Former chief official White House photographer Pete Souza describes how Obama balanced being president with his family life. Following is a transcript of the video.
Pete Souza: My name is Pete Souza. I was the chief official White House photographer for President Obama and my new book “Obama: An Intimate Portrait” just came out.
I think he was able to balance being president and still having a family life. It was very important to him. He would try to be home for dinner every night at 6:30 and if there was still work to be done he could always turn around at the end of the dinner and come back downstairs to the Oval Office.
He often said that during the dinner hour the conversation was what happened with Sasha and Malia that day and not necessarily what happened to him. Although he likes to tell the story that usually they kind of rolled his eyes when he was telling about what he did that day, but one day he said that he had taped this thing called “Between Two Ferns” and I guess Malia got all excited and her ears perked up. “You did ‘Two Ferns?’ You taped ‘Between Two Ferns?'” Because he didn’t realise how popular it was with Malia’s generation.
I think the president’s favourite photo probably changed, but it for sure involved a picture that Sasha and Malia were in. He always gravitated towards the one where he was interacting with his girls more than any others.
I was at his new office in DC a couple months ago, and he has this bookshelf behind his desk and there’s a picture that I took of Sasha and Malia when they were guests at the state dinner for the prime minister of Canada. It was the only state dinner they were invited as guests and they were very elegant, they looked like princesses as they were walking down the Cross Hall.