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Former President and First Lady, Barack and Michelle Obama visit the White House for the unveiling of their official portraits

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Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2022. 9:57 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: On Wednesday, former US President Barack Obama and former First Lady, Michelle Obama visited the White House for the unveiling of their official portraits, CNN reports.

The event marked their first joint visit to the White House since they left in 2017 and the return of a Washington tradition that was last celebrated 10 years ago.

The history-making portraits of the Obamas stand in contrast to those of other US presidents and their spouses hung on the White House walls.

The portraits depict the U.S.’ first Black President and first lady through the perspectives of contemporary artists working outside many of the conventions of traditional political portraiture.

The portraits will hang inside the White House for generations to come, and are the first official portraits added to the White House Collection since then-President Obama held a bipartisan unveiling ceremony for George W. Bush and Laura Bush in 2012.

Marking the historic occasion, President Joe Biden highlighted the former first couple’s accomplishments in the White House.

“You both generated hope for millions of people who were left behind for so long – and it matters. You both did it with such grace and such class. You dreamed big and secured lasting wins for the American people, helping lift their burden with a blessing of hope. It’s so underestimated … just having hope. This is the gift of the Obama presidency to the country and to history,” Biden stated.

Obama then led a standing ovation for Biden, “Thanks to your decency and thanks to your strength – maybe most of all thanks to your faith in democracy and the American people – the country’s better off than when you took office. And we should all be deeply grateful for that.”

 

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