IOL: US First Lady Michelle Obama met South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela at his home Tuesday, in a rare visit with the ageing icon whose legacy frames much of her journey here.

The meeting with the 92-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner was discreetly arranged after Obama and her daughters visited archives chronicling some of his 27 years as a political prisoner.

At the Mandela Foundation, his wife Graca Machel guided Obama, her mother, and her daughters Malia and Sasha through an exhibit of his personal photographs and journals, in which he meticulously drafted letters but also kept more mundane notes on his weight and daily routine.

“After leaving here, she proceeded to make a brief courtesy call on former president Mandela,” said Achmat Dangor, the head of the foundation, calling the first lady “a lovely woman without any airs”.

Their visit added to the symbolism surrounding Obama’s journey, with America’s first black family in the White House meeting South Africa’s first black president. President Barack Obama has called the anti-apartheid struggle his first political cause, and US officials say he has had periodic telephone contact with Mandela, who led the struggle against white-minority rule. The two men met in 2006 when then-senator Obama toured Africa. A simple cell-phone picture of that meeting is now in Mandela’s office, aides to the first lady said.

Mandela welcomed her entire family into his home, including a niece and nephew travelling with them. Such visits are increasingly rare. Mandela, who turns 92 next month, has received few guests since he was hospitalised with an acute respiratory infection in January.

Mandela’s legacy in the battle for South African democracy defines much of Obama’s visit. After leaving his home in the leafy Houghton neighbourhood, they travelled to the Apartheid Museum, which chronicles the rise and fall of white rule.

More here

107 Responses to “mandela!”

  1. 1 Me4obama
    June 21, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Am in tears. No word to say.

    • 2 jeanw
      June 21, 2011 at 9:20 am

      So am I. This is such a beautiful statement for humanity…..

    • 3 Hachikō
      June 21, 2011 at 7:29 pm

      I saw the picture of the 4 of them on Hardball and I got goosebumps and started crying. Words seem so inadequate to describe what that moment means. It’s breathtaking on every level.

  2. 4 Betsy
    June 21, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Two great people, both characterized by their patience and quiet confidence, both able to change the world in their time. Wonderful pictures Chipsticks. Thanks. Have a great day everybody.

  3. June 21, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Me too. Wow. He looks good. It’s so wonderful that God is allowing him to live so long after he gave up so many years of his life for his people. That he got to see Barack Obama, who’s roots are also in Africa, become president of the United States is just too much for words.

  4. 7 fig8jam
    June 21, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Three generations of history with stories to tell their children.

    History being made right before our eyes, and passed on from one generation to another, in one snapshot.

  5. 9 Tulips
    June 21, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Mr. Mandela looks good

  6. 10 hopefruit2
    June 21, 2011 at 9:27 am

    This is powerful. No words.

  7. June 21, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Waow….this left me speechless with my heart beating so fast….it’s just wonderful….

  8. 12 Jessica
    June 21, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Barack is going to cry when he sees this.

  9. 13 Fred
    June 21, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Thank you GOD for Today when the First Lady and the girls got to spend precious time with Mr Mandela

  10. June 21, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I am agreeing with everyone. My heart is full with pride. I am so glad our First Lady got to meet Mr. Mandela.

  11. June 21, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I was not prepared for that beautiful picture, the tears are just flowing. To see him free after all these years is such a gift to all those of the President’s generation and younger.

    • 17 utaustinliberal
      June 21, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      I’m right there with you and the tears. I was soooooo hoping that she would have the privilege of meeting Nelson ‘Madiba’ Mandela. It must have been such an emotional moment for the whole family. All the horrors he went through were not for naught. I’m glad that she and POTUS are exposing their children to so many important dignitaries and history makers and places around the world.

      ps: Michelle Obama just gets more gorgeous everyday. The goodness in her heart just makes her radiate with jaw dropping beauty. Love her outfits also.

