On Friday of this week the Obamas will officially become private citizens and vacate the White House. We all know that this is the natural progression and a peaceful transfer of power is the cornerstone of our democracy. What distinguishes the Obama era coming to an end is the unprecedented outpouring of love and gratitude towards the most beloved first family since the Kennedys and quite possibly ever. The Obamas are special. They breathed new life into the White House, making it hip and fun and inclusive. Their intelligence, warmth, wit and kindness permeated all of Washington where they were hugely popular.
The last couple of weeks have been filled with farewell speeches, parties and tributes. Everywhere I look there are pictures and videos recounting the past eight years. The rich visual history tells the story of a remarkable young family that came to the White House full of hope and high ideals. Obama inherited the worst financial crisis since the great depression and on day one he began to put the country back together again and brought us back from the brink. His leadership was always informed by his intelligence and compassion for his fellow human beings.
We had eight glorious years without even a hint of scandal or treachery from within the White House. First lady Michelle and President Obama clearly are deeply in love and devoted to each other. Sasha and Malia grew up in the White House from adorable little to girls to impressive young women. As the mother of two daughters the same age, I know that the transition from elementary school to high school is full of challenges and pressures. The Obamas successfully raised their two girls, shielding them from too much attention and giving them what appears to be a normal upbringing under extraordinary circumstances.
In gratitude to the Obamas I’ve compiled images from the past eight years that demonstrate their love of life, family and those around them. From intimate moments with Michelle to Obama’s bromance with VP Biden and the many play sessions on the floor of the oval office with the children of his staff, the natural ease, grace and humanity of the president comes through. They are genuinely beautiful people and I’ll miss them dearly though I’m sure they’ll continue to do great things for this country and the world. Thank you Obamas for eight great years.