Even more photos

This time coming from his awesomeness Pete Souza.


BTW, posting this video again, because if you plan to watch this speech and that event again – please watch *this* version. It’s so much better than all the others. Terrific close-ups. The president basically had tears in his eyes throughout. It’s amazing.


61 thoughts on “Even more photos

  1. Another fine blog entry, BWD. The combination of our amazing President and one of the best photographers in the country is pure magic.

    BTW, folks, don’t forget to vote for Blackwaterdog for “Diary of the Year” at dKos HERE. Don’t worry, it doesn’t take you to the GOS. The poll is at PollDaddy.

  2. I thank you for every day that I’m able to visit this wonderful blog and experience your spirit and commitment to our President and the community you have created.

  3. I pray for our President and his family whenever I think about them or see a picture of them. They are a blessing to our nation.

  4. I think this is the beginning of a turning point, but it will be a long journey ahead.

    Last night’s speech had to come from the heart, and not the horrific political calculus of SP and GB.

    The POTUS was magnificent, and his heart was full. You could see him fighting back thoughts and the tears about his own two young daughters. Michele as well — both can easily imagine from the lyrics of Joan Baez’s song, “There but for Fortune…”

  5. Barack and Michelle, Consolers in Chief. I think they really helped that community. I saw a couple crowd shots today and every single face was as focused as could be on President Obama, almost straining, so anxious to hear words of healing and hope, which he provided./
    I also just read the heart-wrenching account of the funeral of little Christina. Her dad spoke and addressed her directly saying, “Christina Taylor-Green, I can’t tell you how much we all miss you. I think you have affected the whole country.” Christina’s last act was to donate her organs to others

  6. That was a very loving letter to send and i hope all the papers in Arizona print it.

  7. We are indeed blessed to be here in this country, during this period in time – what a wonderful man we have elected. Such character, such strength, such compassion.
    BWD and friends, thank you for this blog. I have shared with everyone. Please keep up the good work.
    Fe1955, from your writing – let it be done. I hope this changes the discourse but I am skeptic when it comes to the republicans. Yes, the dems will fall in line. I hope they will close ranks and march forward. The republicans can’t debate or win an election without getting nasty and putting fear in everything known to mankind. Personally, I don’t think they know how to fight or debate fairly. I don’t think they can win on their merits alone. Palin can’t motive anyone with words of comfort, healing or hope. I really don’t know if she has even tried. But I so desperately want to eat the words that I have written. I so desperately want honest and civil debate. I think we deserve it. What a message that will send to our children and even the world. Please, please, please – make me eat my words.

  8. I believe I may have heard a talk radio miracle this morning, inspired by POTUS’s moving speech in Tucson. A left winger host had just finished an apparent apology to her listeners for times she has perhaps crossed the line, and said she is determined to do better, inspired by our President. Right after that, a self-admitted Right Winger called her show and said he had always listed to Faux and Beck and had never listened to the President for fear of something calamitous happening to him, brainwashing, who knows? But he said he “made himself” listen to President Obama last night because he was so upset about the shootings, and realized what lies he had been listening to all these years, how afraid he had been, and for What?! He said while he is still a conservative, he now has respect and admiration for President Obama and realizes that he is NOT who Beck and the others say he is.

    Oh my God.

    One voice can change a room, right? I hope there are others out there last night who saw the Truth.

  9. These are the photos and words of a President and First Lady who truly care about people. We are so blessed!

  10. What an encouraging story. I often forget that sometimes the criticism, and hysteria is caused by fear. That emotion can be overcome with calm, kindness, and patience and the President has all of these qualities.

  11. Were you listening to the Stephanie Miller show? I heard the same on her show this morning. It is my hope that one voice will change many rooms.

  12. That is utterly terrific. IMO all that happened is that POTUS was allowed to present himself, unfiltered, directly to the American people, without the media filter and opinion-making. He is exactly who he said he was, and has been for many many years. I’m so glad that this served as an opportunity for people who have been told that POTUS has all of these nefarious qualities, to see the actual person for himself.

