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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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Richard January 28 2014 at 2:22 PM

It will be nothing more than a typical Howdy Doody Show with the puppeteers pulling the strings through the Teleprompter that he will be lip sinking to.

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sambd6 January 28 2014 at 2:32 PM

land of the free and the home of the brave! does this mean free foodstamps & phones? home of the brave, the hardworking taxpayers who are paying for the ones who watch tv in their pj's all day! i watched a man @ the gas station use an access card for 2 mountain dews and candybars for $8 dollars! he should be arrested!

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Grace January 28 2014 at 2:05 PM

i hope may 16th is a real thing, and that this group of people really are going to go to the whitehouse gates and get these people out of office. America is sick of it, our founding fathers would be shooting right now. When is enough really going to be enough for the American people i feel that when it does happen, it will be wayyyyy to late to do anything about it... oh wait, i think that we are already there... so sad, we need to start locally if we want a change, get to the legislature, get the facts out, and Trey Gowdy behind us, he needs to be our leader, he really just needs to be our President!!!

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JOYCE January 28 2014 at 2:05 PM

blah,blah blah . actions speak louder than words

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Larry January 28 2014 at 2:03 PM

Do NOT pull the curtain, The Great Oz, ummm, I mean Dear Leader CANNOT be disturbed.
You have disturbed Dear Leader.
The IRS will be visiting you.

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jmhauser99 January 28 2014 at 2:03 PM

It doesn't matter what he says. No one believes him any more. He is completely discredited.

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jersue20 January 28 2014 at 2:03 PM

To bad BS is not money - we would be out of debt! Mr Big with his foot on the table!!!

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1 reply
frankdlu jersue20 January 28 2014 at 2:24 PM


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Sabot January 28 2014 at 2:00 PM

Arn't you just sick of all of the stories about how Government is WORKING, and working for you! How about him getting up tonight and saying that SECRET shadow government is over, that effective tonight all of the troops in foreign countries will be embarking for transport to the USA, that the days of the American Police Force for the World is over and you will have to work out your own problems. That the American State Dept has lost it's Govt Credit Card and will no longer be buyingt favotism around the globe. That the USA will from now on will be carring for our own ederly, educating our children, feeding our poor and hungry, rebuilding our country! COngre3ss will work together and the days of radical right and liberal left is over, the loons have done a terrible job and the American people will be having their govt back again.

15-20 minutes tops with lots of standing applause!

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1 reply
fk62045 Sabot January 28 2014 at 2:04 PM


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English January 28 2014 at 3:57 PM

Obama does not seem to work much, he plays lots of golf, gives thousands of speeches but he is never ingaged, leaving it to someone else to do the work. If you accept what he says, he has no idea what is going on, everytime there is a question about the State Dept, the IRS, his heath care law he never knows anything, always saying no one told him. Which is evidence he is not engaged on what is going on. But then again he is a liar so who knows what the truth is with this man that lies to us all the time.

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wbearl January 28 2014 at 4:01 PM

This year it should be called "The Sorry State of the Union". I voted for my first President in 1968. I have never missed an election since. I can say with all sincerity this is the most disastrous Presidency in my life time.

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1 reply
Sue and Phil wbearl January 28 2014 at 4:04 PM

I have voted for every president since 1960 and I couldnt agree with you more.
This guy even makes Jimmy Carter look not so bad.

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1 reply
justssam Sue and Phil January 28 2014 at 4:19 PM

I voted for my first President (IKE) in 1956 ... I was raised during the great depression; you and Wbearl are both correct ... He is indeed the worst President in my lifetime. ...

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