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Barack Obama's years in the White House

Last updated on: October 10, 2012 08:36 IST

Barack Obama's years in the White House

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President Barack Obama has had a busy first term at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, not a surprise for a man tasked with leading the free world.

Says the Time magazine, "...Obama's first term has been a historic one: the first African American to hold the county's highest office, Obama and his Administration have battled a recession, passed health care reform and legislation to end the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, formally ended the war in Iraq and brought Osama bin Laden to justice."

Official White House photographer Pete Souza has used his incredible access to document Obama's journey, capturing both the tense moments and the lighter ones to provide a behind-the-scenes look at his presidency.

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Image: President Barack Obama runs down the East Colonnade with family dog, Bo, on the dog's initial visit to the White House, March 15, 2009. Bo came back to live at the White House in April.
Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Barack Obama's years in the White House

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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

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Barack Obama's years in the White House

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President Barack Obama examines the Resolute Desk on March 3, 2009, while visiting with Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg in the Oval Office. In a famous photograph, her brother John F Kennedy Jr, peeked through the FDR panel, while his father President Kennedy worked

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Barack Obama's years in the White House

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wear 3-D glasses while watching a TV commercial during Super Bowl 43, Arizona Cardinals vs Pittsburgh Steelers, in the family theater of the White House on February 1, 2009. Guests included family, friends, Cabinet members, staff members and bipartisan members of Congress.

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Barack Obama's years in the White House

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President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speak together sitting at a picnic table April 9, 2009, on the South Lawn of the White House

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Barack Obama's years in the White House

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"The Obama family was scheduled to tour the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio before dinner one night. But when heavy fog rolled in, they canceled the visit. After dinner, the fog had dissipated somewhat so they decided to make the drive up the mountain. It was quite clear when they arrived and then the fog started to roll back in. I managed to capture this silhouette as they viewed the statute one last time just before departure."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Barack Obama's years in the White House

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"The President had attended the fourth grade closing ceremony for his daughter Sasha at her school in Bethesda, Md. As he was departing, he noticed some pre-school children peering out of a window at a child care facility adjacent to Sasha's school so he walked over to say hello to them."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Barack Obama's years in the White House

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"More often than not, the President is in the office on most Saturdays to convene a national security or economic meeting. Here, on a Saturday in March, the President listens during a conference call on Libya in the Situation Room of the White House."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Barack Obama's years in the White House

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"In India, the President was finally persuaded to join the First Lady on the dance floor at Holy Name High School in Mumbai."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Barack Obama's years in the White House

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"Visiting the Great Buddha of Kamakura, in Japan, the President had a green tea ice cream bar with his hosts. He had visited this Buddha as a young child and said he remembered sitting in the exact same place having an ice cream bar."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Barack Obama's years in the White House

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"The skies opened up on Memorial Day outside of Chicago. When the lightning began, the Secret Service told the President that it was too dangerous to proceed. He took the stage by himself and informed the audience that his speech was canceled and that for everyone's safety, they should return to their busses. Later, he boarded a few of the busses to thank them for attending and apologized for not being able to speak."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Barack Obama's years in the White House

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"President and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev look at the menu en route to Ray's Hell Burger where they stopped and had burgers for lunch."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Barack Obama's years in the White House

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"On vacation in Martha's Vineyard, the President was golfing at the Vineyard Golf Club. I switched my digital camera to the black-and-white setting to capture the ominous clouds."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Barack Obama's years in the White House

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"The President has made several trips to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and several other hospitals to visit wounded soldiers and personally award Purple Heart medals. Although I do take photographs of him meeting these soldiers, we make these pictures only available to the soldiers themselves. Here, he's about to enter the room of a wounded soldier who received a Purple Heart."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Barack Obama's years in the White House

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"Sometimes the unexpected happens. At a cafe in Missouri, I was trying to capture patrons snapping photos of each other with the President when this guy did what wise-guys do."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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"After the President signed the health insurance reform bill, Robert Gibbs asked me if I could have someone take a close-up photograph of the President's signature. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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"A temporary White House staffer, Carlton Philadelphia, brought his family to the Oval Office for a farewell photo with President Obama. Carlton's son softly told the President he had just gotten a haircut like President Obama, and asked if he could feel the President's head to see if it felt the same as his."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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President Barack Obama talks with Ambassador Ryan Crocker aboard Marine One en route to the Afghan Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 1, 2012. Seated next to the President, from left, are Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough and Chief of Staff Jack Lew.

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Seated, from left, are: Brigadier General Marshall B. "Brad" Webb, Assistant Commanding General, Joint Special Operations Comm#8743 Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Standing, from left, are: Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; National Security Advisor Tom Donilon; Chief of Staff Bill Daley; Tony Blinken, National Security Advisor to the Vice President; Audrey Tomason Director for Counterterrorism; John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. 

A classified document seen in this photograph has been obscured.

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and others watch the overtime shootout of the Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich Champions League final, in the Laurel Cabin conference room during the G8 Summit at Camp David, Md., May 19, 2012.

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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"This is a composite of several images of the President and his national security team during a series of meetings in the Situation Room of the White House discussing the mission against Osama bin Laden on Sunday, May 1. We put this together so in addition to the previous, now iconic image of this day, people might have a better sense of what it's like in presidential meetings of historic significance."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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President Barack Obama samples fudge offered by Squirrel's Den fudge shop owner LaDonna Secrist, left, during a stop in Mansfield, Ohio, August 1, 2012

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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President Barack Obama has a beer with patrons at the Pump Haus Pub and Grill in Waterloo, Iowa, August 14, 2012

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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President Barack Obama plays basketball during a visit to the McIntosh family farm in Missouri Valley, Iowa, Aug. 13, 2012. The President toured a cornfield on the family farm to view the effect the drought is having on crops.

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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"This was a planning meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. The President was leaning back in his chair, taking in the discussion."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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President Barack Obama participates in an interview with YouTube and Google+ to discuss his State of the Union address, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, January 30, 2012. The interview was held through a Google+ Hangout, making it the first completely virtual interview from the White House.

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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"The President plays peek-a-boo with the daughter of White House staffer Emmett Beliveau in the Outer Oval Office. It's interesting to note that this photograph was taken not long after the conclusion of his Afghanistan meeting in the Situation Room. So he went from this very substantive meeting to being able to lighten up for a minute with this young girl."

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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President Barack Obama talks with former President Bill Clinton backstage at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York, New York, June 4, 2012

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama look out at the Chicago, Ill., skyline, June 15, 2012

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Photographs: Pete Souza/White House Photo

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