An Obama Moment

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I was moved by the following incident reported in the International Herald Tribune, which highlighted Obama’s low-key approach to voters in Iowa, now that the initial curiosity and hoopla surrounding his announcement has died down:

The approach allowed for moments like one that took place at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Dakota City, after almost everyone had gone. Obama was approached by a woman, her eyes wet. She spoke into his ear and began to weep, collapsing into his embrace. They stood like that for a full minute, Obama looking ashen, before she pulled away. She began crying again, Obama pulled her in for another embrace.

The woman left, declining to give her name or recount their conversation. Obama said she told him what had happened to her 20-year-old son while serving in Iraq.

“Her son died,” he said. He paused. “What can you say? This happens to me every single place I go.”

The next day, at the rally in Colo, Obama described the encounter for the crowd. The woman, he said, had asked if her son’s death was the result of a mistake by the government. “And I told her the service of our young men and women – the duty they show this country – that’s never a mistake,” he said.

He paused carefully as he reflected on that encounter. “It reminds you why you get into politics,” he said. “It reminds you that this isn’t a game.”

BTW, Flickr right now lists 4,409 photos when you search for “Barack Obama.” That’s nearly three times as many as the 1,517 found in a search for “Hillary Clinton.” (In the minute it took to add in these links, the Obama count jumped by 9 new photos.)

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