New York Times:
For decades at the White House, photographs of the president at work and at play have hung throughout the West Wing, and each print soon gives way to a more recent shot. But one picture of President Obama remains after three years.
The boy in the picture is Jacob Philadelphia of Columbia, Md. Three years ago this month, his father, Carlton, a former Marine, was leaving the White House staff after a two-year stint on the National Security Council that began in the Bush administration. As departing staff members often do, Mr. Philadelphia asked for a family photograph with Mr. Obama.
When the pictures were taken and the family was about to leave, Mr. Philadelphia told Mr. Obama that his sons each had a question. In interviews, he and his wife, Roseane, said they did not know what the boys would ask. The White House photographer, Pete Souza, was surprised, too, as the photo’s awkward composition attests: The parents’ heads are cut off; Jacob’s arm obscures his face; and his older brother, Isaac, is blurry.
Jacob spoke first.
“I want to know if my hair is just like yours,” he told Mr. Obama, so quietly that the president asked him to speak again.
Jacob did, and Mr. Obama replied, “Why don’t you touch it and see for yourself?”
He lowered his head, level with Jacob, who hesitated.
“Touch it, dude!” Mr. Obama said.
As Jacob patted the presidential crown, Mr. Souza snapped.
“So, what do you think?” Mr. Obama asked.
“Yes, it does feel the same,” Jacob said.
When historians talk about how historic Obama's presidency was, they will cite the end of the Iraq war, the end of DOMA, his support for gay marriage, the fact that he rescued the American economy, and many other important policy decisions.
But none of them will ever do as good of a job of demonstrating how important his Presidency was to millions of people, as will this photograph of a little boy discovering that all of his dreams are suddenly within reach.