Dec. 14, 2011: “During one of the Christmas Holiday receptions at the White House, I noticed the First Lady’s hands resting on the podium as the President made brief remarks.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Sept. 21, 2011: “The First Lady reacts to something the President whispered to her at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in between events related to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, New York City.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
June 11, 2011: “The top photograph shows the President having a water gun fight with his daughter Sasha on her birthday weekend at Camp David. Unbeknownst to me, David Lienemann captured a similar photo of the Vice President on the very same day.” (Official White House Photos by Pete Souza and David Lienemann)
Feb. 5, 2011: “The two coaches for Sasha Obama’s basketball couldn’t make it to one of her games, so the President and his then personal aide, Reggie Love, filled in as coaches for this game one Saturday. Here they along with Sasha’s teammates react during the game.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
June 15, 2011: “Call him the baby soother. At the Congressional picnic on the South Lawn, the First Lady held a young baby who began crying (top photo). The President then came over to hold the same baby and was able to quiet her down as the First Lady reacted in astonishment in the background of the bottom photo.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
May 1, 2011: “The President was ready to announce the news about the mission against Osama bin Laden and was putting the finishing touches on his statement in the Outer Oval Office. As he did so, the networks broke in with bulletins confirming that bid Laden had been killed and a photograph of him appeared on the television screen in the background near the Vice President and Press Secretary Jay Carney.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Oct. 14, 2011: “The Obama family made an unannounced visit to tour the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C. the night before the President made remarks at the official dedication of the memorial.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
“The President reacts jokingly after the First Lady in her remarks called Jill Biden, ‘my favorite person here,’ despite the fact that her husband was standing next to her. All in good fun, the President then spoke at the signing ceremony for the Veterans Opportunity to Work to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Dec. 1, 2011: “The President with Malia and the First Lady with Sasha wait backstage before the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Dec. 21, 2011: “The President and Bo, the Obama family dog, ride in the presidential motorcade en route to PetSmart in Alexandria, Va. The President bought Bo some Christmas gifts at the pet store then walked nearby to Best Buy to purchase gifts for his daughters. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
James Warren (The Atlantic): From his community organizing days to the Illinois State Senate, Barack Obama has always put pragmatic deal-making above ideology, even when it angered allies
As President Obama is pilloried by the left, including by bloggers and editorial writers, for supposedly selling them out during debt ceiling negotiations, a reality check is desperately needed.
Get over it, guys and gals, and remember whom you’re fuming over: a deal-making community organizer.
Recognize this man? In a showdown with ideological enemies, he fashioned compromises which made some Democratic allies apoplectic. Republicans weren’t happy, either, with what he wrought but grudgingly realized there were few alternatives.
Throughout he exhibited a preternatural calm, always seeking some common ground among disparate interests as if compromise was a goal in and of itself, not any diminution of principle as some Democrats thought.
Yes, that’s our president, the man at the center of the improbable Debt Debate of 2011. But it was also State Senator Barack Obama a decade ago. The equally rancorous issue back then was the death penalty and the setting was the Illinois legislature. Not much about him has changed.
“His ideological inclinations are liberal but, as far as being a politician, he’s about getting things done. He was always pragmatic and about getting things done,” said Peter Baroni, a Republican attorney-law professor-lobbyist in Chicago who had a bird’s eye view of Obama while serving as legal counsel to Republicans in the Illinois Senate and to its Judiciary Committee.