  13. You know their were quite a few stories like that from conservatives today. Believe me people are waking up to their lies and trickery.

  14. This also goes to the clear depth of FLOTUS pain.Watching her husband fight back tears…

    Subbed for nine year olds today. Kept thinking how small their bodies are…

  15. As I looked at the pictures I saw love, consolation, connection. I feel it here on this blog. For the first time I felt genuine sorrow for the people that have let fear keep them from this wonderful blessing. I think I may have just forgiven all of them, Left and Right, that have shut themselves off from this opportunity to just let good will and community have the upper hand.

  16. I listened to a few cspan callers last night. The very last caller was a republican woman. She said that she did not vote for the President, but that she was glad that he and the first lady were there. She was pleasant and complimentary to them both.

  17. I have a tiny bit of hope but a ton of doubt that Repubs will ever change. They can’t win without stirring up the hate and demonizing and delegitimizing opponents. I was checking the Arizona newspapers this a.m. looking for reactions to Obama’s speech there, and I happened to notice this article: “Most powerful political leader in Arizona, Russell Pearce, attends neo-Nazi rallies and is a source of fear and hate”. They have videos of years of the Arizona Senate President, the one who controls everything there, attending neo-Nazi rallies. He was the sponsor of SB1070, the infamous show me your papers bill, and has reportedly launched attacks on minorities and immigrants for years. I also thought it was interesting that he is a high priest in the Mormon Church. The present Republican Party is stocked with these types. I will get the link.

  18. Wow; that was beautiful. POTUS and FLOTUS are just pitch-perfect and lead by such a terrific example.

    We can teach them the value of tolerance – the practice of assuming the best, rather than the worst, about those around us. We can teach them to give others the benefit of the doubt, particularly those with whom they disagree.

    This is one of the things with which I struggle mightily. How does one impute benign motives onto people who do things like show up with posters of POTUS depicted with a bone in his nose, or spread the worst lies about HCR? But FLOTUS is absolutely correct about tolerance as a virtue into itself.

  19. A big group hug for all you wonderful folks who post here. This is the only piece of sanity in the blogosphere, thanks to you BWD!

  20. Yes, what a leader and a First Lady. We saw a leader with compassion, a caring heart, and a human being with so much love to share with a nation a world he loves so much. We are blessed.

  21. On Sunday I was talking to a friend, another very early Obama supporter, and we were both remembering some of the down periods in the primary campaign, like the summer of 2007, when lots of people were doubting that he could pull it all off, but we both just had this bedrock confidence that he would prevail.

    It has felt similar in recent months, with so many complaints from the left, some people who supported him in the campaign pulling away. And we were saying to each other, the President knows what he’s doing and we have confidence in him. All that confidence was reinforced last night. And I’m not surprised, just eternally grateful. I’m glad others are appreciating him, some all over again, some for the first time.

  22. I have been just so full of all sorts of emotions after last night. Obama hit all the right notes, esp. when he talked about Christina. The love the Obama’s shows and have for each other is breath taking, not so much because it obvious they love each other, it’s because they can openly show it.

  23. Thank you for posting her lovely letter- another beautiful message to this country from this wonderful couple we were smart enough to put into the Whitehouse. I have facebooked it, as I hope everyone will read it. Michelle looked so teary for most of last night, theres no doubt she was visably moved by the loss so many of these folks have suffered and survived.

    thank you BWD for all the pictures, they are all so touching and heart-wrenching.

  24. I’ve read about his Natzi affiliations too, via dkos a few months back.. and apparently one of his neo-Natzi pals was helpful in writing that bill. Hopefully folks in AZ and across the country will begin to wise up and really start taking a good long look at the truth and the facts.. and quit listening to the scare tactics about others. About time Americans started sifting the facts from the fiction.

