2013: SmartyPants’ Most Memorable Moments

by a very special guest: SmartyPants


10 Big Sis

As someone who has a big sister and knows how trying that relationship can be at this age, I LOVED this one.


9 A Wise and Empathetic Latina on the Supreme Court

This year Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor published her book “My Beloved World.” I read it immediately. It moved me beyond words to think that we have someone on the Supreme Court who has lived her life. During her book promotion tour, this happened (see here):

“At her Wednesday night book talk here, Justice Sonia Sotomayor glided through her audience of 700, dispensing homespun wisdom through a cordless microphone, interrupted by impromptu applause.

When the moderator read a question from Tabbie Major, age 7, about which books Justice Sotomayor loved as a child, she found the girl, locked her in an embrace, held on while reminiscing about Nancy Drew mysteries and then called out for a photographer to capture the moment. “


8 The Evolution of Mom-Dancing

Nuff said. FLOTUS pulls off the comedy gold of the year!


7 Marriage equality spreads like wildfire

This is how we celebrated in Minnesota.


6. Those red shoes!

We all know what happened that day. Wendy Davis showed us how its done. We’ll all love her forever for that!


5 The day Antoinette Tuff “stood up, spoke out, and got in the way.”

In case you’ve forgotten what this extraordinary woman did, remind yourself:

See a longer interview here


4 “The President doesn’t do schtick well.” – Jon Favreau

Yes, I’m a Jon Favreau groupie 😉 But it was SO great to hear him say what many of us already knew about this President.

“He’s the least remote person I could imagine. He’s warm, he’s friendly, he’s patient. He’s never – in all the stress he’s been under and all the situations he’s been in – yelled at me, raised his voice, walked out of a room like really angry. He’s very honest with you. And he also – like – wants to know about your life, you know. He’s “How’s everything goin? How’s your love life? You havin’ fun?” He’s a really good person.

I think that the remoteness thing comes from…he doesn’t do artifice well. He doesn’t do schtick well, right? It goes back to that authenticity thing. He knows who he is, he believes who he is and he’s not going to put on some facade just because he’s supposed to glad-handle someone. He would rather actually get to know that person…talk to them, have a real conversation – not recite talking points – and enjoy that person’s company. “


3 An Activist White House

After Cabinet members, staff and VP Biden visited Fast for Families,  POTUS and FLOTUS stopped in to provide their support the day after Thanksgiving. As I asked at the time: When has a White House shown this kind of support to activists? The answer: Never.


2 A refutation of fear

If I had to pick any day over the last 5+ year that I was most proud of President Barack Obama, it might be May 23, 2013 when he challenged us to start thinking about ending the indefinite war and moving away from the fear that gripped this country after 9/11.

“Our victory against terrorism won’t be measured in a surrender ceremony at a battleship, or a statue being pulled to the ground. Victory will be measured in parents taking their kids to school; immigrants coming to our shores; fans taking in a ballgame; a veteran starting a business; a bustling city street; a citizen shouting her concerns at a President.The quiet determination; that strength of character and bond of fellowship; that refutation of fear — that is both our sword and our shield.”


 1. For Grace

My number one moment isn’t actually a moment, but something that President Obama does every day. When he was recently interviewed by Chris Matthews he said that the most important characteristic of any president is the extent to which s/he stays in touch with the people s/he is elected to serve. Here’s how President Obama does that after the dreadful day in Newtown.

“When I visited Newtown last month, I spent some private time with many of the families who lost their children that day. And one was the family of Grace McDonald. Grace’s parents are here. Grace was seven years old when she was struck down — just a gorgeous, caring, joyful little girl. I’m told she loved pink. She loved the beach. She dreamed of becoming a painter.

And so just before I left, Chris, her father, gave me one of her paintings, and I hung it in my private study just off the Oval Office. And every time I look at that painting, I think about Grace. And I think about the life that she lived and the life that lay ahead of her, and most of all, I think about how, when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now — for Grace. For the 25 other innocent children and devoted educators who had so much left to give. For the men and women in big cities and small towns who fall victim to senseless violence each and every day. For all the Americans who are counting on us to keep them safe from harm. ”

134 Responses to “2013: SmartyPants’ Most Memorable Moments”

  1. 1 cookemom
    December 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    So PBO signs up for the Bronze ACA plan, which he will pay for personally, even though he doesn’t have to. He and his family are fully covered under his coverage as CIC of the military.

