#JonVoyage: Our 4 Favorite Moments from President Obama’s Interviews on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”

"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" has become one of the most influential programs on television by offering honest, passionate analysis and satirical commentary of the news. Politicians, network executives, and everyday Americans tune in four times a week and esteem his segments for their thoughtful monologues, sharp correspondents, and well-timed celebrity guests.

Since 1999, Jon Stewart has tackled current events and changed the way we talk about the world around us. His episodes show incredible range of emotion — from hilariously referring to President Obama as “dude,” to his powerful, solemn monologue after the shooting in Charleston.

Tonight, Stewart will give his last performance on "The Daily Show." He and President Obama have shared the screen a total of seven times over the past 10 years, discussing the President's work as a Senator, on campaigns, and in the White House. Most recently, President Obama sat down with Stewart last month as part of the trailblazing final season.

Here are four of our favorite moments Jon Stewart has shared with President Obama over the years:

read more

Read more »

Behind the Lens: Photographing the President in 50 Countries

Today, President Obama visits Kenya — the 50th country he has visited during his Administration. It’s also my 50th country traveling with the President.

To mark the occasion, as I did when the President visited his 50th state, I chose one photograph from each country that we’ve visited.

Traveling abroad with the President is very different.

Often times, I am at the mercy of the host country for access. Some countries are more accommodating to me than others. I am lucky to have counterpart official photographers in many countries who are extremely helpful to me in this regard. I of course try to return the help to them when they visit the White House with their head of state.

We’re also rarely in any one country for more than a couple of days, which gives us only a partial glimpse of each place. And because of security, the sites we are able to visit are often limited too.

All that said, we’ve had the incredible opportunity to visit the Pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge in the United Kingdom, the Great Wall in China, Petra in Jordan, and the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar (Burma). (So I really shouldn’t complain too much.)

I hope you enjoy this gallery. And stay tuned — we’ll be adding a photograph from Kenya and additionally, Ethiopia, following his visit next week.

Afghanistan, 2012

Boarding Air Force One at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, May 1, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

read more

Read more »

Asked and Answered: Hannah’s Song

This is the latest post in our "Asked and Answered" series, in which we periodically feature an exchange between the President -- or a Senior Administration Official -- and an American who wrote him. If you'd like to write the President yourself, you can do so here.

Meet Hannah, a rising 9th grader at Indian River High School in the North Country region of New York, home to many families from the Army’s 10th Mountain Division of Fort Drum. As the daughter of Lt. Col. Todd E. Bajakian, former commander of Fort Drum’s Warriors in Transition Battalion, Hannah knows first-hand how important it is that we give our military families the support they need.

This past May at the White House’s annual Mother’s Day Tea, Hannah had the opportunity to meet the First Lady and give her the lyrics to her original song, “All On The Line.”

read more

Read more »

5 Photos: The President Awards the Medal of Honor to Sergeant William Shemin and Private Henry Johnson

Today, in a ceremony at the White House, President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously to Army Sergeant William Shemin and Army Private Henry Johnson for conspicuous gallantry during World War I.

Sergeant Shemin entered the Army on October 2, 1917. He was assigned as a rifleman to Company G, 47th Infantry Regiment, which moved from Syracuse, New York to Camp Greene, North Carolina, joining the 4th Infantry Division. The Division arrived in France in May, 1918.

Private Johnson entered the Army on June 5, 1917. He was assigned to Company C, 15th New York (Colored) Infantry Regiment, an all-black National Guard unit that would later become the 369th Infantry Regiment. The Regiment was ordered into battle in 1918, and Private Johnson and his unit were brigaded with a French Army colonial unit in front-line combat.

Take a look at five photos from today's ceremony -- and then read more about Sgt. Shemin and Pvt. Johnson's heroic actions.

Command Sergeant Major Louis Wilson accepts the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama awarded posthumously to Army Private Henry Johnson for conspicuous gallantry during World War I, at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, June 2, 2015.

Command Sergeant Major Louis Wilson accepts the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama awarded posthumously to Army Private Henry Johnson for conspicuous gallantry during World War I, at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, June 2, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

read more

Read more »

President Obama Honors the Air Force Academy Fighting Falcons with the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy

This afternoon, President Obama hosted the Air Force Fighting Falcons football team at the White House in honor of their winning the annual Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy. In the East Room, President Obama congratulated the Air Force Chief of Staff... Read more »

Behind the Lens: Photographing the President in 50 States

This week, the President will visit South Dakota, marking the 50th state he has visited during his administration (as such, it's also my 50th state with him). To mark the occasion, I chose one photograph from each state that we’ve visited. This was not as easy as I thought it would be. With help from photo editor Phaedra Singelis, I tried to depict a variety of situations. Some are more lighthearted; some are sad, and some are poignant. Some are with the Vice President; some are with the First Lady, and a couple are with the entire family. A selection of photos are centered on policy, and others on politics. Some focus on the President as Commander-in-Chief -- others on his role as consoler for the nation.

I hope you enjoy this gallery. And stay tuned -- we’ll be adding a photograph from South Dakota following his visit there on Friday.

