The Intimacy Of A Hug



Julie Hirschfeld Davis: Long And Genuine’ Hugs: Shooting Victims’ Relatives Recall Obama’s Empathy

The wrenching ritual has become all too familiar to President Obama. His armored limousine deposits him at a nondescript building big enough to hold a large number of families whose loved ones have died in a mass shooting somewhere in America. Away from the news cameras that normally track his every interaction, he enters rooms thick with grief and the hushed voices of people in shock. He grasps for words of sympathy, comfort and condolence and offers long, tight embraces that the mourners will remember far more vividly than his words. Mr. Obama will travel to Orlando, Fla., on Thursday for the latest round of mass consoling, four days after a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 53 at a gay nightclub in the deadliest mass shooting in American history. “He hugged each one of us individually — and I mean hug, so that I was able to smell his cologne,” said Sharon Risher, 57, who lost her mother,




Ethel Lance, and two cousins in the shooting in Charleston, S.C., last year, and met privately with Mr. Obama the next week. “It was not a little pat on the back. The intimacy of that hug is what I’ll always remember.”  Roxanna Green — whose 9-year-old daughter, Christina-Taylor Green, was one of six people killed in a 2011 shooting in a supermarket parking lot in Tuscon, Ariz., where Representative Gabrielle Giffords was holding an event — said she had campaigned for Mr. Obama with her daughter and mother and had often dreamed of meeting him. “But you never want to receive a visit like that from anybody,” Ms. Green, 50, said in an interview. “Their hugs were just long and genuine, like something you receive from a family member,” she said of Mr. and Mrs. Obama. “He said she was a beautiful girl, and he’s so sorry, and it was just a horrible loss and his girls are about the same age,” she recalled. “They were both very, very emotional. It was like it happened to someone in their family.”

More here


U.S. President Barack Obama sheds a tear while delivering a statement on steps the administration is taking to reduce gun violence in the East Room of the White House in Washington January 5, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria




155 Responses to “The Intimacy Of A Hug”

  1. 1 desertflower
    June 26, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Grateful for this man, in ANY time, but most especially THIS time in our history.

  2. 2 desertflower
    June 26, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Just want to say thank you to all the BT’s that have helped Chips keep our home humming….even before the sad news about Mama Chips passing, all of you have stepped up to help her when she needed to take care of life. So grateful to all of you. Many thanks.

    • 3 susanne
      June 26, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      Beautifully said, df. This place is alive with good works and good times, even sad times. Mahalo nui loa ❤

    • June 26, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      YES, thanks to all the BTs for everything. We love you.

    • June 26, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      Perfection, df. Thank you for expressing so eloquently the gratitude to the BT’s we all share.

    • 7 sjterrid
      June 26, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      I want to add my thanks to yours, DF, to all the BT’s that have helped Chips keep this place running.

    • 8 vcprezofan2
      June 26, 2016 at 6:15 pm

      x 100%

    • 9 jacquelineoboomer
      June 26, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      Yes, with you – to all the BTs and most especially we may want to think about carrying NW above our heads down the street in some form of gratitude parade for holding TOD together!

      It grows from love, Chips. You planted the seed.

    • 10 GGail
      June 26, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      DF, thank you for precisely expressing our collective feelings about our BT’s. So grateful to all of you – indeed ❤

    • 11 andogriff
      June 26, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Agree 100% DF, thanks so much to Nerdy & our other BT’s for being brilliant and taking over while our Ms Chips is dealing with the loss of her Mom. I don’t post much, but love to browse through TOD as often as possible. Thanks again, and love to you all. ❤️❤️❤️

    • 12 nathkatun7
      June 26, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      Well said DF! I share your thanks and gratitude to all the BTs who have kept TOD going full speed. Let me add my thanks to you and other posters who share with us important news and information in your posts.

      • 13 Wanda N VA 4Obama
        June 26, 2016 at 11:14 pm

        I agree as well! Thanks to Nerdy and the others that have kept the home fires burning while Chips is away. You all have done a tremendous job!!

    • 14 Betsy
      June 27, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      I’ve been away for the past 9 days and didn’t hear about this until now. So very sorry for Chips and also so very thankful for all you BT’s most especially NW who has really held the fort along with LL, Amk and LP to name a few. Thanks again.

  3. June 26, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks NW. Thanks to you and all the rest to holding TOD down in Chips’ absence.