    Heres a perfect example, chipsticks just posted an article on her blog about how folks on the right believed the President was lying last night when he spoke about Gabby opening her eyes when her Congress pals were in talking to her. It took her doctor today to come out and state that it was fact.
    I knew it would take about 5 minutes after all the good will for the extreme right of this country to revert to attacking the President. They are so predictable.

  25. Hi Hon

    I’m fine, thanks. It’s AFTER the surgery when I sure as hell won’t be 🙂

    POTUS’s speech had a surprise effect on me today. I felt some honor and pride in working with kids. I rarely have deep thoughts about my paying job, just try to be good at it, for the kids, they deserve my best, for my reputation in the district. It’s my volunteer work I take the greater meaning from. But today was different.

  26. I am not surprised either. This is the most evolved human I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. He cannot impress me more.

    What DID additionally move me was the bravery of all those “normal” folks who were at Safeway Saturday. I’ve been involved in several lockdowns at schools. Was I thinking of the kids or myself? This is what I am pondering now.

  27. the President said he asked her husband if he can mention it, so what are they trying to say? The husband was lying also?

    These people make not one bit of sense.

  28. I heard that call this morning. This conservative caller is a regular caller, who phones in to spew some talking points and eventually be kicked off the show in a hail of laughter from the host and her cohorts. I was as shocked as anyone by the call this morning. He actually said that the President “knocked it out of the park”. Let’s hope this lasts – voice by voice.

  29. It’s not even a competition – I don’t have to look at the poll. She’s not even in his league. She shouldn’t even look in his direction.

  30. While a good sign, the fact that the poll moved so much in a month leads me not to put much weight in it. I have complete faith he’ll be re-elected, but I worry about losing the Senate and not taking back the House making his last four years basically a stalemate.

    I’m convinced it will be a Romney/Huckabee ticket, and that Palin will not run at all. Huck won’t run either, but will already have an agreement with Romney. Huck sits out so he doesn’t get attacked in the primary. Once Romney wins, and chooses Huck, the VP is usually ignored for the most part so Huck’s skeletons stay burind for the most part, and he’s a pretty likeable guy who will be used mainly as a reach out to the RR who wouldn’t trust the one time pro-choice Mormon otherwise.

    Romney/Huck won’t beat Obama/Biden, but they’ll be used to help the down ticket races. If somebody like Palin was on top of the ticket, she’d lead to a wipe out of down ballot Republicans.

    Dems have 23 Senate seats up and can only lose a net three or they lose the Senate (Senators like Ben Nelson, Tester, Webb, McCaskill, Conrad, Bill Nelson, Lieberman are all up. Brown in Ohio, Stabenow in Mi, Casey in Pa and Kohl in Wisconsin are also up and those states went hard GOP in 2010). They’d also have to take 25 seats to retake the House.

  31. I see the TV station in Tucson has announced they will replay the memorial service tomorrow night, due to popular demand.

  32. Let’s keep the momentum going, MK! Thanks for the link. I believe it also helped the president when some of us left the PL and frustrai blogs. That gave them an opportunity to realize that they don’t speak for us. I love the new Pragmati blogs. We discuss things from a critical POV. Sometimes we agree, other times we disagree, but we do it with the utmost respect for each other. We’ve been practicing civility for a while now, and I’m loving it.

    The frustrai and PL tend to get very ugly when you don’t agree with them. I like our way of discussing the issues much, much better! My stomach doesn’t tie up in knots, I don’t start breathing harder, and I’m a much calmer, more focus person who is ready to gear up for 2012. If I had continued listening to the frustrai and PL, I would be thoroughly demoralized and depressed by now. Instead, I’m re-energized.

  33. I don’t think it ever WAS a matter of sheer disagreement with some of the hard core frustrati, which is why I believe that civilty is not as effective in their case as in others. How many calls for “Kumbaya” did they ignore, even mock? Those folks turn on you in an instant. Too much ego involvement, too much neurosis, too much acting out.