    • 2 cookemom
      December 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      oh yo y’all

    • December 23, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Is the media following all GOP in Congress to see when/how/what they enroll for healthcare? I’m not sure why they are obsessed with this, since this President is independently wealthy and could afford any healthcare plan at all. It says a lot that he’s registered for Obamacare, even though he didn’t need to. It says a lot more that he worked to make affordable healthcare available to all Americans, and to secure the health insurance system for all Americans – despite the GOP working diligently to deprive Americans of that security and basic care.

  2. December 23, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Howdy and congrats Cookemom!

  3. 7 cookemom
    December 23, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Good memories Smartypants.

  4. 8 Nena20409
    December 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Awesome Post.
    Congrats Cookemom on your Gold.

  5. 9 carolyn
    December 23, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    I am just loving these ten top posts! I love all these, but have to say, I totally relate to picture #10 of Malia and Sasha, as I am the older of two girls…..the “big sis.” Their relationship always strikes a chord with me…..but I love all these! (pictures 1 & 2 didn’t come through for me)

  6. 11 Nena20409
    December 23, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    Still no answer on the Missing POTUS Santa? 😉

  7. 14 Nena20409
    December 23, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Last Mins shopping…..off and perhaps, BBL Good Afternoon TODable TODbots 😉

  8. 15 jacquelineoboomer
    December 23, 2013 at 2:28 pm

  9. December 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I am now going to turn on the liveblog of the Arsenal v. Chelsea match. Cursing may ensue.

  10. 21 utaustinliberal
    December 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Great memories.

  11. December 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Great choices, Smartypants! I have some of the same moments. I especially love your reminder of PBO’s May speech about war and foreign policy. One of his greatest and momentous speeches. Thank you.

  12. 27 jacquelineoboomer
    December 23, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Woman Power! 🙂

  13. December 23, 2013 at 3:17 pm

  14. December 23, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    It’s funny, when I saw SmartyPants chose ‘The Evolution of Mom-Dancing’ as one of her 2013 moments, I thought ‘huh, that was at least two years ago’!

    Can’t believe it was in 2013 – one of the VERY great moments.

    And the Sonya Sotomayor memory nearly made me cry, too beautiful.

    • 35 susanne
      December 23, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      me too–mom dancing seems like an age ago. this has been a very long, full year! and an excellent year for the president!

  15. December 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    This is all just pure gold, Smartypants. Thank you. If this were any other time or any other president, this year would be celebrated instead of written off as some kind of dishonorable failure. I really do try to fight this kind of thinking, so I’ll dig up some hope and wish us better served in 2014, despite the sad fact that the majority of this country has the emotional intelligence of a 4 year old (apologies to actual 4 yr olds). gaahh, couldn’t help it…

    • 37 theo67
      December 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      What keeps me going is the fact that the media weaves an alternate reality, but most of America realizes who this man is and what the real state of affairs is – which is why he won a second term.

  16. 38 0388jojothecat
    December 23, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Someone on Randi Rhodes show saying that he makes less than $45K, young man under 30yrs old claiming his insurance has gone up. Nicole is a “single” payer empog. I did not hear where he was from but the last thing he said he can’t wait for PBO to get out of office. I will bet one million dollars he is a right wing tool lying his ass off. Another thing I heard that made sense is that now the 1%’ers now have to pay taxes to pay for the ACA which means all the billionaires that are head of the media as well as the other millionaires and billionaires who make money doing nothing…earning money based on stock options, hedge funds, etc. will be paying taxes. This is why the RWMSM features more negative stories on the ACA than positive stories. I will be turning RR off because I can’t stand Nicole.

    • 39 mtmarilyn
      December 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      I agree about Nicole. She is such an emoprog. I can listen for awhile and then she goes off on PBO and I turn her off. I do miss Randi.

    • December 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      Bizarre, most of the names don’t surprise me …. but Booker?!

    • 43 Don
      December 23, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      Yes, Cory Booker, the guy that always seems to have a photo of himself rescuing a cat that’s stuck up in a tree, or a picture of himself sweeping someone’s driveway after a winter storm. The first thing he wants the country to know about him is that he’s tough and he’s willing to send our kids off to another goddamn war.

    • December 23, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      I see Cory Booker as a DLC type and I think he sees himself as a candidate for POTUS very soon and is feeding the war machine to suit his moneyed interests. Don’t forget he came to the defense of Bain Capitol when PBO came out against their practices. He works very, very hard at his image as a great good samaritan kind of guy but he has ambitions that require some hefty compromise.