  4. 16 jackiegrumbacher
    June 26, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    How I wish our Chips could receive that healing hug! With so many tragic, heart rending frightening things happening each day, we have to take the time to hug those we love and any one we know who is in pain or feeling lost. From the time Barack Obama stepped on the national stage, he has served as a role model for all of us. His accomplishments have been astonishing, but perhaps his greatest legacy will be his ability to experience and share his bottomless compassion and love for his fellow human beings. Think how the world would be transformed if we could all express that level of love to each other.

      June 26, 2016 at 5:47 pm


  5. 22 africa
    June 26, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    A virtual one for ((((((((((((((((((Chips))))))))))))))))))))

  6. June 26, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Like a Bridge over Trouble Waters….I will Ease your mind….

  7. June 26, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Ty to Amk…for the special Thread…ty to NW for keeping this sacred place….

    i have no words to express my heartfelt gratitude and affection to the men and women of TheObamaDiary….

    and much love to MsChips…much love….praying for you

    If you need a Friend…i’m sailing right behind…Like a Bridge over Troubled Waters, I will Ease your Mind …like a Bridge over Troubled Waters…i will Ease your Mind!!

  8. June 26, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    All of you here at TOD are incredibly lovely people. Thank you for making this community so strong and thoughtful and loving.

  9. 28 Judith Fardig
    June 26, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Heart-wrenching post seems especially appropriate today as we all wish we could wrap Chips in a TOD group hug. Thanks so much to Nerdy Wonka for stepping up and too AMK and LL and anyone else I missed acknowledging for keeping the blog going.

  10. June 26, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    One of the most amazing qualities of President Obama is that while he is facing vicious hatred, complete obstruction and national and global events that require him to be strong, presenting no chinks in his armor, he is capable of opening his heart to share our griefs and joys. And his vulnerability demonstrates his strength more clearly.

  11. June 26, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Just because we need some life-affirming news.

    I and the Mrs. received our official marriage license in the mail this weekend. We are officially hitched.

  12. 48 PrayerWarriorforObama
    June 26, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Congrats LL! Now live long together and love strong.

  13. 49 desertflower
    June 26, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    No matter how much they tell you Hillary is ahead, do NOT allow that be the reason to not use your voice!!! Go Vote this November and EVERY SINGLE ELECTION THEREAFTER!

    • 50 jacquelineoboomer
      June 26, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      I always order an absentee ballot, so there is NEVER a reason not to vote – like not being able to get to the polls or something!

  14. 53 JER
    June 26, 2016 at 7:16 pm

  15. 54 JER
    June 26, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    LIVE NOW: Conversation with Hillary Clinton in Cincinnati, Ohio

  16. 57 99ts
    June 26, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    gm from my world – thank you so much amk for thread for our Ms Chips and her Mother – and thank you to NW for keeping us all together during the last many weeks.

    I did not realise, until I read the recent post at BJ as to how devastating are the floods in WV. Thoughts to all those involved. Are there other states under water? Is this a regular happening (where I am has regular floods, but they don’s usually get anywhere like the level of what is happening in WV). Keep safe any TODers in the area


    • 58 arapaho415
      June 26, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      GM 99ts.

      Haven’t kept abreast of the horrific flooding in West Virginia, but devastating to hear on the radio from people whose spouses were in houses that were swept away with their loved ones inside.

      Heard on the radio that WV received 1/4 of their annual rainfall in the past couple of days — the power of water cannot be underestimated. When I was in Eagle AK (a teeny community on the Yukon River which serves as the border between US and Canada in that region) they have contests to guess when the river breaks (that is, becomes water from its ice-state) — even 17 years ago, the river breaking was occurring earlier every year.

      The local library showed a video of the river breaking, and it was amazing — huge chunks of ice the size of houses hurtling down the river.

      And I’ve been to Niagara Falls (at night), the sound of the water rushing over the falls is simply terrifying (to me).

      • 59 99ts
        June 26, 2016 at 8:56 pm

        hello arapaho – we had one instance in 2010 where one town had a water event through their main street – but it was related to last minute decisions to release dam water – there are now new rules in place for this. WV sounds like it is happening in many places. Truly horrific to hear of houses/cars washing away with people inside!

  17. 60 vcprezofan2
    June 26, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Sharing this again, because it’s so apropos. Sure hope you all are passing the message along on twitter, facebook or your personal blogs. This is *the* strategy every voter needs to internalize.