      • 18 geegee
        June 21, 2011 at 5:02 pm

        Yes! Our beautiful first lady is a true jewel. I love how this trip to Africa was planned and is being carried out thus far. God bless and keep the FL, the children (including her niece and nephew), and the First Grandmama.

  12. 19 desertflower
    June 21, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Amazing. Powerful.Inspirational.Hopeful.Transformative Beautiful..I was under the impression that the Obama’s wouldn’t be visiting with Mandela because of his health, so this is really, really special.

  13. 20 lexusv
    June 21, 2011 at 9:40 am

    This is just beautiful. History in the making. These beautiful lil girls will have such a full life forevermore. Mr.Madela looks very happy to be spending time with them. Michelle looks good ;o)

  14. 21 itgurl_29
    June 21, 2011 at 9:41 am

    So amazing!

  15. 22 carolyn
    June 21, 2011 at 9:42 am

    This picture is a strong reminder that progress does come….with work. I remember reading about apartheid and that horror. I remember seeing the marches to bring about change in Africa. Sometimes we lose heart, and get discouraged, but we must not. True change is never easy, true change is never fast. True change takes work. Thirty years ago, those pictures would not have been possible. Yes We Can!

    • June 21, 2011 at 10:06 am

      You are so right, Carolyn. And the phony progressives and impatient Americans want our President to fix a disaster is days not months.

    • 24 PoliticalJunkessa
      June 21, 2011 at 10:07 am

      So true, carolyn. I’m in it for the long haul. Yes We Can, indeed.

    • 25 theo67
      June 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      Well said. Nelson Mandela waited 27 years in prison, after fighting for many years before that – and he was rewarded with a free country, an opportunity for future generations, and to serve as an example of persistence by becoming the first black President of South Africa. President Obama fought for communities and justice for 20 years before he became President, and he did a lot of good in those years, and he won many of the same things as Nelson Mandela. Truly, they are excellent examples for those who are so impatient and unwilling to do the necessary hard work.

  16. 26 Titti
    June 21, 2011 at 9:43 am

    God bless Mr Mandela ‘n the O’s. Beautiful pictures and a wonderful moment .

  17. 27 P
    June 21, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Awwwwwwwww this is so beautiful!! Thanks Chips!

  18. 28 Perry
    June 21, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Wow! I am glad this meeting was able to happen. Mandela looks great! God bless all of them.

  19. 29 PoliticalJunkessa
    June 21, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Nothing to say but “Beautiful.” Everyone and everything about this picture is absolutely beautiful.

    *sigh* and *tears*

  20. 30 cuphalffull
    June 21, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I feel a stirring of the good kind of pride, I feel proud of our country that we have elected President Obama and that his wonderful family, who will truly appreciate the significance of their opportunity to meet Mr. Mandela, are the ones who get to represent us in this moment. Mr. Mandela is the true kind of royalty in the spiritual sense. No pomp and circumstance, just the inexpressible loveliness of humble servant leaders, who give so much of their lives for others, meeting.

  21. 31 CTGirl
    June 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

    How wonderful! Such beautiful and historic pics.

  22. 32 Bill
    June 21, 2011 at 10:07 am

    In my humble opinion, the photo of the four is my favorite photo of the administration. Compare this to the desire of the half term governor to visit the vile Margaret Thatcher who called Nelson Mandela a terrorist

    • 33 Gloria Powell
      June 21, 2011 at 10:12 am

      No comparison possible.

    • 34 theo67
      June 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm

      This is one of my favorites, too – there’s just something so wonderful about it. And I think the President will find it stirring, as well. Mrs. Obama is doing such a fabulous job as First Lady.

      I agree with you about the contrast with that quitter and her less than stellar aspirations.

  23. June 21, 2011 at 10:09 am

    So many emotions. I remember the day of election in South Africa, when the lies stretched for miles, people waited patiently to vote for this man who had sacrificed his life and endured such hardship for his country. So much history in that room, as I watch the first lady and her children sit with the 92-year old, and I am reminded of election day in this ccountryk, 2008. I voted for the first time in my life ever. In my own country, up to the time I left home to come to the U.S. we never held elections.