    My favorite quote from a million years ago, as a college Psych major: Reactions are never inappropriate; we just do not know what were their REAL stimuli. The frustrati are doing a lot of displacement over there – onto POTUS, Dems, us. There is not a helluva lot we can do about that. My guess is the ones who simply had disagreements, but no hidden agendas or “baggage” have left the site.

    Anyway, that is all obviously just MO.

    Maybe one-on-one, but as with kids, it’s nearly impossible if they have an “audience” I learned a lot about frustrati from watching the elem ed kids I sub for 🙂 (in terms of outward behavior. Internally, don’t want to/can’t go there)

    I care for a respect all BWD fans who still use dK. But for me, it’s a waste of time. The “haters” there had ample time to turn it around. There are people with OPEN minds, such as Moderate Republicans I’d rather spend time and money trying to reach. Today, I also heard reports of some Reps looking anew at POTUS. IF any Kossack minds were changed by the speech, it will be temporary. I remember a brief lull during the runup to the election, when the worst of the screamers stifled. They came back – full bore, because IMO, it wasn’t about President Obama and never will be.

    Thanks for listening 🙂

  34. I know, POTUS & FLOTUS probably did some private crying when they heard about the victums and especially little Christina who was Sasha’s age. Christina is also my nieces age and it made me cry that someone so young was taken so violently. I am glad that we have the First Family that we have and a great leader in President Obama. I sleep better at night knowing he is our President.

  35. I love reading these at night when the day is done and most are so positive. This is the only site that is troll free and actually lift my spirits. Thank you BWD and all who post here.

  36. That says everything. Thank you so much for letting us know dotster.

    Hugs, love, comfort and thankfulness to you and this family.

  37. I want to join you in thanking BWD for creating this magnificent site that has assembled together people who are filled with love, kindness, wisdom, and above all, a positive belief, that with President Obama’s leadership, this country can be better. I visit this blog several times in a day so as to gain more knowledge, but also to find positive reinforcement that I am not alone in thinking that the United States, in this most difficult period, is blessed that this unique man, BHO, is the President. THANK YOU BWD for your wisdom and dedication and for giving inspiration to some of the most talented people who regularly post here.

  38. Wow…So much reading and news to take in this last week. It’s almost overwhelming.

    I have been following Rep. Giffords status day by day. And from the moment the story first broke on twitter, I have been consumed by it all.

    Last night, though, it all seemed to come together. As I watched the memorial I thought, gee, with everyone speaking, I hope President Obama doesn’t sound redundant or get upstaged. Ha! I know it’s a silly thought, but I did wonder. But as soon as he got up I had a good feeling about his speech. I just felt confident and was ready to hear something that pointed us to a greater purpose. I wanted a speech that framed what had happened in a way that allowed for sorrow but also brought hope and meaning. President Obama delivered on all accounts.

    I just think last night President Obama made good on his ability to inspire with words. He reminded people of what they liked about him in the first place. We saw a glimpse of this during his press conference with the tax deal. He came across as more human and gave straight talk. Last night, he did the same but in a much grander, deeper fashion. He gave the nation a *moment* and we are all grateful for it. We will cherish this shared memory.

    Jon Stewart, Elizabeth Hasselback, Glenn Beck etc have all expressed gratitude for President Obama’s speech. As Howard Fineman said, it will be much harder to vilify and demonize President Obama after this. They can attack his policies but not his motives.

    Going out on a limb I’d say that if Giffords makes close to a full recovery she will be a powerful figure!! The sky is the limit for her. I am keeping her in my prayers.

    Anyway, here’s an article stating how President Obama wrote the bulk of that speech by himself. Wow. Christina’s story really moved him:

    NYTimes:Girl’s Death Hits Home for Obama http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/14/us/14obama.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

  39. Oh and, thanks BWD for all you do!! I read the responses to the speech on DK and they were over the moon with praise. One commenter said something like, “I feel like BWD tonight!! I love this man!”
    Others said they felt bad for talking so badly about him and were going to try and be more civil. It was a sight to read…..

