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election 2016

Picturing Hope: White House Photographer Pete Souza’s ‘Intimate Portrait’ of President Obama

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“They called him analytical and cerebral. But the lasting impression of Barack Obama’s presidency is deeply human and emotional. This is his legacy.” ~ Scott Snowman, January 18, 2017 in The Prompt White House photographers are not just taking pictures; they are documenting history and preserving a legacy.  Whatever your political views, there is one thing that will not change about the Barack Obama presidency: he was the nation’s first African American elected to the highest office in the land.  This was a hard-won feat that many, particularly those who grew up during the era of Jim Crow, never believed would see accomplished in their lifetime. But it did and everything else that followed was equally historic. Now, a year…

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Who’s Whispering Sweet Nothings in the President’s Ear?

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In Dr. Lauren A. Wright’s latest book, On Behalf of the President: Presidential Spouses and White House Communications Strategy Today (Praeger, April 18, 2016), she argues that first ladies are far more than a decorative political spouse, but rather an essential team player who is mobilized to enhance the public reputation of a presidential candidate and their policy agenda and, according to her data, they make a profound influence on public opinion. No first lady better typifies this than Michelle Obama who made more speeches and public appearances in her first six years than any other presidential spouse in history. The book also documents the growing presence of the presidents’ wives in the communications strategies of the last three administrations (Clinton, Bush…

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