    Like myself casting my first vote for PBO, it was the first time some South Africans ever voted and doing so for a man that fought to give them that right.

    And by the way, for a 92-year-old, President Mandela looks fabulous.

    • 36 Dakota
      June 21, 2011 at 10:38 am


      Your remembrance of the first time you voted brings as many tears to my eyes as these beautiful pictures of the First Family and President Mandela. I also remember that day and well as the day President Mandela was released from prison. So emotional. Thank you for sharing.

    June 21, 2011 at 10:09 am


  25. 38 CEB
    June 21, 2011 at 10:09 am


    The fact that so many in other parts of the world say things like she is “without airs” or how gracious and down to earth Michelle and PBO are, seems to indicate that other visiting American officials may not have been so; ummm.

  26. 39 Bill
    June 21, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Huntsman’s announcement was a dud.

    • June 21, 2011 at 10:27 am

      Good. A backstabber and commander-in-chief wannabe. There is an aura surrounding this president that drops his opponents like flies, especially those with ugly intentions. They will only learn the hard way. Keep watching.

      • 41 Audrey
        June 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm

        Amen to that Africax2, they will all keep dropping like flies all around our great President!

        What a glorious moment captured for posterity! I am so glad Mandela was able to see the First Lady and th girls! This is wonderful! Long live m

  27. June 21, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Good morning 🙂 Thank you so very much Chips for these pretty pictures and nice articles. I do appreciate It. Thank you again 🙂
    Yes Mr Mandela looks good, extremely well considering. The Obamas look good as they usually do. The Girls seem focused and Interested In being In the presence of Mr mandela. this Is a good thing 🙂

  28. June 21, 2011 at 10:15 am

    GOPolitico’s twitter message on Huntsman campaign announcement. Sounds like a big fail to me.

    “Applause is polite, interested, once prompted; lowest key I’ve ever seen at a launch event; his talk a bit minor key as well.”

  29. 48 Debz
    June 21, 2011 at 10:19 am

    This is so wonderful, what a powerful photo. Mandela looks good, we have not seen him in a long time.

  30. 49 Kasai
    June 21, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Choked up…………I was so hoping for them to see my ultimate hero Mandela

    words can’t capture the essence of this image…………Emotions are running high

    Thanks Chips

  31. June 21, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Oops! Huntsman campaign fail. Misspells the candidate’s name.


    Also, Sam Stein tweets: Nearly as much press as attendees.

    And Ari Melber tweets: CNN and MSNBC quickly break away from Huntsman. Only so much love for the newest media darling.”

    • June 21, 2011 at 10:29 am

      Delicious!! Rats falling off a ship into the deep blue sea. Next!

      • June 21, 2011 at 10:35 am

        And there’s more! This tweet from a republican strategist:

        Uh oh RT @LarrySabato: Bad sign for Huntsman: Cable covers only minutes of kick-off. Bland, uninspiring speech. Must ramp up quickly.

        I’m rolling on the floor at this “serious challenger to Barack Obama.”

        • 53 DTTM
          June 21, 2011 at 10:41 am

          OT–but the NYTimes has been pushing Huntsman, who is announcing today, hard.
          I rarely comment there, but did and it made to the top ten in recs though I posted hours after the article went up. So that gave me hope that people will see through his “moderate” image.
          My comment:

          Huntsman has signed up with the Paul Ryan plan to privatize, and thus destroy, Medicare.
          Huntsman has signed up with the Paul Ryan plan to DECREASE taxes on the top 2%.
          Huntsman, by endorsing the Ryan Plan, wishes to shred FDR’s progressive social compact.
          Huntsman supports the reversal of Roe vs. Wade
          Huntsman is mega rich via a family fortune built on the chemical industry which is very busy polluting our planet as fast as possible.

