Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
October 25, 2008

Honolulu

 

HONOLULU - OCTOBER 24:  Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) takes a walk  in his old neighborhood during a visit with his ailing grandmother Madelyn Dunham October 24, 2008 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Obama has cancelled two days of campaigning an has returned to Honolulu to visit his ailing grandmother.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)US Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) crosses a street as he walks around the neighborhood after visiting his ailing grandmother in Honolulu, Hawaii October 24, 2008. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., takes a brief walk through his old neighborhood while visiting his ailing grandmother in Honolulu, Friday, Oct. 24, 2008. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

US Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) crosses a street as he walks around the neighborhood after visiting his ailing grandmother in Honolulu, Hawaii October 24, 2008. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)

Alan Chin rang me up tonight from Pennsylvania where he is half-on and half-off the campaign trail.

The two of us were marveling over Friday’s images of Obama in Honolulu, appreciating how rare and beautiful they were.  Alan was saying that Obama’s grandmother’s illness — and the media’s discretion around it — created the rarest (albeit, one day) space for him to reflect and be left primarily alone.

How poignant and profoundly unusual for Obama (or any presidential candidate) to have this moment-in-time, not just to spend with his grandmother, but to also wander his childhood neighborhood just 11 days before the national election.  As Alan said, it’s real life, and the most humble moment of the whole campaign.

(images: Obama walks around his old neighborhood after visiting his ailing grandmother in Honolulu, Hawaii October 24, 2008.  1.) Justin Sullivan/Getty  2. Hugh Gentry/Reuters. 3 & 4. Alex Brandon/AP)

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