Is that dust in your eye?
President Obama left the White House for the final time today, returning to the world as Barack Obama. Or, is it ex-President Obama? Former President Obama? Maybe even in these uncertain times, President Emeritus?
Everyone is already feeling pretty wistful, including Obama himself, who simply said, “Of course,” when asked by a reporter if he was feeling “nostalgic” just minutes remove from the presidency.
Thankfully, we already have a set of photos from official White House Photographer Pete Souza to document the affair. Souza was the official White House photographer for the past eight years and his Instagram account is a treasure trove of historic images. As Obama exited office, Souza closed his former account and started a new one to document the journey ahead. Writing on his IG page, Souza explained:
“I expect to be very active on Instagram although I may not post that much initially as I try to take a little break, sleep late, do whatever my wife wants me to do, go the gym every day, see some concerts, watch some movies, read some books, drink some wine ... you get idea.”
Now, all we have moving forward are the memories of a historic presidency which saw the nation’s first black commander-in-chief navigate the dangerous waters of a decimated economy, war weary populace and sharply divided Congress.
All along, Obama did it with intelligence, grace and style. So, it should come as no surprise that his final moments in the Oval Office were a reflection of that unshakeable cool he brought to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But we totally understand if you need to pause for a healthy cry.