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Celebrate President Obama's 53rd birthday with 53 photos of him throughout his life and presidency



By ANDREW TAVANI

Dear President Obama,

A critical part of being president of the United States is having the unique ability to take one on the chin, because, quite frankly, the hits just keep on coming. Whether it's some cute tot landing a stiff-arm as the White House photographer snaps pictures, or House Republicans trying to sue you and repeal the laws you signed, or the Drudge Report taking shots at Obamacare and your citizenship -- it's tough work.

But you'd expect that sort of stuff from babies, John Boehner and Matt Drudge. What you might not expect is that when you try to do something nice for African-American boys, there's a snarky Ivy League law professor who writes an article in the New York Times complaining that you haven't done anything for African-American girls.

It's certainly not easy being president. In fact, it's hard to believe anyone wants the job.

But you signed up for it -- twice -- so, on your 53rd birthday, we want to let you know we appreciate how tough the job is. Not only is it hard work, Mr. President, but you are constantly being photographed while doing it. You're probably the most photographed man in the world. (We can't imagine having to do our jobs each day while dozens of shutterbugs snapped pics of us.)

It's like you're the world's little goldfish, swimming around your bowl, while we all take photos and make judgments all the time. Since there is such a vast archive of photos, as a show of our appreciation and in honor of your 53rd birthday, we've collected 53 of the most memorable photos of you throughout your life we could find. There are some classic shots of you in there that you will no doubt recognize. You were an adorable kid.

There are some that you may have never seen (or haven't seen in a while). There's a great one of what looks like you magically holding a glowing ball as you delivered a speech in Iowa two years ago. And Matt Drudge's go-to photo for whenever he thinks he has some dirt on you (the one of you winking at the 2012 White House Correspondents Dinner) is in there, too.

Some of the photos you may want to forget. Remember that time an errant elbow busted your lip during a basketball game and it took 12 stitches to stop the bleeding? Well, in case you didn't, there were news photographers on hand to document the injury with super zoomed in close-up shots. And some photographer from Getty once snapped an extreme close-up of the back of your head -- perfect for anyone who might want to count your gray hairs. Both of those are in our collection.

In case you're feeling old today, we've included several other photos of you with babies and kids (nothing is as invigorating as the youth of America, Mr. President.) But, you honestly don't look like someone who feels old. We've got a handful of shots of you throwing balls, looking rather spry.

In addition, you seem to have been able to adopt the youth culture, posing for selfies and doing it deftly -- you've managed to avoid tweeting a photo with a scandalous wardrobe malfunction thus far. Trust us, that's not as easy as it might seem, so good work on that front.

And hey, you've got two years left in office. When you finish up your term, you'll only be 55 and likely looking for part-time work to keep you busy. There's an AP photo of you showing some remarkable promise for selling salsa that you may want to check out. It's never too soon to start thinking about your next career move.

Back in May, alluding to the oppressiveness of living in the presidential fishbowl, you exclaimed, 'The bear is loose!' as you dispensed with procedure and walked from the White House through the streets of D.C. to a meeting at the Department of Interior. Well, here's to letting loose in whatever way you can on your birthday. If anyone deserves the opportunity to do so, it's you.

There are some really great pics above, and we saved the best one for last: a nice black-and-white image of Michelle, the kids and you. After all, more important than being the American president, you're an American family man. That's something almost everyone can identify with.

Hope you have a great day, President Obama.

More on President Obama:
POP QUIZ: How well do you know President Obama?
President Obama reveals his childhood crush
Obama gets emotional over Malia going to college
Obama plays golf with ESPN hosts
Obama caught handing servicemen challenge coins during 'secret handshake'
Photos of President Obama caught in PDA moments

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