Washington Post: That February morning in 2008 found Barack Obama decidedly out of sorts.
He was locked in one battle with Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination that showed no signs of ending — and another with a vicious cold that felt the same way.
As he rode the service elevator in the backway of a convention hotel here, the snowy-haired African American operating it turned suddenly. He held out a black-and-gold bit of fabric embroidered with a screaming eagle.
“Senator Obama, I have something I want to give you,” the man said. “I’ve carried this military patch with me every day for 40 years, and I want you to carry it, and it will keep you safe in your journey.” Obama tried to refuse, but the older man persisted.
Big endeavors can find their meaning in small moments.
Later that day, Obama and his aides discussed the encounter. The future president pulled the patch from his pocket, along with about a dozen other items people had pressed upon him.
“This is why I do this,” he said. “Because people have their hopes and dreams about what we can do together.”
“The President was leaving the State Floor after an event and found Sasha in the elevator ready to head upstairs to the private residence. He decided to ride upstairs with her before returning to the Oval Office.” (Official White House photo by Pete Souza, May 19, 2009)
May 19, 2009: “The President was leaving the State Floor after an event and found Sasha in the elevator ready to head upstairs to the private residence. He rode upstairs with her before returning to the Oval Office.” (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama whispers into First Lady Michelle Obama’s ear during the White House Cinco de Mayo celebration May 4, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama, holding a tortilla from the buffet table at the White House Cinco de Mayo celebration, smiles at First Lady Michelle Obama as they get on the elevator to the private residence following the event on May 4, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
Early in the morning on Jan. 21st, President Barack Obama rides the elevator to the Private Residence of the White House after attending 10 inaugural balls and a long day including being sworn in as President at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza