This is a view from the motorcade. On the ride from the hotel to the Uptown Theater, where the president spoke, we glided down closed-off streets. Along the route, as the motorcade passed through, it was almost as if time stood still. People stopped what they were doing and stepped outside to watch the flashing lights and black SUVs pass by. That had their smartphones and tablets at the ready to capture that moment the president came to town and drove down their street.
Later in the day, as a group of people waited to shake Obama’s hand, I overheard a mom talking to her daughter about the moment they were about to experience. She told her skeptical tween that she would be telling people about this for the rest of her life - that time she met the president of the United States.
It may all be an elaborate photo op, but it’s their photo op, the one that happened in their neighborhood.