherine McCallum

      Yes. That’s how I read it, too. And I think that in the end consistency won out. The electorate noticed that Romney had no actual positions of his own. He said a different thing to each audience, until his inability to stand pat on any position had become a bizarre spectacle.

  • LanceThruster

    I’m happy for the President, his family, and the nation.

    I want Mitt to just go away (though I’d still love to see his tax returns).

    • LanceThruster

      I hope my own Romnesia kicks in soon so we never have to speak of this again.

  • black_dog_barking

    Hear the screaming, scolding right wing complaining that no one listens to them, to their ideas? Neither do I. That is one golden silence.

    BHO now has four years to make good on the potential and promise he brought to the office in 2008. The incessant distractions of Boehner, McConnell, Ryan, and the Fox group of Rove, Palin, et al have momentarily lost their microphone. Time to move on without them.

  • obamafan

    So did anyone actually watch his speech? Right after this picture was taken, Obama removed Michelle’s hands and said something to her. It almost looked like he was scolding her. Go watch the speech and you will see what I’m talking about. I voted for Obama, so you can’t call me biased. I just want to know what he said to her.

    • LanceThruster

      Probably warned her that the Secret Service gets antsy at anyone making full body contact with the prez.

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