Getting political


Dearest Mirah,

Sometime over the course of your education you will learn the names of all the American presidents. I think I can still recite the first fifteen or so and then maybe the last ten. Last night, while you slept, Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States. This was a big move for our country. Millions of Americans came together and voted for change, for something new. They voted with HOPE instead of fear. This election was particularly special because we, as a country, agreed to put an African American man into the highest position in the land. What a proud moment for a country whose history has been tainted with the ugliness of racism.

So, Mirah, I just want you to know that this was a big one. Hopefully by the time you get to vote we won't be talking about race or gender anymore. Hopefully by then, it will be the norm for people of all colors and for both women and men to be in positions of power. Hey, maybe you will be president someday? (Mommy would vote for you, for sure!)

I wanted to include these two photographs because they poetically illustrate two things very important to me... In the first one, humility. And in the second, dedicated love.
photograph and caption by - Callie Shell
Waiting: Obama listens from a back stairwell as he is introduced in Muscatine, Iowa. It was his second or third speech of the day. Unlike many of the politicians I have photographed in the past, I find it is easy to get a photograph of Obama alone. He lets his staff do their jobs and not fuss over him. Nov. 7, 2007.
photograph and caption by - Callie Shell
It was primary morning in New Hampshire. Barack and Michelle Obama had been campaigning separately all week. In the first few months of 2008 their private time seemed to consist of a few crossover moments in back hallways before rallies. This moment was rare and you could tell they just loved being able to sit together. Jan. 8, 2008.


This morning the three of us walked over to our local polling place and cast our vote for a new President! I was all smiles as I have been waiting 4 years for this. On the way to the polling place I saw a man who also had a little hop in his step as he walked along. "I bet he's going to vote, too, I told Dad." He looked over at us and we exchanged smiles. That's democracy at its best, my girl.


Mirah takes a stand!

Mirah loves animals. She's seen polar bears in her books. She "told" me that she wants to see a real one someday. I hope that she will.