    • 51 Alycee (@jazziz2)
      December 23, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      Booker is in the NYC media market; he playing to Wall St & the Nut-n-yahoo voters (I intentionally didn’t say the “Jewish vote” because if my fam/friends are a barometer, the majority of NYC Jews support the President’s approach).

    • December 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      I have insight at all on politics east of the Rockies, but from what I hear, the old adage “all politics is local” applies especially to places like NJ and Chicago which have political “machines.”

      Before we jump on Cory Booker, let’s remember he lives in NJ and is a junior Senator to Menendez. He just took his oath of office less than two months ago.

      If you put yourself in his shoes, and think of real NJ politics, this move might make sense for something he’s done after approx. 60 days in office.

      I may be all wet (usually am), but this is what occurred to me.

  17. December 23, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks so much to Chips and the TOD family for the opportunity to share these wonderful memories!

    • 55 nathkatun7
      December 24, 2013 at 12:45 am

      Thank you, Smartypants, for sharing your memories and your insights. You are the best! I wish more Americans who rely on the so called mainstream media had access to your blog and were able to read your thoughtful and reasoned analyses of who Preisident Obama is and what he means for the future of this country.

  18. 56 LDS
    December 23, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Smarty pants, your MMs are sweet. Thank you for sharing..

  19. December 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Can’t. Stop. Laughing at the red step stool!!!!!

    • December 23, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    • 59 Layla
      December 23, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      Ha!!! I think it is for confession after he lies to the people

    • December 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      I so hated Nixon and the Vietnam war.

      I was 14 when MLK and RFK were assassinated within two months of each other. Just over two months separated JFK’s assassination and the MOMENTOUS arrival of The Beatles on our shores — two events could not be more polar. I was sitting at the same desk and classroom for both events (the day after the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan our wonderful teacher engaged and encouraged the class to talk about that show — everyone was sky high).

      I think David Eisenhower’s father passed away this week, so if he sees this tweet, his memories are sure to be bittersweet.

  20. 62 Dudette
    December 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    😀 😀 😀

  21. December 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm


  22. 67 Dudette
    December 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Hey, this test says I’m an “Elf” which is the closest Tolkien species to Mr. Spock, so I’m good. 🙂


  23. 71 desertflower
    December 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm


    May I please say, thank you, Smartypants:) As with everyone else, these important milestones in a still remarkable Presidency, have been great to read. I would urge everyone to check out the new layout of her blog…starting with the far left side where it says “classic”…click on the dropdown…and click on “flipbook”….it may just inspire others to write their own favorite moments:)

  24. 74 Dudette
    December 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

  25. 77 jackiegrumbacher
    December 23, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Smartypants, these are wonderful memories. Thank you so much for reminding us of them.

  26. 79 desertflower
    December 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Phoenix does good:) Thanks to our President, Sec. Shinseki, and the Mayor of Phoenix who has made this his personal mission, Greg Stanton. Thank you!!! No one that has served their country should be without a home and the care they need. Ever.


  27. 80 Dudette
    December 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Basketball Jones 😎 😎 😎

    Love this Cheech and Chong song, but I don’t care for the animation video that came out for it in the 70s, so here’s a substitute

  28. December 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    POTUS is being briefed on the functioning and progress at healthcare.gov

  29. December 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm


  30. December 23, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Reports to the contrary:

    • 87 Layla
      December 23, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Spies I tell you!!!!!!!

    • December 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      well duh!! what??!?!? Of course there wouldn’t be any sensitive info online or anywhere else on the leader of the free world! Also, he will be personally paying for his coverage, even though he’s covered as CIC of the military.

      I don’t know what type of info anyone expect should be floating around in cyberspace on him or anyone else through the ACA sign-ups. Most information requested on the site to sign up for ACA is public record on PBO. That’s one of the points of ACA, since you can’t be denied for pre-existing conditions, there aren’t many questions beyond your current income anyway.

    • 90 nathkatun7
      December 24, 2013 at 1:07 am

      What an idiot! Did he really expect to find the President’s personal information on the DC exchange? I am sorry, but I no longer care, or take seriously, what these tabloid gossip reporters, pausing as real journalists, write, tweet, or say on television. I have a sneaking suspicion that most of them probably lead miserable personal lives. Constantly bashing President Obama makes them feel really important.

