Obama, Reagan and Pete Souza

Pete Souza isn’t a household name, but most Americans have seen his handiwork. By one estimate, he’s the”most viewed” photographer working in America today.

He’s the White House photographer for the Obama administration, reprising a role he played for seven of the eight Reagan years as well. I’m a major fan of Pete’s work, and not just because we’re both Massachusetts natives and Boston University alumni. He has a gift for capturing surprising shots and humanizing people who we often forget are human, because of the intensity of politics and emotions swirling around them.

He published a book some years after President Reagan retired, entitled “Unguarded Moments” and it drew rave reviews from across the political spectrum,

President Obama is not someone I agree with on many things, and I vehemently dislike what his presidency has meant to the rule of law. I confess, I’ve often been angry at him, not that he would know or care.

Of course, there were people who felt that way about Reagan, who is my favorite president.

But when you look at Pete Souza’s photos, of Obama or Reagan, you see the man his supporters like, and even love. You see a man who looks comfortable in a lot of different settings, who enjoys kids, who loves his wife. You don’t have to agree with him to admit that. You see a man who is just a man, in a fishbowl of power and scrutiny.

No one has to “go soft” on their political positions, here.

But when I see a person I strongly oppose, and am reminded of his humanity, I’m humbled by the thought that we are all God’s children, and He didn’t intend one of us any more than another.

 

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