There is beauty in truth
Earlier this week the new residents of the White House were photographed greeting visitors. These visitors were not members of a delegation from a foreign country. These visitors were just regular Americans -- the kind who, before the Bush II administration, used to be able to come to the People's House and get a free tour just for standing in line.
(Reuters Photo) U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady, Michelle Obama, shake hands with members of the public touring the White House in Washington, January 21, 2009. From L-R are: Sosa Ezeokoli of Brooklyn, NY, Obama, Beverly Ezeokoli of Brooklyn, NY, and Michelle Obama.
The new President also is considering reopening the Statue of Liberty for visitors so they can climb as high as the lady's crown and survey the skyline and harbor of New York, if they are so inclined (and physically fit enough). These changes are symbolic as much as substantive, but this image is also striking just because it's beautiful.
First, there's the First Couple (and, uh, Reuters is making me wonder why they identified all four people in the photo as they did)-- and say whatever you want to about them politically, the Obamas are a fine-looking couple. Michelle Obama's dress, in this photo, is astonishingly pretty and suits her very well. Plus it so beautifully complements the quilt (or is it a jacket?) around Ms. Ezeokoli's shoulders.
I hope that if nothing else, this photo is a harbinger of things to come in a reduction throughout our nation of the paranoia and "Fortress Amerikka" mindset that marked the "post 9-11-01" era. It is my dearest hope that President Obama will, unlike the previous administration, lead the nation forward instead of quailing from monsters in the closet and terrorists under the bed.