I was struck by this picture on the front page of the Times (New York) this morning.
It’s a good picture. It kind of gets it all in – the blue sky, the autumn trees, the capitol in the distance, the huge crowd in front, the bare stage, and the single slight figure outlined against it all. The hundred thousand people facing us, and the one guy facing them frozen in a wave or a benediction. If you hate him, of course, it’s of no interest, or it’s portentous and irritating. If you like him, it’s pretty affecting. For a lot of reasons. There’s some echo of that other senator from Illinois – and doubtless some kind of secular echo of religious iconography – and the echo of the march on Washington and the crowd filling the Mall on that day – and the beauty of the shot itself. It all adds up. I’m being a little mawkish, but…well why not, dammit?
Of course, the picture will become a depressing souvenir if things go wrong (yes, wrong) a week from tomorrow, but meanwhile, it’s a nice snap.