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Monday, July 23, 2018

Barack Obama: A friend, an equal, a people’s president

On Barack Obama's birthday, a look at how the President has built and retained his 'cool image'.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 4, 2016 4:04:12 pm
barack obama, obama birthday, birthday obama, president obama birthday, obama cool photos, us president, oval office, white house, obama with children, us news Raising a toast to the man himself. (AP Photo)

If there is one thing that has been constant for US President Barack Obama in his term of eight years, it has been his image as the cool president. The White House has seen a colourful bunch of people having a gala time inside. Outside of the White House too, Obama has shown himself to be a people’s person, bringing himself to their levels, quite literally sometimes. His cool image is reinforced by the president’s official photographer Pete Souza who has captured him in frames that decry the fact that world leaders need to be serious.

Obama has proved, time and again, that it is important to connect with people at a personal level, not just with the leaders of other countries but with every age group that looks up to him. Barack Obama’s Oval office has seen his two daughters growing up. Whether it was outside the office on the swings or inside, playing I Spy with their father, the daughters have seen the best.

But the office has seen numerous other kids having a tete-a-tete with the president himself. In 2009, African-American child Jacob Philadelphia got the opportunity to visit the Oval Office. When he asked whether Obama’s hair was the same as his, Obama bowed down to him, letting him feel his hair. In 2012, a little kid dressed up as Spiderman caught Mr. President unawares right in his office. In 2015, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes brought his daughter Ella into the office, on Obama’s special request. The little one crawled on the carpet around the Oval Office getting the President down on his hands and knees to look her in the eye. Also in 2015, he carried the twin boys of Katie Beirne Fallon, Director of Legislative Affairs, inside his office, only a few months after they were born.

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See Photos | Obama is the coolest President ever. Period.

In his annual correspondent’s dinner, he has been famous for taking digs at people he likes and dislikes. In his memorable last address, among his many quotes, one of his funniest quips was on journalists in Amercia. “As you know, Spotlight is a film about investigative journalists with the resources and the autonomy to chase down the truth and hold the powerful accountable,” he said. “Best fantasy film since Star Wars.” He made a reference to a popular youth phrase, ‘drop the mic’ by dropping the mic and saying ‘Obama out’ after ending his speech.

His meetings with national world leaders have also been fun, to say the least. In 2015, a meeting with Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. and Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y. in the Oval Office saw Obama hi-fiving Mikulski, possibly at the end of an argument. At the G7 summit in 2015, Obama is seen with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she talks to him before a group photograph in the backdrop of the gorgeous Alps.

He has not shied away from showing his affection to First Lady Michelle Obama. They were often found holding hands in public or just being in love together. In fact, at one point, he held the umbrella for her as she walked ahead of him.

In his eight years as president, Obama has made his mark politically but has also managed to leave an impact on people as their friend and their equal. Happy birthday, Mr. President.

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