October 8, 2008

27 days: The Real Barack Obama

Longtime readers of this blog may remember the Hyde Park Herald's special issue about Barack Obama, published when our junior senator first announced his candidacy for president. It was, quite simply, fire. In an exclusive interview, Obama talked about snogging Michelle at the old Baskin-Robbins, and going for long walks at the Point, which was mildly interesting, but more importantly, the Herald asked "the people who know him best, his friends and neighbors" an important question: "Who is Barack Obama?"The responses were, generally speaking, awesome. For example:

"Last year during our Halloween parade, we were standing next to each other and he greeted me with a friendly 'hello.'"
"We march together in the 4th on 53rd parade. I was George Washington. He was a patriot. Obama was an ambiable marching mate."
But as mesmerizing as those responses were, it wasn't until recently that the issue's real gem emerged: an interview with Barack Obama's pastor... the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, headlined "Where Obama Developed His Audacity of Hope."20 months ago, it was an innocuous fluff piece rucked deep inside the paper on page 21--a sidebar to the side-slitting anecdotes from people who, once, maybe, saw Obama at Ribs 'N Bibs. But now, with four weeks left and the McCain-Palin ticket placing its final hopes on the baiting question "Who is the real Barack Obama?," the Herald's special issue is a testament to just how far we've come since 2007--and how little has changed.