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PHOTOS: The very best of Obama in 2016

As United States President Barack Obama’s second term draws to a close, Chief White House Photographer Pete Souza shared his favourite images captured over the course of the last year.

Keeping with his annual tradition since Obama entered the White House, Souza’s selection offers a personal, behind-the-scenes glimpse at the president.

The photos feature the president playing golf, meeting voters with First Lady Michelle Obama, and working with staff in the Oval Office.

Here are a few selected here:

(Please click on the photos for hi-resolution images)

January 7, 2016
“This is how a big presidential speech begins. At least for President Obama. With the deadline quickly approaching for the State of the Union speech, the President summoned Cody Keenan, Director of Speechwriting, and Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, to the Oval Office and essentially dictated the first draft of his speech.” Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House
February 16, 2016
“President Obama reacts as his putt falls just short during an impromptu hole of golf with staffers Joe Paulsen (left), and Marvin Nicholson after the US-ASEAN Summit at the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California.” Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House
February 18, 2016
“I had my eye on this youngster while President Barack Obama spoke during a reception at the White House celebrating African American History Month. When the President starting greeting audience members along the rope line, I bent down in front of the young man and captured this moment of the President touching his face before he too bent down to greet him. Afterwards, I tracked down his name — Clark Reynolds — and had the President sign a copy for him.” (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
March 10, 2016
“What an honour to watch these girls grow up. Malia and Sasha were both invited guests for the State Dinner in honour of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Mrs Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau. Following the actual sit-down dinner in the East Room, they made their way down the Great Hall to the State Dining Room for the musical entertainment.” Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House
March 16, 2016
“It just happened spontaneously one afternoon as the President began dancing in the Outer Oval with Personal Aide Ferial Govashiri. As I recall, he was helping her practice for her upcoming wedding.” Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House
March 22, 2016
“During an exhibition baseball game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban National Team in Havana, Cuba, President Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba spontaneously joined in ‘the wave’ that others in the crowd had started.” Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House
March 28, 2016
“The First Lady watches as President Obama gives a hug to Caprina Harris before the annual Easter Egg Roll. Caprina had burst out in tears when she was told by her family that Obama would no longer be President; the resulting YouTube video went viral and President Obama responded to her on Facebook and said he wasn’t going anywhere. They finally had a chance to meet here.” Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House
April 22, 2016
““Originally it was unclear whether I would be permitted to photograph the President meeting Prince George. But the night before, our advance team called and said they had gotten word from Kensington Palace that they would allow me access to make candid photographs during their visit. Afterwards, this photograph garnered the most attention but at the time all I could think was how the table at right was hindering my ability to be at the optimum angle for this moment.” Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House
June 21, 2016
“For eight years, President Obama has visited wounded warriors on a regular basis at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Here he participates in an agility drill (top) and box jump with Navy Lt Cmdr John “Jae” Terry.” Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House
August 4, 2016
“With some staff watching in the background, President Obama blows out candles after the Vice President surprised him with some birthday cupcakes.” Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House
September 7, 2016
“The President sips from a coconut during his visit in Luang Prabang, Laos. This was just after it was chopped open, splattering pieces of coconut on his shirt.” Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House
September 24, 2016
“Following the official opening of the African American Museum, the Bonner family wanted to have their picture taken with former President George W Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush. President Bush took the Bonner’s family smart phone and looking around for someone to snap the picture tapped President Obama on the shoulder and asked him to do the honours. The Bonner Family are fourth generation descendants of Elijah B Odom, a young slave who escaped to freedom. The Bushes were instrumental in the creation of the museum, with Laura Bush serving on the board of directors.” Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House
November 9, 2016
“It was the morning after the election and the President wanted to speak to Press Secretary Josh Earnest about how to characterise his thoughts to the press. When he heard Josh was meeting with his team, the President sent word to bring the team with him, thinking it was just a few others. But it turned out that Josh had the entire communications, speechwriting and research team in his office and they all filtered in to the Oval, some for the first time.” Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House
November 11, 2016
“The excitement in his face says it all. Bill Mohr, 108 years old (not a typo), was the oldest living World War II veteran when he met President Obama after a Veterans Day breakfast at the White House. Bill passed away a couple of weeks ago and his family released a statement including this sentence: ‘Meeting a sitting President was the fulfilment of a lifelong dream for our father, who was a true patriot’.” Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House
November 22, 2016
“Bruuuuuce! The President reaches out to shake hands with Bruce Springsteen in the Blue Room of the White House prior to the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony. I’m so happy for Bruce, having been a fan of his for almost 30 years during which I’ve seen at least 35 of his concerts.” Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House

Source: Rediff