|Obama in Alaska|
The pose is contemplative for the President, and it got me to thinking what he might be thinking about as he looked over the vast Alaskan wilderness. Sometimes when I'm in that situation, I begin to think about where I stand in this world or what my place is. I'm sure Presidents must do that to every so often.
Regardless of who you are or how much you are hated by others, I'm sure that the President has to be keenly aware of who they are at any given moment. The job is, by nature, political, but there are only a handful of people that are as well-known and maybe even fewer that are as powerful as the President of the United States. It's a lot of pressure having the weight of the world on one's shoulders.
It's a pressure one only feels alone. Only those who have sat in that chair in the Oval Office can understand what the feeling is like with all that pressure. It's a very exclusive club.
That's why I love the Souza picture. You can see the pressure on the Presidentnly 's face and almost feel it in the tenseness of his arms. This man is in a place where he should be relaxed, but he looks anything but. I'm sure it's the nature of the job that runs down the best of them.
Sometime shortly after noon on January 20, 2017, President Obama will watch as his successor is sworn in. Sometime after that, he will board a helicopter and leave Washington behind for Honolulu or Chicago or where ever he plans to settle. Finally the weight of the job can leave him because it will belong to the next person.
The President will only be 56 when he flies away from Washington on that January 20. He will be young enough to continue to work or old enough to retire if he chooses.
Whatever the course our President takes in the future, I want to thank him for what he's done for my rights. People like me could not marry the ones we loved and because the President evolved on the issue, I think many people did too.
Still that picture to me is stunningly stoic and memorable.