This photo, taken by the White House's official photographer Pete Souza, has become what may be the most loved image of the Obama administration. It is a fixture in the White House itself, and David Axelrod has a framed copy in his Chicago office. As well as being irresistibly cute, it seems to capture something about what having a black president means to African-Americans.
The young boy in the picture is the gloriously named Jacob Philadelphia. Jacob's father, Carlton, was leaving the White House after a two-year stint on the National Security Council, and took up the chance offered to all departing staff members to have a family photograph taken with the president.
Mr and Mrs Philadelphia suggested to their two sons, Isaac and Jacob, that they should each prepare one question for the president, though they didn't know what the questions were until the boys asked them. The New York Times tells this lovely story well:
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 brought his head level with Jacob, who hesitated.
“Touch it, dude!” Mr. Obama said.
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(Brilliantly, Isaac's question was "Why did you cancel the F-22 fighter jet?")