The Obamas have brought a unique vibrancy and enthusiasm to the title of first family and have done it so well that it seemed effortless. Sure, the fact that Carpool Karaoke became a thing during President Obama's time in office as did Jimmy Fallon's "Ew!" sketches might have helped a little, but Obama didn't just develop a great taste in music only after the creation of Spotify.
The Obamas have welcomed artists, performers, activists, legends and leaders in their respective field into their home. For they understand that the stories of a nation or community's artists often speak for the struggles and triumphs of so many others. It was in 2009 at the White House's Evening of Poetry, Music, and the Spoken Word where Lin Manuel Miranda performed Hamilton's title track for the first time. And hanging on the wall of the White House family dining room is a painting by Alma Thomas called Resurrection. Its composition is colorful and vibrant; and like most of Thomas' work, it celebrates the beauty of the world. It's also the first work by a black woman to be hung in a public wing of the White House and to be in its permanent art collection.
The Obamas seamlessly weaved themselves into the fabric of popular culture. The first social media age president could not have been any more well suited for this new age of communication. When and once the presidency is handed off to the Twitter fiend who is Trump, we'll be reminded of the significance of meaningfulness, of empathy, of art. Art seems to thrive when its mere existence forces it to be marginalized - this is one of the few things that gives me recourse for the four years ahead - but it also needs to live in a society where free speech and diversity are not struck down.
To know that we had a first family and administration that appreciated other people's stories is to feel a special kinship with the White House - to, all be it idealistically, feel like its door is open to every American, gives me hope that it's possible for this to happen again.