Mr. President

President Obama

On August 13, 2007, Barack Obama passed through Nashua as a candidate, for an outdoor “town hall” meeting, where I took this photo and many others. It was six months into the campaign, and Hillary already had the substantial lead in the race. He spoke and answered questions for about an hour, and he wrapped it up by saying, to paraphrase, “Okay people, now I have to get out of here—I have got to get home tonight to see my kids.” Yet he lingered, greeting every person who wanted to meet him.

While watching the throngs of people gathering in D.C. these past few days, I’ve been thinking of my encounter with him—there was not a huge crowd in Nashua on that late-afternoon in August ’07. One month prior to this town hall meeting, I had been at a Hillary rally in Manchester where over 3,000 people attended. Things can indeed change.

Thanks to the small Nashua turnout, I was sitting in the third row, and when he finished speaking I was able to get very close and shake his hand—not once, but twice. After we pressed palms the first time, I snapped away with my camera for close-up photos, and then moved myself to the end of the line where I shook his hand again as he was exiting.

I wrote at the time that if I were to vote for a candidate based on their lack of perspiration, he would get my vote—on a very hot August afternoon, his hands were very dry, and very soft. He did get my vote, but obviously not just for being moisture-free.

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