I clipped the photo and the caption from yesterday’s NYT Pictures of the Day slide show to highlight the NYT photo operation at its best.
Captured here, in my mind, is one of the most dramatic and welcome foreign policy moves in years. (And yet, given the way Obama operates, it was also somewhat subtle.) Bringing Bush’s indiscriminate “War On Islam” to a end, Obama said: “America’s relationship with the Muslim world cannot, and will not, be based on opposition to Al Qaeda.” And then, in the quote above, offered to a clearly moved Turkish Parliament, Obama vaulted off the “We are all Berliners” concept, but took it that much further by eliminating any metaphor.
And then, the photo. Although the caption states a man is watching Obama’s address, it’s not clear who is paying attention. That’s not the point, however. Because what the photo documents is process — that Obama, whether he’s quite gained an audience or he’s still just a backdrop, has worked his way into the tea house.