  31. 91 desertflower
    December 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm
  32. 92 desertflower
    December 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm
  33. December 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    • 98 Layla
      December 23, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      Nice legs Mr President!!

    • 99 anniebella
      December 23, 2013 at 5:39 pm

      POTUS is wearing shorts, what in the world is wrong with them Obamas, wearing shorts. Yesterday FLOTUS had on shorts at the basketball game. 🙂

      • 100 Layla
        December 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm

        Breaking News: Short wearing socialists!!!!!!!!!

      • 101 Dudette
        December 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm

        They’re in Hawaii — also known as “short-opia” 😀

      • 103 desertflower
        December 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm

        Shorts. In Hawaii. In winter. What’s WITH that?? 🙂 🙂

        • December 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

          I can’t even imagine what heat must feel like!

          • 105 No Child Left Behind
            December 23, 2013 at 5:55 pm


            You mean the heat in my living room?

          • 106 desertflower
            December 23, 2013 at 6:04 pm

            😦 Sorry sweet Chips…are you freezing? It’s around 70 here now…but I’m sure that it must be in the 80’s in Hawaii…who WOULDN’T wear shorts??!! Sorry you’re cold….snuggle with Danny and turn the heat….a little brandy might warm the cockles….

          • 107 susanne
            December 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm

            sorry to have to wade in here…… but what shorts feel like in hawaii in winter is HOT. honestly, the best stragegy is a loose dress or pareo, or very loose swim trunks for guys. shorts are just too confining! 🙂

      • 108 nathkatun7
        December 24, 2013 at 1:50 am

        “… what in the world is wrong with them Obamas, wearing shorts.”

        There is absolutely nothing “wrong with them Obamas….” Their attire has to do with the weather in Hawaii! Our weather here in San Diego, CA (we brag about it as being America’s finest city), the temperature yesterday and today was in the mid 70s. Naturally, people, including old men like me, were out walking, bicycling, and shopping, while wearing just shorts ant t-shirts. That’s exactly what normal people do when the weather is summer-like. Besides, this is supposed to be the 21st century and not the dark ages or the Victorian age of the late 19th Century. Look, I am not as young or as fit as the Obamas, but every chance I get to expose any part of my body to some healing sunshine I take it. That is why I am so thankful that our POTUS and our FLOTUS are in Hawaii, behaving like normal people on vacation, and not worrying about what the idiots in the press who hate them say.

        By the way, Anniebella, please do not think my comment was in any way aimed at you. I know your comment was trying to make fun of the idiots who are obsessed with what FLOTUS wore to a basketball game. I just wanted to share in your exposing of the idiots, and especially those who pretend to be real journalists, who keep indulging in useless trivia to spread negativity about the President and his family.

  34. 109 Linda
    December 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    That dumb broad Brianna Keiler said that PBO signing up for Obamacare is just symbolic ……but then she went on to say ” just like when he absentee voted, it was just symbolic ….

    Huh ? When did he vote absentee ? I clearly remember both he and Michelle voting in person in 2008 and he early voted in person in 2012.

    Michelle is the one who sent in her ballot, not PBO.

    • 110 Layla
      December 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Poor poor Brianna! Such a small amount of grey matter is frightening!!!!!!

    • December 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      PBO was the 1st American President to vote EARLY, not absentee:

    • 114 cookemom
      December 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      I think she means when he voted ‘present’ while in the Senate in Illinois. It’s a RWNJ battle cry, right up there with the teleprompter, or the 57 states utterance. Illinois has what is called an ‘present’ vote provision. Here’s an explanation:

      Voting “Present” in a vote in the Senate means that that Senator is making no vote on the issue, either for or against. He or she is registering on the record that he or she was there when the vote was taken. a ‘present’ vote is not ‘maybe,’

      -or this-

      Because bills need “yes” votes to pass, “present” translates to “a soft no,” as Deputy Republican Senate Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont put it. “One use for it is when you favor an idea, but you think the bill has a fatal flaw of some sort,” she said. “Another is when you have a conflict of interest. And another is when you want to play both sides of the fence . . . or to avoid casting a vote that your next opponent will try to take out of context.” Across the aisle, Sen. John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, defined “present” as “no with an explanation.” Cullerton said another use of the seemingly squirrelly vote is to “signify displeasure with the process, but not the concept.”

      The person voicing her opinion is way out of her league and just wanted to hear herself talk.

