With weeks left of US president Barack Obama’s administration, White House staffers have begun reviewing some of the most interesting, delightful, and odd moments of the Obama presidency, posting their retrospectives on Medium.
So far, they have compiled the most memorable “We the People” petitions (forgiving student loan debt, constructing a Star Wars “Death Star”), and the best “moments in the digital era” (the president’s 2014 appearance on Zach Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns, for example, which has been watched more than 20 million times).
The latest look back comes from the president’s official filmmakers, who chose their top videos from Obama’s eight years in office—”some seen by millions, and others just by a handful.”
The 10 selected videos include Hamilton writer Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2009 performance at the first-ever White House Poetry Slam—providing an early preview of what would go on to become a blockbuster musical—and Obama’s trips to Yellowstone National Park and Stonehenge. Some of the behind-the-scenes videos showed the wonkier side of life in the White House, including the work of the president’s “advance” team, which coordinated his appearances, as well as the White House’s official curator and its beer brewers (you read that right).
The compilation ends with one of the most touching moments of Obama’s tenure: a visit by Virginia McLaurin to the White House to meet the first black president during Black History Month this year. Barack and Michelle Obama broke into an impromptu dance with the sprightly 106-year-old.
Obama will likely continue to be the subject of filmmakers’ curiosity for some time after he leaves the White House. Two biopics about the president’s life have already been released: Barry and Southside With You.