2013: Souza the Sublime – Ten of the Best

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, along with daughters Sasha and Malia, stand in former South African President Nelson Mandela’s cell as they listen to former prisoner Ahmed Kathrada during their tour of Robben Island Prison on Robben Island in Cape Town, South Africa, June 30, 2013. Leslie Robinson is pictured at left

President Obama feels the hair of a youngster as he greets staff and their family members at the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, July 2, 2013

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama shake hands with the crowd gathered for their arrival at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, July 1, 2013. President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and First Lady Salma Kikwete join them on the red carpet

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama look out the “Door of No Return” during their tour of the Maison des Esclaves Museum on GorΓ©e Island, Senegal, June 27, 2013

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet residents as they walk towards the dock on GorΓ©e Island, Senegal, June 27, 2013

President Obama and First Lady Michelle arrive for an official dinner at the Presidential Palace in Dakar, Senegal, June 27, 2013

President Obama holds six-month-old Talia Neufeld, daughter of departing staff member Adam Neufeld, in the Oval Office, June 14, 2013

President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron visit with students while touring Enniskillen Primary School in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 17, 2013

President Obama walks with Caroline Atkinson, Special Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs, on the grounds of Lough Erne Resort during the G8 Summit in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, June 17, 2013

President Obama visits with Make-A-Wish child Suhail Zaveri, 14, from Anaheim, Calif., in the Oval Office, July 16, 2013. Accompanying Suhail are his parents, Sandeep and Asmi Zaveri, and younger brother Arsh Zaveri

All photos by Pete Souza

111 Responses to “2013: Souza the Sublime – Ten of the Best”

  1. 21 Bill R.
    December 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

  2. 22 japa21
    December 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

    • December 24, 2013 at 11:36 am

      The guy came in with the express purpose of stealing stuff. Anything else imo is a smoke screen. What also gets lost is Snowden revealed this administration does everything by the book. There is no abuse of power unless you don’t count retailers who have been pirating our personal information for eons.

  3. 24 mtmarilyn
    December 24, 2013 at 11:20 am

    I think there is a deal that the blog mistress in chief is getting all the first place prizes.

  4. December 24, 2013 at 11:23 am

    NORAD Santa Tracker is LIVE.

  5. 31 vcprezofan2
    December 24, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I totally love that particular dress on FLOTUS! She and the dress complement, and compliment, each other, right awful! πŸ˜‰

    • 32 Obama Grandmama
      December 24, 2013 at 2:06 pm

      That fabric in that dress is unbelievable. I am wondering where it came? This question is from a lady that sews and frequents fabric stores. In all of my worldly travel I have never come across as elegant a print, not even in Thailand.

      • 33 vcprezofan2
        December 25, 2013 at 2:47 am

        Haven’t a clue, but would wear a dress from it in a heartbeat. I love not only the coulours but the fact they are not ‘busy’ and they showcase FLOTUS beautifully.

      • 34 vcprezofan2
        December 25, 2013 at 2:52 am

        O, I forgot to add that I really love the style of the dress too! FLOTUS is beautiful and looks good in virtually everything, but I confess I don’t always like some of the styles. This is one of the ones I like-y very much. πŸ˜‰

  6. December 24, 2013 at 11:28 am

    For some reason the picture of PBO and FLOTUS arriving for the dinner in Senegal always chokes me up with its beauty. That dress just might be my favorite, but there’s something else going on that just kinda floors me. I just love them.

  7. 36 GGail
    December 24, 2013 at 11:30 am


    MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and Danny πŸ™‚

  8. 38 vcprezofan2
    December 24, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Chips a-hoy! I sense a niiiiice offshoot to our spectacular 2013 -10 memorable moments theme – 10 accomplishments/pics from O-stars who wouldn’t normally access the blog themselves. Souza is top choice of course, ’cause we can get sooo, soooo many 10 bests from him – easily one per week – but we could include, VP Joe, AG Holder, SoS Kerry, etc. etc. in this offshoot! Think about it, coupled with our own TOD memories we could ‘corner’ the end of year media market, at least in this village, with oodles of PBO’s Admin 2013 accomplishments. Drat, I wish we had an admin assistant in the village who could be responsible for these kinds of offshoot, as it’d be too much to add it to your work.

    • December 24, 2013 at 11:41 am

      A mighty fine idea VeeeeeCeeeee, if I recover from over-eating tomorrow, which might take a month, I’ll see what I can do!

