Sunday, 4 January 2009

On the road with Obama

On the road with Obama:
An NYC photographer's exclusive
Credits: Scout Tufankjian

Barack Obama concentrates on a shot at Schultzie’s, a bar in South Charleston, W. Va., last May. It’s among the photos by Brooklyn photographer Scout Tufankjian in the book 'Yes We Can,' on sale Monday, Dec. 8.

A greeting on the long road to the White House: Obama waves through the window en route to Hamilton, Ind., last August.

The candidate says hello to a wide-eyed youngster in Greensboro, N.C., in May.

Michelle Obama listens while her husband speaks in Waterloo, Iowa, in February 2007, as he lays the groundwork for his breakthrough victory in the caucuses nearly a year later. 'The thing about the Obamas is that obviously they are extraordinary, both of them, in their drive and their abilities, but they're very normal,' says Tufankjian. 'I don't know if it’s because they’re city people in the same way we are city people, but they are very relatable. ... They shop at a food co-op, they go to the farmers’ markets, they hang out with their buddies and watch sports.'

A supporter at a rally last May in Louisville, Ky., with a message close to her heart.

Obama made a disastrous trip to the lanes in Altoona, Pa., last January, but later made up for it with an impressive performance at the pool table in West Virginia. 'He’s a really good pool player ... and he comes up to me and goes, "I bet you thought I was going to suck at this. I bet you thought this was going to be like the bowling. I got some game,'" recounts Tufankjian.

'In South Carolina, you got a sense of the life-changing?...'nature of the campaign,' Tufankjian says. 'And these girls, despite their age, were huge Obama supporters. When he came onstage, they lost their minds.'

Campaign treasurer Marty Nesbitt listens to Obama's Philadelphia speech on race in March.

Running mates Joe Biden (l.) and Obama in Toledo, Ohio, in August. 'I kind of have a crush on Joe Biden,' Tufankjian says. 'Obama introduced him to me. He said, "Joe, this is Scout ... " [He] takes one look at me and puts his arms up like that. He looks good, right?'

Riding through Indiana, Obama and spokesman Robert Gibbs catch a nap on the campaign bus.

Obama boards an evening flight in Philadelphia in April.

Obama was slightly cowed in State College, Pa., in March. 'The deal is that these cows were slobbering all over everyone,' Tufankjian says, 'and he was like, I have to touch the cow, but I don’t want it to slobber all over me.'

A young fan of the next President turned out to support him in Hartford, Conn., this past February.

Tufankjian, 31, spent two years on the road covering Obama's presidential campaign, and captured the president-elect in moments both official and candid. 'I knew that this was going to be important, and I wanted to be there,' she says.

The cover of Tufankjian's book, 'Yes We Can'

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