    • 61 Obama Grandmama
      June 27, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      Not only voting, but informed voting is needed. Look at the Brexit vote as an example of people voting with their emotions instead of being informed. Now there are lots who wish they could take back their vote. Believing the false propaganda put out by one side does not count as informed. If you have a source that repeatedly gives false information think of the saying “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.”
      Those in our Country saying they do not believe The Donald will do what he says are blatantly ignoring facts put right before them for emotional wishful thinking. Emotional voting = Lazy voting. Be sure you do not regret your vote- Vote Smart.

  18. June 26, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    [Boris Johnson] has been out-maneouvered and check-mated.
    If he runs for leadership of the party, and then fails to follow through on triggering Article 50, then he is finished. If he does not run and effectively abandons the field, then he is finished. If he runs, wins and pulls the UK out of the EU, then it will all be over – Scotland will break away, there will be upheaval in Ireland, a recession … broken trade agreements. Then he is also finished. Boris Johnson knows all of this. When he acts like the dumb blond it is just that: an act.

  19. June 26, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Live a life with a healthy balance of hard work and play.

  20. 68 JER
    June 26, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Pres Obama hours at Woodmont Country Club


  21. 69 MightyPamela
    June 26, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    • 71 mtmarilyn
      June 26, 2016 at 9:50 pm

      Oh DF that was what we needed. Loved the Great Dane that ate 5 glasses. Love ya!

      • 72 desertflower
        June 26, 2016 at 9:54 pm

        🙂 Me too! They were all “just what the Dr. ordered”….so adorable! Love ya right back:) Hope all is well…

        • 73 mtmarilyn
          June 26, 2016 at 11:48 pm

          All is well. Going to see my last surviving aunt and all my female cousins on my mother’s side. Several years ago we started having get togethers over the 4th. Every year we feel it could be our last with my aunt, she is 89. You know family is so important .

  22. June 26, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Hay NW or JER, do you know what time FLOTUS will arrive in Liberia?

  23. June 26, 2016 at 8:49 pm

  24. June 26, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Off line for the remainder of the Sunday evening.

    Everyone of you are special and cherished for all that you do – especially for your capacity to love others!

  25. 78 desertflower
    June 26, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    • 79 Wilson Michael
      June 27, 2016 at 3:37 am

      LOL!!! As if Drumpfs VP pick won’t be newsworthy in a notorious fashion. The RNC could have a PR disaster of it’s own, let alone conspire to attack HRC’s VP pick. These people have lost their minds.

  26. 80 99ts
    June 26, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    How is it decided which convention – dem or gop – is the last to be held?

  27. 85 desertflower
    June 26, 2016 at 9:06 pm

  28. June 26, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    i downloaded snapchat to follow the First Lady on her Let Girls Learn trip….smilin

  29. June 26, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    GN TOD seeya in the morning,,,,((MsChips))

    • 100 vcprezofan2
      June 27, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      Hi Pf, was reading this just now and thought of you…. 🙂

      The link has a few relevant pics – I can’t copy & paste any because they’re in Instagram format.

      Mahogany Blues launched last March by 29-year-old Texas designer Whitney Bracey. When many of us think of “nude,” we think of a peachy, pinkish color, but that’s not nude for everyone — and it’s a real issue in the ballet community. “Most dancers of color have to dye their leotards a few times to get the right color,” Whitney told BuzzFeed.


      Even better? Mahogany Blues chooses a dance company to sponsor every year, and they provide students with a leotard that matches their skin color, nude bandages, and shoe polish to make their pointe shoes *truly* nude.



  30. 104 jacquelineoboomer
    June 26, 2016 at 10:18 pm

  31. 105 JER
    June 26, 2016 at 10:21 pm

  32. June 26, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Jesse Williams WOKE AF!!

    @TheRoot now8 seconds ago
    “If you have no interest in equal rights for Black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down” @iJesseWilliams #BETAwards

    • 107 purpleshoesla
      June 27, 2016 at 1:11 am

      GAVE. ME. LIFE! I was just like that Whitney gif in front of my TV tonight while he was PREACHING!

  33. 108 desertflower
    June 26, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Oh noes!! The Apricotfaced Hellbeast got it all wrong!!

