This is what President Obama would tell his daughters as they grew up in the White House — “be kind and be useful.”

I know, because friends just sent me Obama: An Intimate Portrait, a big coffee table book.

Wonderful photos that remind one of the dignity and intelligence, decency and seriousness that ordinarily infuse the Presidency — never more so than January 20, 2009-January 19, 2017.

Other than mostly-spare captions, there’s almost no text; but a brief introduction by the photographer, Pete Souza, who arguably spent more time with Obama during those years than anyone else, and who heard the President’s exhortation.

It’s a picture book, but those five words — “be kind and be useful” — speak volumes.



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