November 9, 2008

Flickr Friends: You, Me And The Obamas

George and Laura, we hardly knew y’all.

I’ve been looking at the Barack Obama election night Flickr set that many of you have written me about. If you haven’t seen it, it follows the family just prior to and during last Tuesday’s Grant Park victory celebration. Above are the series of images between 11:32:15 to 11:33:11 immediately before and after the network declared Obama the next President. (The TV shot is time stamped 11:32:04).

Of course, there is endless domestic information here. We witness the calmness and closeness of the immediately family, and how much Michelle’s mother is part of the unit. (I like this sweet shot of Barack and Marian Robinson just after.) We see how tuned in Malia is to her father, being the one to congratulate him and also flanking him opposite Michelle. (Among the data here, we can even relish how FOX has lost its White House foothold.)

Less than the significance of any single shot, however, is this use of Flickr in the first place. Of course, it’s brilliantly strategic on one level, the Obamas kicking off their Administration by visually friending us. On the other hand, this loosening of formality between the presidency and the American people appears to also reflect both the unassuming nature of the Obamas (driven by Michelle) as well as the naturally more networked and less hierarchical nature of the post-Boomers.

Here’s the flickr page to examine the stills more closely.

(images: David Katz/Obama campaign)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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