    • June 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm

      I’m sure the media has their cold calculating hearts set on a nice tea party candidate like Bachmann.

  32. 57 halo
    June 21, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Chipsticks, some more news on Afghanistan! Nothing is final, of course, but it looks like as of today he’s drawing down more than expected.

    Report: Obama to withdraw 10,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan this year


    • June 21, 2011 at 10:41 am

      Hiya Halo, thanks so much for the link. I was reading a few reports this morning and they’re all making different predictions on the number of troops that the President will announce will be withdrawn. Let’s hope it’s closer to 30,000 than 10,000.

  33. 60 Jessica
    June 21, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Next up! The Obama ladies reading Cat in the Hat to SA preschoolers. Look for more vid and pics soon.


  34. June 21, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Another tweet:

    “LOL. He put my dog to sleep w/that so called speech”

    Can the repubs be any more clownish?

  35. June 21, 2011 at 10:40 am


    Cobell claim for American Indians wins approval from the court. 3.4 billion dollars to half a million American Indians.

    Msm misses it.

    • 63 askew3
      June 21, 2011 at 10:55 am

      That is great news. Thanks for bringing this piece of news and hundreds of other pieces to this blog and BWD’s blog. I learn more from your posts than I do from watching the news.

  36. 65 Dakota
    June 21, 2011 at 10:43 am

    What a beautiful, historic moment captured in these beautiful pictures! I can barely stop the tears. I must get myself together or my boss is going to get suspicious and ask if I need to go home.

  37. 66 Anonymous
    June 21, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Testing…this is edp4bho. Not seeing my tupe here at work yet.

  38. June 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

    La times just announced that it has been leaked the president will bring home 10k troops from Afghanistan.

    I was hoping for more. He will get slammed for this. Sometimes I wonder if he really wants to win. Sigh!

    • 68 Britt
      June 21, 2011 at 10:45 am

      TPM is saying he is briniging 30,000 home. It’s best to wait for what POTUS says tomorrow.

      • June 21, 2011 at 10:51 am

        30k by the fall of 2012… These are most likely being leaked by the pentagon! Just like before, the president is being boxed in!

        • June 21, 2011 at 11:18 am

          He is the president, the final decision is his. We can’t blame others just because we don’t like his certain decision. I don’t think PBO would have want us to blame others for decisions he makes. He would never do that, and by suggesting that he’s being “boxed in”, we suggest that he’s letting others force his hands. He is stronger than them and if that’s his decision, then that’s his decision. I was hoping for a bigger number in a much more rapid pace, but I don’t have to agree with everything he does in order to trust his judgment.

    • 71 Jessica
      June 21, 2011 at 10:49 am

      You’re joking right?? You can be really pessimistic sometimes. 10K by the end of 2011 is a substantial amount and 30K by the end of 2012 is a big deal too. Wait till tomorrow, stop being so hysterical.

      • 72 Britt
        June 21, 2011 at 10:51 am

        I understand Jovie’s point of view, because I thought he would at least withdraw 50,000, 10,000 is really low to me.

        • 73 askew3
          June 21, 2011 at 11:00 am

          Yep, I have to admit that I am disappointed by the low # of troop withdrawal. He’s going to wait until the end of 2012 to remove the troops that he added during the surge. So, in 2013, we will be right back where we were in 2008 with t70,000 troops. To me, that is a massive disappointment. He should be committing to bringing all the troops home by the end of 2012. Another two years is not going to fix the mess that is Afghanistan. We need to finish up what we can in the next year and a half and get out.

          • 74 halo
            June 21, 2011 at 11:07 am

            I think we have an agreement with NATO and Afghanistan, like we did in Iraq, that our troops will all be out by 2014.

            So Iraq is done this year. Afghanistan 2014. And Libya should be wrapping up pretty soon since Gaddafi is losing ground every day.

          • June 21, 2011 at 11:22 am

            He was never going to do that. There’s an agreement with NATO to end the war in 2014, an agreement the WH was very happy with. But I did hope to see 30,000 coming home by the end of 2011, not 2012.