Alabama, March 7, 2015. Marching at the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Alabama, March 7, 2015. Marching at the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Alaska. Nov 12, 2009. Air Force One refueling at Elmendorf Air Force Base. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Alaska. Nov 12, 2009. Air Force One refueling at Elmendorf Air Force Base. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Arizona, Aug. 16, 2009. Viewing the Grand Canyon. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Arizona, Aug. 16, 2009. Viewing the Grand Canyon. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

read more

Read more »

President Obama: “Nashville Shows How Immigrants Benefit All”

Earlier today, The Tennessean published the following op-ed from President Obama. In it, he discusses his executive actions to help make America's immigration system smarter and fairer, and why we still need Congress to pass a common-sense law to fix the system.

Learn more about the actions the President is taking on immigration.

Many Americans think of Nashville as the home of country music, barbecue, and a hit TV show. What they may not realize is that, in recent years, Music City also has had one of the fastest-growing immigrant populations in the country.

"New Nashvillians" are from Somalia and Nepal and Laos. They're from Mexico and Bangladesh. Nashville even boasts the largest Kurdish community in the United States. They work as teachers in our schools, doctors in our hospitals, and cops in our neighborhoods. They start small businesses and create jobs making this city a more prosperous, more innovative place. "They" are "us."

When done right, immigration benefits everyone. But our immigration system has been broken for a long time. Families who try to come here the right way can get stuck in line for years. Business owners who treat their workers right see the competition exploit undocumented immigrants. None of us likes the idea that someone could reap the rewards of living in America without its responsibilities. And folks who desperately want to embrace those responsibilities have no way to come out of the shadows and get right with the law.

read more

Read more »

Celebrating Computer Science Education Week, Kids Code at the White House

  Today – on the first day of 2014 Computer Science Education Week (#CSEdWeek) – President Obama is welcoming approximately 30 middle-school-aged students from Newark, NJ, and Brooklyn, NY, to roll up their sleeves, get online togethe... Read more »

The People’s Lawyer: President Obama Nominates Loretta Lynch to be the Next Attorney General

"The Department of Justice is the only Cabinet Department named for an ideal. And this is actually appropriate," U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said. "Because our work is both aspirational, and grounded in gritty reality."

Today, President Obama nominated U.S. Attorney Lynch to replace Eric Holder as the next Attorney General of the United States, or "the people's lawyer." As the President said: 

The person in this position is responsible for enforcing our federal laws, including protecting our civil rights. Working with the remarkable men and women of the Justice Department, the Attorney General oversees the vast portfolio of cases, including counterterrorism and voting rights; public corruption and white-collar crime; judicial recommendations and policy reviews -- all of which impact on the lives of every American, and shape the life of our nation.

As one of the longest-serving Attorney Generals in our history, Eric Holder fulfilled these duties with a commitment to justice, not as an abstract theory but as a principle. Justice is "about how laws interact with the daily lives of our people," the President said. "Whether we can make an honest living, whether we can provide for our families; whether we feel safe in our own communities and welcome in our own country; whether the words that the founders set to paper 238 years ago apply to every one of us in our time."

President  Obama nominates Loretta Lynch Image 1

President Barack Obama announces his nominee for Attorney General, Loretta E. Lynch, to succeed Eric Holder, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. November 8, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Attorney General Holder's fierce commitment to the pursuit of that principle is shared by U.S. Attorney Lynch. The daughter of a school librarian and a fourth-generation Baptist minister, a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, she is a fair and independent lawyer who has headed one of the most prominent U.S. Attorney's offices in the country -- twice. As the head of the Eastern District of New York:

She successfully prosecuted the terrorists who plotted the bomb -- plotted to bomb the Federal Reserve Bank and the New York City subway. She has boldly gone after public corruption, bringing charges against public officials in both parties. She’s helped secure billions in settlements from some of the world’s biggest banks accused of fraud, and jailed some of New York’s most violent and notorious mobsters and gang members. 

One of her proudest achievements was the civil rights prosecution of the officers involved in the brutal assault of the Haitian immigrant Abner Louima. Loretta might be the only lawyer in America who battles mobsters and drug lords and terrorists, and still has the reputation for being a charming "people person." 

Driven by the principles of fairness, equality, and justice, Loretta has striven to make a difference for the people she serves. It's in her blood. Her grandfather, a sharecropper in the 1930s, helped folks in his community who got into trouble with the law and had no recourse under the Jim Crow system. She rode her father's shoulders to his church, where students would meet to organize anti-segregation boycotts. The sense of justice she absorbed as a young girl is what she will bring to bear at the Department of Justice. 

In accepting the nomination, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said: 

Today, I stand before you so thrilled, and, frankly, so humbled to have the opportunity to lead this group of wonderful people who work all day and well into the night to make that ideal a manifest reality, all as part of their steadfast protection of the citizens of this country.

President Obama nominates Loretta Lynch Image 2

President Barack Obama announces his nominee for Attorney General, Loretta E. Lynch, to succeed Eric Holder, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. November 8, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Read more »