As we reach the end of 2016, the final chapter of the Obama White House comes to a close too. There will be just 20 days in the new year with Barack Obama running the country, and you're probably trying to savor every second of it before president-elect Donald Trump's inauguration. I hear you, I feel you, and that's totally fair. But take a step back for just a moment and consider how long it has been since candidate Obama became nominee Obama and then finally moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. These 11 Obama "then and now" memes hit home the passage of time.
In essence, Obama has visibly aged these past eight years in office. Wrinkles have deepened and his once black hair is now definitely more salt than pepper. But rather than thinking about the president's age, consider how far we've come. Obama's first press conference and his first address to Congress as president underline the dire economic situation the country found itself in. Now, unemployment is down, the stock market is up, and housing prices are rising in most parts of the country. But the success of his presidency goes far beyond numbers. Take a look at these memes and consider the difference the Obama presidency has made in your life.
1) Pressers Come Full Circle
The president's first press conference oddly talks about jobs in Indiana — one of the big topics in recent weeks. "I took a trip to Elkhart, Indiana, today," Obama said at the time. "Elkhart is a place that has lost jobs faster than anywhere else in America." Now Trump is announcing tax incentives to keep Carrier in the state.
2) Professor Obama Explains It All
Obama's hand gestures probably make him a more effective public speaker. And this is one of his favorites — no change there.
3) Presidential Stress Then & Now
What this says to me is that the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression is nothing compared to dealing emotionally with all these Trump Cabinet picks. Am I right?
4) The Girls Show The Passing Of Years Too
Obama's clearly aged, but look at how Sasha and Malia have grown! Melia was just 10 when they made the move to D.C. and Sasha was just seven — the youngest child to live in the White House since the Kennedys' John Jr. moved in.
5) The Older But Wiser Work Looks
These pictures come from New York Magazine portraits of the president, and he may look older now, but there's a certain quality that's working for him.
6) Look Back Even Further To The DNC In 2004
Obama rose to national prominence even before his 2008 run. As you surely remember, he gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 to rave reviews. Check out how he looked then vs. the DNC this year.
7) The Smile Is The Same
Say what you will about his hair or wrinkles, but he has a winning smile — and it's been pretty darn consistent over the years.
8) But The US' Relationships Are Not
Consider this representation of the US-Canada relationship. Maybe it's an exaggeration of Obama's distaste for Stephen Harper. But it's also probably playing down Obama and Trudeau's bromance.
9) It Also Goes Beyond Looks
This "then and now" meme shows the words that Obama used in 2009 as compared to 2016 when addressing Congress. Noticeably "hope" was more of a focus at the end of his presidency.
10) But The Pics Are The Most Striking
Obama 2008 Vs 2016. Holy Crap. It's like his young son and his Dad. pic.twitter.com/er4liOhewZ— Dave Cullen (@lack78) October 23, 2016
With the right angles, lighting, and facial expressions the change seems unreal.
11) Then & Now For The Country
This meme, of course, shows the difference between the two New Yorker covers from Obama and Trump's respective wins. This says more than just what has changed during Obama's eight years, it also speaks to what we can expect looking ahead.
The shock may be wearing off, but time will fly in the next administration just as it has during this one. So reflect on all that has occurred these last eight years. Then make a game plan for how to make 2009 and these coming four years bearable.