Photo courtesy of: OBAMA.ORG
Today, Michelle and I returned to the White House together for the first time since leaving office, to join President and Dr. Biden in unveiling our official portraits.
These portraits have a special significance, because they will hang in the White House alongside portraits of other presidents and first ladies dating back to George and Martha Washington. So it was important to find the right people to paint them.
I’m so pleased with the work that Sharon Sprung did to capture everything I love about Michelle, while Robert McCurdy took on a more difficult subject and did a fantastic job with mine.
Learn more about their work. (Click here)
Presidents often get airbrushed, even take on a mythical status—especially after you’re gone and people forget all the stuff they didn’t like about you. But what you realize sitting behind that desk, and what I want people to remember about Michelle and me, is that presidents and first ladies are human beings, just like everyone else.
I’ve always described the presidency as a relay race. You take the baton from someone, run your leg as hard as you can, then hand it off to someone else. The portraits hanging in the White House chronicle the runners in that race—each of us tasked with trying to bring the country we love closer to its highest aspirations.
When future generations walk through the White House and look at these portraits, I hope they get a better, honest sense of who Michelle and I were. And I hope they leave with a deeper understanding that if we could make it here, they can do remarkable things too.