  34. June 26, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    Aaron Edwards ✔ @aaronmedwards
    when jesse williams said they are “gentrifying our genius” pic.twitter.com/jdPGOMMlts

  35. June 26, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    HuffPost BlackVoices ✔ @blackvoices
    “The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander.” – @iJesseWilliams PREACH!

  36. June 26, 2016 at 10:42 pm
  37. June 26, 2016 at 10:43 pm


  38. June 26, 2016 at 10:46 pm

  39. June 26, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Janelle Monae’s Prince tribute is the best so far.

  40. June 26, 2016 at 10:53 pm

  41. June 26, 2016 at 10:55 pm

  42. June 26, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    ‏@LouBay225 24s24 seconds ago
    Samuel Leroy Jackson … blackest name for a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient EVER #BETAwards

  43. June 26, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    When you go vote, take 8 people with you.

    Don’t get tricked like they got tricked in England – Samuel L. Jackson


  44. June 26, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Usher’s shirt say, “Don’t Trump America”!

  45. 129 No Child Left Behind
    June 26, 2016 at 11:22 pm

  46. 130 desertflower
    June 26, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Night all…Night Miss Chips. Love you.

    • 131 99ts
      June 26, 2016 at 11:53 pm

      Nite df – sleep well

      Little one was here saying good nite – I said the old “sleep tite, don’t let the bed bugs bite” & started a long conversation that – no, there are no bugs in your bed at nanna’s place.

      • 132 jacquelineoboomer
        June 27, 2016 at 12:56 am

        Ha! Glad I saw that before signing off for the evening. We have to watch what we say, for sure, with the little ones!

        I was reminded earlier in the evening of last summer when I taught my little great grandson to sing this tune along with me, and the funniest was to hear him sing the last part: “In the summertime, when all the trees and leaves are green, and the redbird sings, I’ll be blue – ’cause you don’t want my love.” ❤

  47. 135 jacquelineoboomer
    June 26, 2016 at 11:45 pm

  48. 136 jacquelineoboomer
    June 26, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    I’ll just sit this here.

    • 137 hopefruit2
      June 27, 2016 at 12:11 am

      And I’m glad you did 🙂

    • June 27, 2016 at 12:13 am

      Looks are fine, but the world we live in today we need more then looks. Seven years the one in the middle have prove there is more to him then looks. Kind of like when we only talks about what the First Lady is wearing, how she looks. She is a smart women with degrees from Princeton and Harvard, as accomplish as any man in D.C.

      • June 27, 2016 at 12:16 am

        Now don’t get me wrong they are handsome men.

      • 141 jacquelineoboomer
        June 27, 2016 at 12:41 am

        Totally agree with you. Most people, I think, just like to make note of how much they feel – especially our First Family – are beautiful INSIDE and out. Because they are. Luckily, we all “get” their accomplishments in life, most of all. And, yes, those are the most important, lasting qualities – the ones that will be in the history books.

  49. June 27, 2016 at 12:08 am

  50. June 27, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Ms. Chips, I’m just reading about your mom. Please accept my condolences. I hope you find a degree of peace and comfort in the fact that you had your mom with you into your adulthood. Believe me, that is a blessing. But losing your mom at any time in your life is painful and I can only hope you know that people here who may have never seen you are holding you in their hearts.

  51. June 27, 2016 at 1:17 am

    You better try and download the Jesse Williams speech ASAP, because Viacom is doing the serious clampdown on it on YouTube.

  52. 147 criquet
    June 27, 2016 at 1:22 am

    Ms Chips,

    Just realised that your mom passed . My sincere condolences to you and all the family at this time .
    May she rest in peace and rise in glory as the universe allows.
    And may you find peace, strength and comfort as you need to, and as I am sure she would want you to do, to continue the caring, helpful and good life you live.

  53. 148 amk for obama
    June 27, 2016 at 5:37 am

  54. June 27, 2016 at 7:29 am

  55. June 27, 2016 at 7:32 am

  56. June 27, 2016 at 7:33 am

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

  • 'We do have a rule of law here': Why Justice Dept. should act if Meadows ignores subpoena
  • Alexander Vindman: Meeting with Putin 'occurred about as good as it needed to'
  • Instagram CEO to testify before Congress on safety of teen users
  • Young Democrats are more likely to despise the other party, according to polling
  • Biden, Putin set for call amid growing tensions over Ukraine



Blog Stats

  • 43,153,512 hits

%d bloggers like this: