We’ve never had a president quite like Barack Obama. He’s made history over his two-terms through healthcare, job growth, and his personality. And in the midst of tragedy, he’s managed to stand strong on behalf of the country.
Just this week, he clapped back at critics in the realest way.
At the G20 Leaders Summit in Turkey on Monday, Obama told his GOP haters not to “pop off” unless they can bring him a plan better than his choice to allow Syrian refugees plagued by the terror of the Islamic State onto American soil.
There have been plenty of real moments throughout the Obama presidency, and NewsOne has gathered the best for your viewing pleasure.
Take a walk down memory lane with 15 of the president’s realest moments below.
15. Obama’s Spotify Playlist Was Bomb
Back in August, POTUS teamed up with Spotify to release his summer playlist. We knew Obama was a big fan of Rhythm & Blues, but his additions of Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and Nappy Roots were a big surprise. Singles from Frank Sinatra, Joni Mitchell, and Leonard Cohen were also commendable choices. Check out the full list here.
14. Obama Greets Kevin Durant With A Dap
Obama has shaken hands with eager supporters and calmed crying babies, but one of his best greetings was with NBA superstar Kevin Durant. After shaking hands with a Team USA staffer, Obama “dapped up” Durant. The subtle move inspired the infamous Key and Peele sketch, “Meet & Greet.”
13. Obama Diffuses Racial Tension With Invite For A Beer At The White House
President Obama’s handling of racial tension early on in his presidency was clutch. In 2009, The Guardian reported on the president’s very direct approach to an uncomfortable topic, when he invited Massachusetts Sergeant James Crowley and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates to the White House for a beer and a discussion on racial tension. Gates was arrested by Crowley for trying to enter his own home, a move Gates deemed racial profiling by the police.
12. Obama Gets Romney Shook On Libya
It was a move former presidential candidate Mitt Romney didn’t see coming. During the second presidential debate, Romney thought he had one over on Obama when he claimed the president didn’t call the Benghazi attacks an act of terror. Obama gave a slick “drop the mic” moment when he told Romney to check the transcript. Even CNN moderator Candy Crowley interjected to confirm Obama called the incident what it was. Romney was left shaken for the first time during the tense debate and well, the rest is history.
11. Obama’s Entrance Music At The 2012 Correspondents’ Dinner Features DJ Khaled & T-Pain
Obama’s tongue-in-cheek humor has always been a fine trait. He demonstrated as much during the 2013 White House Correspondents’ Dinner. While approaching the podium, Obama changed the music to the hit single, “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled. The entrance went viral and Khaled sampled the moment on his album Suffering From Success.
10. Obama Drops A Little Patois In Jamaica
For the first time in 30 years, a president visited the island of Jamaica. During Obama’s trip, he practiced his Jamaican Patois and paid homage to the late Bob Marley. After his meeting with Caribbean leaders, he answered questions about the slow decriminalization of marijuana in the States.
9. Obama Becomes First President To Visit Prisoners During Bipartisan Push On Criminal Justice Reform
Obama’s documented trip to Oklahoma’s El Reno federal prison was a first for a sitting president. The Commander-in-Chief spoke with inmates and officers about the current handling of criminal justice reform. This year, the president granted clemency to 46 non-violent drug offenders and spoke about how America needs to differentiate criminals from people who do “stupid things.” You can check out a clip from the documentary, filmed by Vice, here.
8. Obama Sings Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”
As mentioned in No. 15, Obama enjoys his slow jams. During a fundraising event in 2012, the Reverend Al Green performed, bringing out the fanboy in the president. He sang a few notes from “Let’s Stay Together.” Another classic R&B/Blues moment came towards the end of that year when he sang “Sweet Home Chicago” with Mick Jagger, Buddy Guy, and the late B.B King.
7. Obama Brings Out His Anger Translator At The 2015 Correspondents’ Dinner
Obama found a creative way to address his critics without losing his cool. The president introduced comedian Keegan-Michael Key as his “Anger Translator” to spill his feelings on everything from foreign policy to the GOP.
6. Obama Addresses His Birth Certificate: “I’ve Got Better Stuff To Do”
Obama shut down rumors about his birth certificate by simply telling the media to focus on the bigger issues at hand — the American people. The president explained that chatter about his birth certificate served as a distraction during talks about a budget crisis during a deficit closing in 2011. Calling out the public and his critics for steering the conversation with malicious intent definitely put an end to the matter once and for all.
5. Obama Drops Shade During Government Shut Down
During the government shutdown in 2013, Obama released his most scathing comments on Congressional Republicans and then-speaker of the house John Boehner, saying personal feelings about policies have affected the American people in the worst way. Obama called out the GOP threats during his infamous speech, but was also gentle in his approach. He assured Americans that the two conflicting groups have no choice but to come together for the greater good. Check out the best statements here.
Obama’s State of the Union Address in January was one to remember. He discussed climate change, gay marriage, and promised to end his time in office on a high note. He brushed off his critics by reminding them he had no more campaigns to run and quipped, “I know, because I won both of them.” Obama: 1, Haters: 0.
“We’ve got to do more than say…we’d put a woman on the ten-dollar bill,” Obama said, calling the wage gap a “mockery of our economy” before declaring that, while the $10 campaign is nice idea, America needs to ensure that Black women earn equal pay.
One of the biggest takeaways from his speech was the importance of Black women and girls knowing they’re “good enough” in America. Check out more poignant moments from his speech here.
2. Obama Addresses Racism During Eulogy At Clementa Pinckney’s Funeral
Obama touched on racism and the Confederate flag in a passionate eulogy for South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney, who was one of the victims of Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting. During Obama’s eulogy, the president addressed racism in a blunt way, a first in his presidency. He also touched on the subtle moments of racism that often occur when “Johnny gets a call back for a job interview, but not Jamal.”
Obama’s realest, Blackest, most emotional moment of his presidency was the end of the eulogy at Pinckney’s funeral, when he sang “Amazing Grace” and named the victims of the Charleston shooting. Regardless of faith, religion, or political views, the moment was felt by the everyone in the church and those watching from home. It was one to remember.
What are some of your favorite Obama moments? Let us know in the comment section below.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Giphy | VIDEO CREDIT: Instagram, YouTube