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Post Politics Now Obama official portraits unveiled in jovial White House ceremony

Here's what President Biden, former president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle said at the unveiling of their official White House portraits. (Video: Michael Cadenhead/The Washington Post, Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post)

Today, former president Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, returned to the White House for the unveiling of their official portraits. The event, hosted by President Biden and first lady Jill Biden in a packed East Room of the White House, revived a tradition of presidents welcoming their predecessors — regardless of party — that was among the norms that went on hiatus during the presidency of Donald Trump.

“Barack and Michelle, welcome home,” Biden said at the outset of his remarks during a jovial ceremony in which he praised Obama and his wife as “two dear friends” and “two great Americans.” Later, addressing Biden, Obama said it is “America’s good fortune to have you as president.”

Michelle Obama struck a serious note in her remarks, saying, “Traditions like this matter not just for those of us who hold these positions, but for everyone participating in and watching our democracy.”

Your daily dashboard

  • 1:30 p.m. Eastern time: The Bidens hosted the Obamas in the East Room of the White House. Watch here.
  • 2:45 p.m. Eastern: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre briefed reporters. Watch here.

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