Here's President Obama at Work Editing His Inaugural Address

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Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Feb. 19 2013 1:42 PM

Here's President Obama at Work Editing His Inaugural Address

The White House has unveiled its latest batch of behind-the-scenes photos of President Obama. I don't see any news-making photos in this particular pile—nothing on par with, say, pics of Obama shooting a gun or answering a concession phone call from Mitt Romney—but the shot that probably jumps out as most interesting is the one below, of the president holding a heavily edited draft of what would become his inaugural address.

The photo shows only a portion of the first page of what was a rather lengthy speech, but what we can see nonetheless largely confirms previous anecdotes that Obama prefers to take an active role in shaping his remarks, particularly for major events like an inauguration or State of the Union address. (The photo also suggests that someone in the White House has better taste in fonts than Hillary Clinton.) The changes you can make out if you zoom in on this particular photo range from minor grammar tweaks to some relatively heavy rewrites. Check out a larger image here.

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President Barack Obama works on his inaugural address with Jon Favreau, director of speechwriting (not pictured), in the Oval Office, Jan. 16, 2013.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

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You can see all of latest official White House photos here. Of course, as many White House reporters would remind you this morning, we shouldn't confuse these type of official photos with actual press access.

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Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

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