President Obama’s First Term

On the eve of Obama’s second inauguration the New York Times put together what they called a “romantic” retrospective of his tumultuous first term. Inheriting an economy in free fall, and two expensive never-ending wars, put the brakes on the transformative agenda that got Obama elected. He did get Obamacare passed, and there were other successes as well, but the end of his first four-year run was necessarily consumed with avoiding the ignominy of being a one-term president.

Obama’s First Term: A Romantic Oral History, 1.16.23

Obama and Hoops

The smoothest president in American history was also known as a baller. During his eight years in office, basketball was the official sport of the White House. A number of members of his staff were ex-collegiate or pro players, most famously his right-hand man, Reggie Love, who played with Shane Battier at Duke. The press was never allowed at the games, and it was a time for Obama to let loose a bit with competition and a bit of trash talking. GQ goes deep to uncover some great anecdotes about the games and the traditions behind them, including the poor staffer that bloodied Obama’s lip, or the time Obama left Chris Paul holding the laundry.

The Oral History of President Barack Obama Playing Pickup Basketball, 1.19.17