        • 76 Jessica
          June 21, 2011 at 11:04 am

          50 thousand by the end of 2011. Seriously? NOOOOOOO. Too much too fast. You guys are thinking of politics and winning elections I’m thinking of the progress and momentum we’ve made with the surge that led to OBL’s killing. The President would never make a knee jerk reaction to pull out so many troops because of OBL’s death. That’s what other people would do.

          I’m perfectly fine with 10k by the end of 2011, 30k by end of 2012, and all troops by 2014. That’s fine by me. Gates is right. We’ve come this far no need to drop the ball on the 2 yard line. We’d be feeling like the Miami Heat right now.

          • 77 PoliticalJunkessa
            June 21, 2011 at 11:12 am

            Thanks Jessica for the calm analysis. I trust the President’s judgment. No time for hysteria.

            • 78 Jessica
              June 21, 2011 at 11:15 am

              Your welcome. Impatience and knee-jerk reactions are Americans weakness. It’s what gets us into so much trouble. I think with everything that’s gone on we need to think long-term and stop short-term and right now all the freakin’ time.

              • 79 PoliticalJunkessa
                June 21, 2011 at 12:51 pm

                Yeah, there’s no bigger turn-off to me than manufactured hysteria and chicken-littling. You would think that two and a half years into this man’s term where he has proved himself over and over that we would have learned that.

              • 80 geegee
                June 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm

                Well said Jessica; and I wholeheartly agree with everything you said.

            • 81 dotster
              June 21, 2011 at 11:28 am

              Even though I’m ready to wrap it up too, I trust President Obama’s judgment also. And it is good to remember that he may know a few more details and facts re. the situation there than any of us. There are so many considerations, and I know he is trying to do the best thing possible.

    • 83 DTTM
      June 21, 2011 at 11:27 am

      Trust me. He wants to win.

    • June 21, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      “Sometimes I wonder if he really wants to win.” Yes, he does. He can’t just leap because people want him to. If the president thought all troops should be brought home today, I am willing to bet my 2 cents in the bank he would order them home.

      I hate the Afghan war and understand the huge amounts of money it is costing on the domestic front, but just because Osama Bin Laden is dead, people should not feel that all is well in that region. I trust president Obama will do the right thing. All this yapping by the likes of McCain, Lindsey Graham and the PL, to my mind, all seem like jockeying for attention.

      More importantly, I will wait for the president’s speech tomorrow. PBO continues to inspire me.

      • 86 Audrey
        June 22, 2011 at 4:56 am

        Amen! I trust President Obama completely and know that he will make the best decisions based on the information HE has and we are not necessarily privy to!

    • 87 theo67
      June 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm

      I think if more people had not been speculating about the number of troops to be brought home, they would have seen that 10,000 lives will come home, and not just be aiming for a symbolic number. I’m happy that the President is continuing to do what he said he would do, and he’s doing it carefully. A lot of people would be screaming to high heaven if a premature withdrawal was to result in another horrendous attack. I don’t see any of the security reports, so if President Obama thinks 10,000 troops are a good number to start with, then I’m happy with it. He’ll be making his own speech tomorrow.

      • 88 Kasai
        June 21, 2011 at 8:55 pm

        I think the President was hoping for more, but i read somewhere that talks with the Talibans stalled for the time being…maybe that’s why, he’s starting with a lower number…..I am going with 20-30 k for now…..But I trust the President’s judgment, since we don’t know all other details.

  39. 89 Anonymous
    June 21, 2011 at 10:46 am


  40. 90 MTmarilyn
    June 21, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Tears are in my eyes as I look at those pictures and read the story. This is a very emotional trip.

    Good morning Chips and TOD family. It is a beautiful day here in Montana. I am so looking forward to seeing more pictures of the FLOTUS today.