  35. 116 Linda
    December 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    GOP Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.) and Mike Lee (Utah) are blocking legislation sponsored by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) geared at strengthening mental health ­programs across the country.

    According to a Star Tribune report Monday, anonymous sources have confirmed that Coburn and Lee oppose the bill because they believe that states — rather than the federal government — should govern how mentally ill people are treated.

    Franken declined to confirm the identities of the senators to the Star Tribune, but said that lawmakers are being heavily lobbied behind the scenes to allow a vote on the bill, which has bipartisan support.

    “There is pressure from law enforcement groups and attorneys from within his state for him to not block the bill,” Franken said of one of the ­senators. “I think we’ll get there, but right now there is a hold on the bill.”


    Unbelievable !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 117 Dudette
      December 23, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      Trying not to exclaim hatred for people of a certain political persuasion this week [taking deep cleansing breaths]

      • 118 carolyn
        December 23, 2013 at 6:12 pm

        Tom Coburn saying states should be in charge of mental health is pathetic! His state, Oklahoma, has hardly any provisions for mental health. He is doing his usual blowin’ smoke……he talks to hear himself talk.

  36. 119 Dudette
    December 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

  37. 122 Vicki
    December 23, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Enrollment numbers are not only for people enrolled.
    Many enrollments are for families so the numbers are way larger than the headlines imply.

    GOP will do their best to make believe that Obamacare is less of a success than it actually is.
    And MSNBC with its crawl saying 1 miilion people signed up is no help, Naturally.

  38. 123 Dudette
    December 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm

  39. 124 Dudette
    December 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm

  40. 125 Nena20409
    December 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    15 Dem senators that need their heads re-examined

  41. 127 Don
    December 23, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    So more than five and a half people have signed up for Obamacare and Medicare and it’s only December. I think the numbers are going to go literally through the roof, and I’m being conservative.

  42. 129 Linda
    December 23, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    HONOLULU, Dec 23 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Monday signed an executive order setting federal civilian and military pay scales for 2014, and including the first raise for civilian workers in four years.

    Military and civilian employees will get a 1 percent raise in the new year, consistent with the level laid out in Obama’s budget proposal from earlier in the year.

    The order had to be signed before Jan. 1 to allow federal agencies to update their pay systems for the new year.

    Federal civilian workers have had their pay frozen for three years. Military employees have received a salary increase each year that Obama has been in office, the White House said.

  43. 131 Nena20409
    December 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm


    Another one of Chris Christie’s explanations for the growing scandal over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that led to days of gridlock in Fort Lee, N.J., in September is being questioned by other local officials.

    In a press conference last Thursday, Christie claimed Fort Lee officials gave “no notification” about the traffic jams to Pat Foye, the executive director of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the bridge. Assemblyman John Wisnieswki (D), who is chairman of New Jersey Assembly Transportation Committee, which is investigating the incident, told TPM Monday that Christie’s claim was “false.”

  44. 132 mtmarilyn
    December 23, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Wow Smartypants, what a wonderful collection of Top 10. I still haven’t fully set down and thought of what mine are yet. Too busy finishing with Christmas. I don’t want to go out tomorrow. The traffic is crazy here.

    Thank you Chips, for these great memories. CollegeKay, it was so inspirational to read your Top 10. It is so wonderful to know the quality of young people nowadays. I really do believe our country is in great hands in the future. Amk, thank you for bringing us more of the world view. I love what you have brought to us.

    Have a beautiful evening everyone!

  45. 134 nathkatun7
    December 24, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Thank you Smartypants for sharing these great memories. Great thanks to Chipsticks for devoting time and space to allow engaged and thoughtful people to share their remembrances and thoughts with us. TOD is already awesome, but these remembrances make it even more special. As far as I am concerned, you, Smartypants, offer some of the most thoughtful, and the most profound, insights and understanding of the real President Obama.

Comments are currently closed.







Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.



RSS Obama White House.gov

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS WH Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Steve Benen

  • NY Attorney General taking legal action to force Trumps to answer questions
  • 'He made you feel better': Morning Joe remembers Andre Leon Talley
  • White House: Biden will 'absolutely' continue to push for voting rights
  • Rare access inside Notre Dame cathedral rebuilding
  • What a thinning out of Russia's embassy in Ukraine could mean



Blog Stats

  • 43,176,972 hits
December 2013

%d bloggers like this: