Pete Souza, chief official White House photographer, released a series of images from 2016 of President Obama including both serious moments and impromptu moments of levity. Here are a few highlights from the past year in the White House.
"This is how a big presidential speech begins. At least for President Obama. With the deadline quickly approaching for the State of the Union speech, the President summoned Cody Keenan, Director of Speechwriting, and Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, to the Oval Office and essentially dictated the first draft of his speech.” Jan. 7, 2016.
“President Obama watches a virtual reality film captured during his trip to Yosemite National Park earlier this summer as Personal Aide Ferial Govashiri continues working at her computer.” Aug. 24, 2016.
“I had my eye on this youngster while President Barack Obama spoke during a reception at the White House celebrating African American History Month. When the President starting greeting audience members along the rope line, I bent down in front of the young man and captured this moment of the President touching his face before he too bent down to greet him. Afterwards, I tracked down his name — Clark Reynolds — and had the President sign a copy for him.” Feb. 18, 2016.
“The great thing about children is you just don’t know what they will do in the presence of the President. So when David Axelrod stopped by the Oval Office with one of his sons’ family, Axe’s granddaughter, Maelin, crawled onto the Vice President’s seat while the President continued his conversation with the adults. Then at one point, Maelin glanced over just as the President was looking back at her.” June 22, 2016.
“The Vice President chases children and members of the press with a super soaker during the 2016 Biden Beach Boardwalk Bash held at the Naval Observatory Residence in Washington, D.C.” June 4, 2016.
“Bill Murray stopped by the White House to be honored as the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. When the President opened the door to the Oval Office, he laughed that Bill was in full Chicago Cubs regalia just before the Cubs were to begin the World Series. After the presentation, Murray demonstrated his prowess in putting, ‘sinking’ several putts into a White House drinking glass, all while doing a public service announcement to sign up for the Affordable Care Act.” Oct. 21, 2016.
“The First Lady goes shopping at a CVS Pharmacy in preparation for life after the White House during a segment taping for the Ellen DeGeneres Show in Burbank, California." Sept. 12, 2016.
“President Obama talks with President Vladimir Putin of Russia following their meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China.” Sept. 5, 2016.
“Two days after the election, the President meets with President-elect Donald Trump.” Nov. 10, 2016.
“President Obama watches the First Lady dance with 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin in the Blue Room of the White House prior to a reception celebrating African American History Month.” Feb. 18, 2016.
“It just happened spontaneously one afternoon as the President began dancing in the Outer Oval with Personal Aide Ferial Govashiri. As I recall, he was helping her practice for her upcoming wedding.” March 16, 2016.
“What an honor to watch these girls grow up. Malia, foreground, and Sasha were both invited guests for the State Dinner in honor of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Mrs. Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau. Following the actual sit-down dinner in the East Room, they made their way down the Great Hall to the State Dining Room for the musical entertainment.” March 10, 2016.
“The President is always asking staff to bring their babies and young kids by for a visit. Here, during a break between meetings one afternoon, the President crawled around in the Oval Office with Communications Director Jen Psaki’s daughter Vivi.” April 14, 2016.
“President Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan toss flowers at the wishing well after laying a wreath at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.” Dec. 27, 2016.