Yes We Can: Barack Obama’s History-Making Presidential Campaign is the story of Barack Obama’s historic journey from junior Senator from Illinois to—if all polls hold as indicated—President of the United States of America, as documented by Scout Tufankjian, the only independent photographer to cover his entire campaign from before he announced his run through the expected election night celebration in Chicago’s Grant Park.
Obama’s grassroots journey touched something profound in America, inspiring individuals of every age, color, educational background, and economic status with his visions of leadership, belief in a better tomorrow, and a return to the hallmarks of American ideals. In the course of his visits to almost every state in the union, Obama electrified record-breaking crowds at his rallies and motivated millions of people to engage in the political process. The results have been nothing short of a revolution in political strategy, communication, and activism.
Be it a skeptical old farmer from Tama, Iowa, who was surprised to realize that he had something in common with this young black politician, or an eight-year-old boy from Los Angeles who couldn’t stop saying, “He looks like me and he is going to be President!”, Senator Obama instilled a feeling of unity and hope in a nation scarred by divisive politics and pessimism. Obama’s campaign created a movement, a faith, and a feeling that has not been present in American politics for decades—if ever. Yes We Can is a comprehensive and intimate portrait of this world-changing campaign. With more than 200 color photographs by Tufankjian, the book takes the reader along on Obama’s personal and political journey. Tufankjian was there from the beginning, attending a book signing almost two years ago in New Hampshire that marked the start of a fascination with the man who would be president.
Sensing something truly important was happening, Tufankjian decided to document the journey of this long-shot candidate. From coffee shops and diners to auto manufacturing plants and bowling alleys, Tufankjian followed Obama as he wooed potential voters in expensive houses as well as in poverty-stricken Indian reservations. She covered the primaries, the debates, and the final weeks of the hard-fought campaign, shooting more than 12,000 images—the deepest, most comprehensive, and most personal portrait of the man and his run as well as the people who came to see him, hear him, and vote for him. Yes We Can is as much about Americans and their hopes and visions for America as it is about the man that gave them voice.