      • 40 vcprezofan2
        December 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

        It doesn’t have to be just you (I don’t want to add to your load). Others here can forward 10 things about a staff member/senator/congressperson/ doing their jobs in the Obama admin this past year; can’t you guys?

      • 41 vcprezofan2
        December 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm

        Are you cooking, CC, or are you responsible for wine and nuts this year, like Dotster?

    • 46 GGail
      December 24, 2013 at 11:55 am

      “Drat, I wish we had an admin assistant in the village who could be responsible for these kinds of offshoot, as it’d be too much to add it to your work.”

      vc, aren’t you an admin asst???

      You are pretty good at handing out jobs for others to do πŸ˜†

      • 47 vcprezofan2
        December 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm

        “vc, aren’t you an admin asst???”

        AM NOT, GGail!
        Chips gave me a ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you’ response so that means she prefers me to be “pretty good at handing out jobs for others to do”. So there, Miss Always-Trying-to-get-me-working! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ I even dare to mention the ‘work’ word with you today because my job’s on hiatus till early January, so I have no fear they’ll hear you, as happened last time. πŸ˜‰

        • 48 GGail
          December 24, 2013 at 12:14 pm

          Then, Missy, You can just hop on a couple of airplanes and come give me a hand for a day or two….till they call you.

          • 49 vcprezofan2
            December 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm

            Now then, I wouldn’t want to be confused by the temperature, now would I! πŸ˜€ Also, I already know I have to go in for the 7th.

  9. December 24, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Christmas Eve greetings from Iowa! Today is hubby’s birthday, he turns 62. He’s also going to retire in a couple of weeks, so life will definitely be different in the upcoming months. The first half of today is birthday celebrations – a visit to our nearby casino, where it’s always hopping. Then not until later do we start thinking Christmas. Hubby says he never got a birthday party as a kid, because Christmas! 😦

  10. 52 Layla
    December 24, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Merry Christmas to all on TOD! Off to work soon, hopefully just before midnight(when I get back home) I will find some of you here!

    • 53 vcprezofan2
      December 24, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      Have a good day at work, Layla, and if professionally acceptable, give the triplets an extra special holiday hug (from me). πŸ˜›

  11. December 24, 2013 at 11:51 am

    There’s only been one President from Iowa – Herbert Hoover. The other day, we went over to the Hoover Presidential Library in the small town of West Branch, IA to check out the Christmas display and history exhibit – it got me thinking. Hoover has been vilified as one of the worst presidents because of the stock market crash and the great depression. Everyone overlooks all the wonderful humanitarian efforts he led, both before and after he was president. The museum really tells the story of all the good deeds that he did in his life. On the way home from the museum, I was thinking of how the MSM has been criticizing PBO and saying all those stupid things about him too – but thanks to the Internet and the pushback from folks like you all – I don’t think the same thing will happen to PBO’s legacy as did Hoover.

    P.S. Presidential libraries are a wonderful place to visit – I highly recommend it, any one of them!

  12. 55 japa21
    December 24, 2013 at 11:54 am

    On the last thread I requested some help, but nobody was forthcoming. Maybe now that more people are awake.

    I want to post some you tube videos later today but I haven’t figured out exactly how to do so. Can somebody give me the “how to Post ou Tube Videos for Dummies” version?

  13. December 24, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Good Morning and Merry Christmas Eve everyone. Hope everyone enjoys these two days and goes on to have a Happy New Year. Thanks to TOD, Chips and UT and all the helpers I enjoyed the inside scoop on the President and his family more this year than others.
    We have a very White Christmas here thanks to last nights snow. Does Danny get to enjoy snow Chips?

  14. 62 utaustinliberal
    December 24, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Trip to Africa = Best pictures.

  15. December 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    GM TOD. Merry X-mas and happy holidays 😎

    WASHINGTON β€” Last year, while Jake Sullivan was traveling with his boss, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he quietly disappeared during a stop in Paris. He showed up again a few days later, rejoining Clinton’s traveling team in Mongolia. In between, Sullivan secretly flew to the Middle Eastern nation of Oman to meet with officials from Iran, people familiar with the trip said. The July 2012 meeting is one of the Obama administration’s earliest known face-to-face contacts with Iran and reveals that Sullivan β€” who moved from the State Department to the White House earlier this year β€” was personally involved in the administration’s outreach to the Islamic republic far earlier than had been reported.

    Senior administration officials had previously confirmed to The Associated Press that Sullivan and other officials held at least five secret meetings with Iran this year, preparing the way for an interim nuclear agreement signed in November by Iran, the United States and five other world powers. Sullivan is just 37 and looks even younger. Even-keeled and pragmatic, Sullivan’s temperament mirrors that of President Barack Obama, people close to him say. That helped him crack the tight-knit foreign policy team at the White House where he now serves as Vice President Joe Biden’s national security adviser.

  16. December 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    “The Central African Republic had finally exploded. After months of signs that the country was a powder keg, with dire warnings of impending doom from the United Nations and human rights observers, outright clashes ignited the capital, Bangui, in early December. Hundreds were killed. Thousands more fled their homes, those who had not already done so in the eight months since the crisis first began. For a period, it looked as though the world was preparing to sit idly by yet again as another mass atrocity was perpetrated on the continent of Africa. Two days later, it was like a switch had been thrown. The president of the United States asked for the people of the CAR for calm, speaking to them directly through the Internet and radio. The president shook $100 million loose from the federal budget, to purchase much-needed supplies to the African peacekeepers struggling to stem the killing and airlift in reinforcements. And on Thursday, Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, announced yet another $15 million in humanitarian aid and the pending presence of U.S. military advisers to assist the African Union’s forces in restoring peace.”

    Activists and U.S. officials alike say that the speed at which the United States has responded is unprecedented and part of it is due to a little heralded document and the bureaucratic tool it created. Presidential Study Directive 10 (PSD-10) came into being in 2011, declaring for the first time that β€œpreventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States.” Never before has an official document so bluntly said that the United States’ β€œsecurity is affected when masses of civilians are slaughtered, refugees flow across borders, and murderers wreak havoc on regional stability and livelihoods. America’s reputation suffers, and our ability to bring about change is constrained, when we are perceived as idle in the face of mass atrocities and genocide.”

    • December 24, 2013 at 12:08 pm

      LP!!! How are you doing? How is your arm??

      • December 24, 2013 at 12:32 pm

        GM, Chips!! Merry X-mas…happy holidays. I’m now at the itching portion of my recovery 😦 My cast is is getting annoying, but should be off in a few weeks. This will be the last time I ever attempt to get holiday ornaments out of the garage…….. ever!!!!! Hope you didn’t clear out you local pet store with gifts for Danny? I can only imagine πŸ™‚ That little bugger is going to be in heaven!

        • December 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

          Ooooooh LP, you poor poor poor thing! I broke my leg when I was around 12, about 10 years ago, and I’ll never forget the itching – it was nearly worse than the original pain! Get yourself healed very quickly, and try to enjoy your holidays. Thank you for ALL your wonderful TOD work this year, HUGELY appreciated! Danny will get lots and lots of goodies tomorrow, unless he eats Santa when he comes down the chimney πŸ˜•

          • December 24, 2013 at 12:44 pm

            It was my pleasure, Chips! Thanks for the wonderful platform you provide…..”I broke my leg when I was around 12, about 10 years ago” You must have had a 21rst birthday bash for the ages last year? 😎

            • December 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm

              πŸ˜† (I really need to keep track of my age claims!)

              • 71 GGail
                December 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm

                Chips, I’m at work and I had to take the elevator down from the 11th floor so I could HOWL at your statement ”I broke my leg when I was around 12, about 10 years ago”

                If you keep this up, Danny will get all the gifts and you’ll get a lump of coal and a calculator (to add up your years on this earth) ROFL!!

                • December 24, 2013 at 1:00 pm

                  I hope you get stuck in the elevator going back up. I am severely offended by you suggesting I’m fibbing. Huh, Merry Christmas to you too. πŸ™„

                  • 73 GGail
                    December 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm

                    Don’t play like that about elevators – especially here in Earthquake country. You spook me and I’ll walk all Eleven flights back up to my office. Won’t be worth a damn when I get there…. πŸ™‚

              • 77 vcprezofan2
                December 24, 2013 at 1:19 pm

                No worries, CC! I keep track for you on the age front, and I am pleased to say you were absolutely on track for this year. You did admit to being 22 this year (2013) – 21 again last year! No need to feel nervous when LP mentions your 21st ‘bash for the ages last year’. All’s good…..so far.

              • December 24, 2013 at 10:36 pm

                We’re all young at heart!

    • 79 GGail
      December 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      Hey LP, you’ve been missing in action. Are you getting ready for some football? BCS National Championship: Florida State vs. Auburn

      Jan. 6 at 8:30 pm from Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA

      • December 24, 2013 at 12:36 pm

        Hey, GGail! I have been waiting on baited breathe….. I was fortunate to get tickets through the school alumni association. We have a caravan of 24 busses going from Las Vegas, to the game. I’m really nervous, but even if we lose our entire team only has 4/22 Seniors that start…..our recruiting class is gonna be a monster as well. I expect our team will be even better next year. This has been a magical season, but winning the BCS would be icing on the cake!

