President Barack Obama blocks a shot while playing basketball with personal aide Reggie Love at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York, Sept. 23, 2009. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)
Souza showed Obama a picture on the back of his camera from a friendly one-on-one game Obama played with presidential aide (and former Duke basketball player) Reggie Love. Obama, who was talking trash during the game, is seen leaping up to block a shot, looking great. Souza said when the president saw the photo, he told him, “I order you to make this a jumbo.” Before it was posted, the president had Love sign the print with a note complimenting the president on his block.
You can see the full National Geographic documentary here
President Obama waves goodbye from the steps of Air Force One as he departs Saudi Arabia on his way to Egypt, June, 2009
AP: ..Foreign leaders showered President Obama and his family with hundreds of thousands of dollars in art, jewelry, rare books and other presents during their first year in the White House.
Saudi Arabia’s king was the most generous gift-giver, according to documents released by the State Department on Tuesday. Saudi King Abdullah gave Obama, his wife and daughters nearly $190,000 in luxury baubles in 2009, including the single most valuable gift reported to have been given to U.S. officials that year: a ruby and diamond jewelry set, including earrings, a ring, a bracelet and necklace, for the first lady worth $132,000.
…By law, most gifts to U.S. officials must be turned over to the government and the jewelry has already been sent to the National Archives.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was a distant runner up to King Abdullah, with gifts for the first family worth a little under $33,000. The Italian haul included silk ties, a gold watch, a crystal table and candlesticks…….the Saudi monarch also presented Michelle Obama with a $14,200 pearl necklace. He gave the president a marble clock adorned with miniature gold palm trees and camels valued at $34,500. He sent first daughters Sasha and Malia Obama diamond earrings and necklaces worth more than $7,000.
Chinese President Hu Jintao gave Obama a $20,000 silk embroidery of the first family….French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife sent perfume and a $4,500 black Christian Dior handbag …Some leaders chose more modest gifts. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth presented Obama with framed portraits of herself and her husband, Prince Philip, worth $775….Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas offered the U.S. leader $521 in gifts, including the least expensive item listed by the State Department: a $75 bottle of olive oil.
ABC: Aided by his response to the Tucson shootings, popular lame-duck legislation and a hint of economic relief, Barack Obama has matched his highest job approval rating in more than a year in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, with his ratings for empathy likewise rebounding.
It’s a remarkable turnaround for a president so recently hammered in the 2010 midterm elections … 54 percent now approve of Obama’s job performance, up 5 points from last month and 8 points above his career low in September.
And given overwhelming approval of his response to the Tucson attack, Americans by an 18-point margin, 58-40 percent, say Obama “understands the problems of people like you.” That’s up from a mere 2-point split, 50-48 percent, in September.
…Strikingly, the view that Obama’s made the economy worse has eased most broadly in an unexpected quarter: down by 17 points among Republicans.
Icicles form on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 18. Freezing rain overnight left icy conditions, closing schools and delaying the opening of the Federal government by two hours
Against a backdrop of ice covered trees, national flags of China and the U.S. fly along Pennsylvania Avenue outside the White House. Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday flew to the United States for a state visit.
Vice President Joe Biden greets China’s President Hu Jintao at Andrews Air Force Base
Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition is arrested by police outside the White House during his protest against President Hu Jintao and China’s human rights abuses
‘Free Tibet’ supporters protest in front of the White House
Icicles hang from the leaves of a tree in the Lafayette Park in front of the White House