  41. 91 sly
    June 21, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Very beautiful,Im getting all teary…

  42. June 21, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Another lame clown: Rick Perry tells people to follow him on “Tweeter.” It’s also being reported that he’s going to address rumors that he’s gay. OKaaaaaaay.


  43. June 21, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Goooood Morning TOD-ers! I’m signing on in a real rosy mood, so it was great to see these welcoming pictures. I just listened to a good interview with Maya Soetoro-Ng (CBC radio, programme called ‘Q’ – to which I don’t normally listen, but heard she would be on). I just loved her thoughtful answers. She mentioned once again the supportiveness of her brother when she was in her teen years, etc. etc. and in response to a question gave a little explanation of their mother teasing him by sometimes calling him ‘Mr. President’. Maya always speaks of her brother with such pride and love. We love and are proud of him too, sister dear!

    Now I’m going to take my major glow with me back to the start to be enhanced by Chips’ awesome (I just know it will be) offering. Hope yo’all are having a terrific Tuesday!!

  44. 94 Me4obama
    June 21, 2011 at 11:19 am

    May I know why my comment about Rick Perry disappeared?

  45. 97 rikyrah
    June 21, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    love it.

    absolutely love it.

    thanks so much

  46. 98 NinaCecily
    June 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Such a beautiful, lovely, heartfelt way to start my day…it gets increasingly hard not to shed a tear or two when viewing such
    incredibly impactful photos… Mrs. Obama is a magnificent woman – representing women from all over the world – from every
    walk of life… she walks with us, talks with us, inspires and encourages us.. I am daily amazed and in awe… Pres. Mandala
    has held my heart in his amazing hands since I was a young girl and to share these moments with the young Obama girls,
    just moves me beyond description…This entire African Journey of the Obama Women takes me out of my normal realm..and makes
    me so utterly PROUD TO BE ALIVE IN THE TIME OF OBAMA… and to have this site so profoundly, daily help us to feel closer and
    more in touch with the ongoing activities of this wonderful family has truly made my year… nuff said…tears rolling… THANK YOU…CHIPSTICKS…

  47. June 21, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    From PressSec Jay Carney (EOP) Twitter account
    The President will speak to the nation from the White House, 8 pm tomorrow, re his plan for drawing down US forces from Afghanistan.

  48. 102 Carla S
    June 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Mandela and the Obama women…beautiful & priceless. What a historic time we live in. Could we ask for a better first family! We are so damn lucky to have this family in the White House.

  49. 103 sjterrid
    June 21, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I love that picture with Nelson Mandela , Michelle, Malia, and Sasha. I am so happy that they got to see Mandela, what an historic moment.

    I’m going to wait to hear what the president has to say about the troop removal in Afghanistan tomorrow. I’ve learned every time there is a leak by an anonymous source in the administration they are wrong or don’t have the complete information. I know that whatever decision he makes on this it will be based on the information he has and will do what he thinks is best for our country, Afghanistan, and our partners in moving forward.

    Thank you Chipsticks for once again taking us on trip to another country with our fabulous First Lady.

  50. 104 GGail
    June 21, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Thank you Chipsticks, these are most memorable. In fact I saved the one with Mr. Mandela, FLOTUS and her daughters to my photo section. He looks well and the First Family – lovely! Thank you for this historical memory from the bottom of my heart!

  51. June 21, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    The loving picture above of former President Mandela with Mrs. Obama and her children is one each will keep on their desk. It is very beautiful and so much has transpired in both nations to make this picture possible. Change comes slowly but when it arrives it is a wonderous moment in time……………………..barb

  52. 106 isonprize
    June 21, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Doesn’t Nelson Mandela look fabulous to be 92 years old??!!?? WOW, I hope I look half as good at that age. He may be frail, but he looks clear and sharp. And quite happy to be surrounded by three smart, energetic, beautiful women!!

  53. 107 Asher in Boston
    June 21, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Amazing historics photos. The little kids in the video are so cute, reminds me of my younger days. Nostolgia kicking in now.

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