    I’m sure they are back to their old fussy selves but on the live blog they felt the same way we did.

    Like I said, President Obama delivered a *moment*. This was the highlight of his presidency so far. You never ever forget a healing and cathartic moment in the time of sorrow. Just what the nation needed….

  40. I listen to talk radio on my commute to and from work. Mark Thompson mentioned that Markos of DKOS will be on next week. It will be interesting to see what he says about now. I will definitely try to call in and ask him about his toxic website. If you have satellite radio its XM 167 from 6-8PM EST. I like Mark’s show most of the time. I wouldn’t put him in that category of true PL. He is more like Rachel. Sometimes he’s with the PL and other times he just deals in the truth.

  41. Voted for both of you also. I would of signed in to vote as I don’t go to that site anymore! Thanks to BWD,The Obama Diary sites and yours I don’t have to any more to get the news! Thanks to you all for giving all of us a better place to go on the web.

  42. Corrine, thanks for the NYT link.

    I just have one small quibble with this:

    “He came across as more human and gave straight talk.”

    To my mind, President Obama has always come across as human and have always given straight talk. It is the media and so many with their own agenda that want to paint him in a different light that tries to tell us that he is anything but.

    We see his empathy in all his photos, the way he addresses everyone, even his opponents. Time and time again, he’s refused to demonize his opponents when people in his own party have called on him to do so. This is the most humane of humane things a person can do to my mind.

    The pundits want him to be John Wayne, beating his chest every time he gets up to the podium. If he had followed their advice, and gotten into the gutter with everyone else, there is no way he would have been able to get up there the other night to give such a dignified and heart rending speech.

    I look at POTUS’ interactions with people in the thousands of pictures, and I see the most humane person. A picture tells a thousand words, as they say. It is just that the media refuses to show it to the public.

    But then, we can thank BWD for bringing it to us.

    Hope everyone has a blessed day!!

  43. I was thinking the same thing, the college president, “hero” intern, and student body president all gave great speeches. I was worried.

    But the President’s speech was on an entirely different level. Why did I worry?

    I also hope Gabby comes back, returns to Congress and raises heck.

    Regarding your post

    “As Howard Fineman said, it will be much harder to vilify and demonize President Obama after this. They can attack his policies but not his motives.”

    Unfortunately I believe some folks will still attack the President personally. I am hoping that what will happen is that the public will complain. Ann Curry on the today show said “It all boils down to what we as Americans will tolerate”. So if someone attacks the Prez, we need to write in and say, “no – discuss the ideas not the person”. It is a subtle difference but it is an opinion we can share with folks from all sides of the political spectrum.

    Fingers crossed, fingers busy posting to MSM to get them on board.

  44. It’s a way for the members of the media to cover their own asses. This tragedy and his perfect reaction to it has interrupted this month’s narrative of him being distant, aloof, and unable to connect with regular people. If they reported straight, they’d leave themselves open to questions of not reporting it before or saying the complete opposite. He’s now the emo President they claimed to be clamoring for. /eyeroll

  45. Fineman questions the President’s motives just this week, when he declared (repeatedly) that the President thinks everyone is ignorant unless he gets a chance to explain things to them the way he sees fit. In other words, “uppity”.

    Fineman is someone I consistently fast forward whenever I get a chance.

  46. What a magnificent comment, Africa. The media has really done a great disservice to the American people by constantly filtering, or completely omitting, what President Obama says or does. This is why I am so grateful that BWD created this space. Ever since I discovered this blog, I’ve been telling all my friends who had started wavering in their support of this President, mainly because of the media misinformation, to visit this blog. Those who have done so have been amazed at their ignorance of many of President Obama’s accomplishments, in just two years, that they were not aware of.

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