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White House photographer Pete Souza provides a glimpse behind the scenes of preparations for State of the Union 2014



By Andrew Tavani

Official White House photographer Pete Souza has been offering Americans a peek behind the curtain as President Obama puts the finishing touches on what will be the 5th State of the Union address of his presidency, to be delivered on Tuesday night. Souza has posted a photo or two on Twitter, a bunch more on Instagram and he created 'Inside the State of the Union with Pete Souza' on Storify.

If you're a politics buff or just someone who likes to sweat the tiny details, the photographs -- some of them black and white -- stand as a pleasant visual complement to all the noise and controversy that's bound to swirl around the actual speech tonight. Even senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer shared a few photos on Storify, noting the cold weather that will be in place when the speech begins just after 9 p.m.

Finally, as you'll see above, the president uses a (mighty?) Uniball pen to edit drafts of the speech. It will be interesting to see if the pen maker finds a way to capitalize on its product's critical use in the Oval Office ahead of the historic speech. Souza captured a black Uniball resting next to a draft of the speech on the president's Resolute desk. This is their moment. How will they seize it?

We've gathered them all here in one easy-to-click-through slide show above. And if you still need more on what's going on behind the scenes of the State of the Union, visit the official White House hub page.

Join the discussion

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Kimberly January 28 2014 at 4:24 PM

I'd rather see a photo with President Reagan's jelly beans in a bowl than a bunch of boring apples.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
Sue and Phil January 28 2014 at 4:05 PM

Wonder what the Neilson ratings will be on the major networks tonight compared to any average night?

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Dennis January 28 2014 at 4:07 PM

OH..ABAMA IS STILL THERE...WHAT A SHAME FOR THE USA..!

Flag Reply +9 rate up
3 replies
user406324 January 28 2014 at 1:46 PM

AOL, enough already!!! You will not convert us that see this man for the joke he is. Period!!! You can only do so much to polish a turd!!! Period!!!!

Flag Reply +17 rate up
1 reply
jjsshaffer user406324 May 30 2014 at 1:22 AM

That is not nice. Hide between your hidden identity and say things that I would hope that you would not say in public company, though I am shocked at what some people do say in public. Perhaps you are one of them.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
gmcorbin958 January 28 2014 at 2:35 PM

And he has not uttered a word about Benghazi in 8 months after saying during the campaign that NO ONE cares more about Benghazi than he does! Really!

Flag Reply +11 rate up
2 replies
crozario gmcorbin958 January 28 2014 at 2:55 PM

What campaign??? wake up!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
june gmcorbin958 January 28 2014 at 3:19 PM

I do not hear you harping on the fake war, nor how we are going to rid ourselves of debt. That tragedy killed three people and not the thousands upon thousands as the fake war has. How can you repubs dismiss that so easily? No heart in any of you!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
dlsbasscop January 28 2014 at 4:09 PM

I'm surprised that someone from Hollywood was not in the photo. Documenting "The Killing of America" the movie that's bound to come out. Obama you blame The House for your failures, but what has the Democrat Senate done in the last two years under Reid. How many Passed House Bills were not even brought to the floor of the Senate for talks? ZERO is the answer. But you Promised to bring both Parties Together. Just another Lie along with I could keep my Doctor and Insurance Plan.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
1 reply
stepnet3 dlsbasscop January 28 2014 at 4:14 PM

You are a fool if you think anyone in Hollywood has any interest in documenting the truths that you have laid out here.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
team sea ray January 28 2014 at 4:11 PM

a nervous lame duck president

Flag Reply +4 rate up
amanor1103 January 28 2014 at 4:12 PM

Fewer Americans Than Ever Think They're Middle-Class !!

This is the work of our Chief Decimator !!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
patriot1too amanor1103 January 28 2014 at 4:22 PM

He can make grand speechs and stab the air with his little fist all he wants but it cannot hide from the Concerned Citizens of America what an awful person and president he really is. He has lowered the bar on what it means to be American and harmed family values with his rubber stamping of every immoral behavior out there looking for votes from some fringe group of confused people and the low information voters who support him.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
stockmaster6 January 28 2014 at 1:44 PM

Rowdy Roddy Piper knows that, "THEY LIVE"!!!!! And, I agree. If you have your special sunglasses, then "put em on" tonight! Hehe

Flag Reply +3 rate up
d.carns January 28 2014 at 4:04 PM

Looks like he is smelling his stinky finger? Where has that been or wiping the dung off his nose and we know where that has been. Up corporate Americas behind.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
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