In our politically divisive nation, it’s obvious that people have different opinions of the Obama years. Some think Barack Obama was a great president, while others are counting down the seconds until he’s out of office. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Barack Obama , his team, and his family found a great balance between making the White House a fun place and working tirelessly for disparate issues in our country and beyond. As the Obama presidency comes to an end, here are some of my favorite pictures taken during the Obama administration.
1. President Obama takes Oath as family Looks On (2009)
This photo was taken during Obama’s 2009 Inauguration. The beaming look on the president’s face highlights just how much this moment meant to him. After years of hard work, he was about to become the first black President of the United States.
2. Playing with the “First Dog” (2009)
This photo, taken early in the Obama presidency, shows President Obama running with the “First Dog, ” otherwise known as Bo. After a few years of Bo, a Portuguese Water Dog, being the star of the show, the Obama’s got another dog named Sunny.
3. Calling Members of Congress to Urge to Support Health Care Reform (2010)
One of Obama’s primary goals as president was to expand access to healthcare and his way of doing so eventually turned into the Affordable Care Act. However, it was quite an uphill battle to finally get the health care reform passed in both chambers. Obama likely made hundreds of other phone calls to Congressmen who were difficult to persuade to support health care reform. In the end, the reform passed, but not a single Republican in either chamber voted to support it.
4. Obama and Biden High Five in Bromance Moment (2010)
5. Fist Pumping a Custodial Staff Member (2011)
Many claim Obama always went out of his way to make everyone who ever entered the White House each day feel welcome, and this photo makes that all the more clear.
6. Bowing Down to Let a Little Boy Touch his Hair (2012)
In this popular photo, Obama appears to be leaning down to let a stylish little boy touch his hair. It seems that the youngin is trying to see if his hair feels like the President’s.
7. Sitting on Famed Rosa Parks Bus (2012)
Following an event in Detroit, Obama visits the Henry Ford Museum, where the famous bus Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on is located. A pensive Obama must have been thinking about the courage Parks had to stand up to oppression.
8. Hanging with Past Presidents (2013)
In this photo, Obama catches a laugh with Presidents Clinton, Carter, and George W. Bush during a dedication of the George W. Bush Library and Museum in Dallas. It’s reassuring to know that despite their political differences they could all get along and catch a good laugh together.
8. President Lets Young Boy Check His Heartbeat (2014)
While conducting a school visit, Obama let a curious cutie check his heartbeat with a stethoscope. Future doctor in the making? I vote yes.
9. First Family in Selma, AL on 50th Anniversary of Selma March (2015)
On March 7, 1965, what became known as “Bloody Sunday,” hundreds were attacked with tear gas and hit with rifles as they walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma to show support for black voting rights. 50 years later, the first family joined numerous others to make that exact same march, this time without any worries of police violence and pushback. 50 years ago Barack Obama would have faced the cruel racism and violence blacks of Selma and many other areas of the country faced, so the fact that he is now president shows how far our country has come.
10. #LoveWins: White House is Lit up Following Supreme Court Ruling (2015)
Even though this picture does not include the president directly, the choice to light up the White House following the historic Supreme Court ruling to legalize gay marriage in all fifty states, shows his immense support for LGBT rights. Obama claimed that this ruling was a “victory for America.”
11. President and First Lady Dance with 106-year old Woman (2016)
In this amazing photo, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama dance with Virginia McLaurin, a longtime DC resident and a volunteer with a passion for education, whose dream was to meet the first black president. Check out the video of them meeting here:
12. Adorable Prince George Meets President Obama (2016)
As part of the President’s 2016 visit to the U.K. to meet the royal family and put in his two cents about the the important Brexit vote, the President got to meet the cute Prince George. If this doesn’t make your heart melt, I don’t know what will.
13. A Teary-eyed President Lays out Gun Control Executive Order (2016)
While President Obama is not one to often shed a tear, he has repeatedly done so when it comes to gun violence. Here, President Obama references past mass shootings such as Sandy Hook, before addressing executive orders for increased gun control.
In one of my favorite photos of the first couple, they look out onto Washington from the White House. Michelle Obama recently posted this picture on Instagram and Twitter with the caption “Being your First Lady has been the honor of a lifetime. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. -mo” Even though I can’t see their faces, I’m sure they’re smiling.