  17. 83 japa21
    December 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm

  18. 84 cookemom
    December 24, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    So, I’ve finally got that ‘come on over to my house for dinner’ invite for tomorrow. Whew, talk about waiting til the last minute! Does that mean I still gotta cook? #1 and kids won’t be here, #2 doing her own thing, and cookeman pretty much has the recliner on lock down. I’m figuring, we can eat other folks holiday leftovers…at least til New Year’s day, when I do my traditional lasagna and seafood fixin’s.

    • 89 japa21
      December 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Wow, talk about a last minute surge. I am sure this will lead all the newscasts today….well, maybe not.

      • December 24, 2013 at 1:08 pm


        What will be interesting, as you know, is when we learn the actual number of individuals, each of the enrollments in the private plans, represents, i.e., spouses & children for those who enrolled more than themselves.

        • 91 Vicki
          December 24, 2013 at 1:34 pm

          I’ve been following the numbers pretty closely and from various sources and just let me say as tremendous as the enrollments seem now I think when all the results are in—-the presents unwrapped, so to speak—-we will find that what was under the Obamacare Tree is much much better than we are guessing now.

          According to Brainwrap at DK many of the sites and companies such as Kaiser have thrown up their hands at the impossibility of acccurately dealing with the late onslaught!!!!

          Perhaps by friday we will hear from POTUS!

    • 94 Betsy
      December 24, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      My son was one of them yesterday. Yippeeeee

  19. 97 JER
    December 24, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Window washers bring Christmas cheer to sick kids:

    • December 24, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      That is so special!!! It brought tears to my eyes. There are wonderful people out there that care about others.

      Hope everyone is having a very special day. I am busy cleaning and wrapping presents. Back to work.

    • 99 vcprezofan2
      December 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm

      THAT was perfect (though it stirred my allergies)!

    • 100 vcprezofan2
      December 24, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Thank you, JER, you find the nicest things! Seasons Greetings, and joy in whatever form it takes for you!

  20. December 24, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    I see that you learned your lesson & this time instead of jumping in with “THE 10 best” you’re qualifying it with “ten of the best.” So is that an admission that I totally creamed you in our last twitter photo war? Or perhaps just your way of promoting “Peace on Earth?”


    Anyway, Happy Holidays to you and all the TOD family…unless you’re not into all that.

    • December 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      πŸ˜† You did cream me Smartypants, completely!! I limped away from that battle a broken soul.

      Thank you sooooo much again for your beautiful memories’ post, it was a gem. Happy Holidays to you too!

    • 104 vcprezofan2
      December 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      Oh-oh! Now, now SP, don’t start anything during this season of goodwill. πŸ˜€

    • 105 vcprezofan2
      December 24, 2013 at 1:45 pm

      SP, I watched that over by you yesterday, and had to admit to myself that I never really gave that aspect of it much thought before listening to Jay’s points. Sure, I always knew that it’s a depressing time for some, but I never actually thought about it specifically when waving the wish around. Of course, I excused my insensitivity by telling myself (after watching) that more often than not when I’m out and about it’s the other person who initiates the wish. I pretty much don’t speak unless spoken to, so I now feel a bit less dense, more aware.

    • 106 GGail
      December 24, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Happy Holidays to you too Smartypants. And thank you for joining us in our “The Best of Memories” tour.

  21. 107 vcprezofan2
    December 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    You know, I signed on with the resolve to sped a couple of hours on line (while having breakfast, extended of course, before getting down to work – that was before 9am! Then the goal was noon; then 1pm. Not it’s 2pm. Of course this means I’ll be so much later getting back on line tonight, IF…. I don’t know why I signed on in the first place before doing ANYthing around here!!! 😦

    • 108 vcprezofan2
      December 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      BTW, you guys have been NO help!

      • December 24, 2013 at 1:34 pm

        πŸ˜† You okay there VC??

        • 110 vcprezofan2
          December 24, 2013 at 1:38 pm

          Well, I thought the village would be so quiet (empty because responsible adults were taking care of business) when I ventured in, that it wouldn’t be too hard to slip back out the door and go finish what’s yet to be done WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE THE COOKING, as I prefer to do that on the day. As you can see, that theory had major holes!!!

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