A few observations about the scene above…
1. There is no other way to read this than Obama taking to the pulpit.
And, after the religious pandering and extreme moral hypocrisy of the Bush administration, I feel these flashes of moral leadership we’ve seen from Obama will yet be his strongest asset. (Case in point, Obama was not just paying lip service when he promised a dialogue about race back in March. Also, it would have been far safer — since that exposition prompted by Reverend Wright — to remain in what many have termed the “post-racial” mold. Instead however, Obama — with the Father’s Day speech — chose to specifically reach out to and keep faith with the black community.
2. Call it inoculation.
Also visually symbolic is the way the appearance at Chicago’s Apostolic Church puts greater distance between Obama and Trinity/Reverend Wright.
3. Problem with the woman’s vote?
Watching the speech and examining the photo, notice the connection between Obama and the largely female choir as he speaks at length about the role/plight/strength of mothers both in and outside the black community. If you watch the whole speech, there isn’t the sense from these women — in contrast to a McCain townhall crowd — that the approval came with a rubber stamp. It does feel instead — given the intensity of interest, as well as a knowing smile here and a nod there — that Obama earned it.
(image: Alex Brandon/AP: Apostolic Church of God, Chicago. June 15, 2008)