On Wednesday, one of the most popular power couples of the nation: former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama visited the White House. They visited their former home for the official unveiling of their portraits. This is the first time Michelle Obama has visited after Barack Obama left office after his two terms as president of the nation. This is also their first joint appearance.
It was a pleasant day with a lot of cheer that has not been seen since a decade when the then President Barack Obama had unveiled the portraits of George W. Bush and Laura Bush. The 2012 official unveiling was an emotional, bipartisan event. However, the event, on Wednesday was mainly a Democratic one as partisanship in Congress has been increasing from 2016, after Donald Trump became the president.
Wednesday’s ceremony took place in the East Room of the White House. This room is memorable for both former President Obama and current president Biden as Biden was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2017. The surprise award had made both of them teary eyed and they have always been bosom friends, despite a few differences that might take place between them, in private.
Robert McCurdy painted the portrait of Barack Obama. Former president Barack Obama’s portrait features him wearing a traditional black suit with a gray tie. There is a minimalist white backdrop behind him.
Sharon Sprung painted the portrait of Michelle Obama. Former first lady Michelle Obama is wearing a strapless blue gown, seated on a sofa that is located in the Red Room of the White House.
Generally a successor hosts the unveiling of a former president’s portrait in the White House. However, former president Donald Trump did not hold a ceremony for unveiling the portraits of the Obamas. In fact, he had moved portraits of former presidents Bush and Clinton to the Old Family Dining Room after disagreeing with them. That room was used as a storage room when he was at the White House.
Now the portraits of the Obamas are in the Cross Hall of the White House, a traditional place for these portraits. Currently the portraits of the Clintons and Bushes are present in the room but the Clintons might have to make room for the Obamas.
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