Pete Souza: Photographing The Real Barack Obama

It was a tale of two Americas. In Las Vegas the casinos were humming with a hell-yes tide that was about to sweep the manic Donald Trump to his most pumped-up victory yet. In Washington DC, civilisation still existed. In the week Trump’s xenophobic bid to be the Republican presidential candidate began to look unstoppable, the man whose Americanness he has questioned was meeting 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin. In Pete Souza’s official White House photograph of their get-together, President Barack Obama cracks a delicious smile as the first lady dances with McLaurin, who was invited to visit the White House in recognition of community work she has done for decades in the US capital. The meeting was also a celebration of Black History Month – and Souza’s picture manages to be both intimate and historic. Here are three African Americans in the White House. The room they are in – the Blue Room – is opulently decorated with gold stars, Empire-style furniture, and a portrait of some grand national father who holds a white handkerchief in his white hand.



This is just one in a stream of vividly human and often funny photographs – released not just through White House press office, but on Flickr and Instagram – in which Souza has documented moments of the Obama administration that will never be forgotten. These photographs are precious historical documents. Critics from left and right blame the two-term presidency of this evidently intelligent and decent man for everything from the failure to close Guantánamo Bay (he’s still trying) to a continuing economic malaise that has fuelled what is shaping up to be the most extremist presidential election since 1860. Yet Souza’s photographs tell a different story – and the one that matters. Obama accomplished the impossible and made the White House an African American home for eight years…continued”





62 Responses to “Pete Souza: Photographing The Real Barack Obama”

  1. 1 desertflower
    June 11, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    LP! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!

  2. 13 jacquelineoboomer
    June 11, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Thanks for giving Chips and Nerdy a rest, LP – and good evening to ya!

  3. 14 99ts
    June 11, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Thanks LP – I would think Pete will be sleeping for 6 months after January 2017.

  4. 15 desertflower
    June 11, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I am so grateful for Pete Sousa’s vision and his documentation of this historic Presidency…. He deserves a special place of recognition.

  5. 16 Roberta in MN
    June 11, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Thank you so very much LP giving a break to NW. She has been just awesome during Chip’s absence. Yu BT’s are the greatest people in our US of A Thank you again.

    • 17 MadameSoph
      June 11, 2016 at 9:21 pm

      Ditto from me. Thank you to Nerdy for your tirelessness and dedication always, but especially in Chips’ absence.

      And thank you Lovely Plains for this awesome Souza post!

    • 18 desertflower
      June 11, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      Yes! Yes! Yes! It takes a village:)

  6. 19 MadameSoph
    June 11, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    This is me every weeknight:

  7. June 11, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    I would buy any Obama written Pete Souza book.


    • 27 vcprezofan2
      June 11, 2016 at 10:32 pm

      Yep; I have his first* and cannot wait for the second to be published! In fact, I’m hoping he’s allowed to do a series. Right now I’m wondering if he’ll have the freedom to create some coffee table ‘Obama’** books or if he might be legally not allowed.

      * = ‘The Rise of Barack Obama’

      ** = my idea of possible titles >> Obama, The Baby Whisperer; Obama and Kids; Obama Abroad; Youth and The Obamas etc. etc. I would want to own them all. 😀 😀

    • 29 keltuc
      June 12, 2016 at 7:39 am

      I have his first one as well, and I too would happily buy whatever other Obama-related book he might publish in the future. And I’ve already implored him (via twitter a long time ago) to do so as well! 🙂 I keep it on full display on my bookcase, along with a couple of other books that make my political leanings crystal clear for any visitors who aren’t already aware. It’s sort of a pre-emptive “don’t start with me, people!” warning if we aren’t on the same page. 😀 However, I would imagine Pete’s first order of business would be to sleep for at least six months straight. 😀 Sames goes for PBO and Flotus!

  8. June 11, 2016 at 10:16 pm

  9. 34 jacquelineoboomer
    June 11, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    • June 11, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      I want folks to back off his a$$. Don’t give the rethugs the opportunity to replace him at the convention. They made the bed, now they must sleep in it!

      • 36 jacquelineoboomer
        June 11, 2016 at 11:22 pm

        Well, I’m with you there! I want them all to go down.

        • 37 nathkatun7
          June 12, 2016 at 1:41 am

          Me too, Jazziz and J’OB! To paraphrase the good book, the rethugs are reaping what they sowed!

        • June 12, 2016 at 9:04 am

          All Hell will break lose if they try to replace him at the convention…altho i think that they will try…there will be an explosion because Trump will NOT go quietly into the night!….not sure what will rise out of the ashes…

  10. 40 jacquelineoboomer
    June 11, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    How much ya wanna bet Trump never blocks anybody on twitter? Anything anybody wants to say to him makes him feel like all eyes are on ’em. So I gave it a shot.

  11. 55 amk for obama
    June 11, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    fascism at its best worst

  12. 56 amk for obama
    June 11, 2016 at 11:31 pm

  13. June 11, 2016 at 11:33 pm

    They shuda known betta than calling Philly out…

  14. 59 amk for obama
    June 11, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    limey louts at it again in euro 2016. white thugs.

  15. 60 desertflower
    June 11, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    night all… snooze time:)

  16. 61 99ts
    June 12, 2016 at 8:08 am

    No idea how you are going to do it – but the guns just have to go. No way any police department can keep up with the killings.

    Police: Approximately 20 dead inside Florida nightclub after mass shooting

    Stay safe my friends over there.

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