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Biden to Host Obama for White House Portrait Ceremony

  • Biden has invited Barack and Michelle Obama to the White House for their portrait ceremony.
  • The former president and first lady’s White House portraits will finally be unveiled in September.
  • During his presidency Donald Trump, shunned the ceremony.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are continuing the long-standing tradition of unveiling their predecessors’ White House portraits by hosting the ceremony for former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House, an Obama spokesperson told NBC.

The ceremony, typically held in the East Room, serves as a moment during the sitting president’s first term to honor  their immediate predecessor. The Obamas portraits were scheduled to be unveiled in 2020, but because of contentious relationship between then-President Donald Trump and Obama, Trump shunned the ceremony, breaking a 40-year tradition.

The COVID-19 pandemic further postponed the Obamas portrait ceremony, but the Biden is bringing the tradition back. The portraits, which will be revealed on September 17, are separate from the Obama portraits that hang in Washington, D.C.’s National Portrait Gallery.

Biden served as the Obama’s Vice President during his two terms, and the two have remained close. The former and current president even had friendship bracelets.

Obama has been vocal on social media for his support of Biden’s presidency, tweeting on Thursday that he is “grateful to President Biden and those in Congress,” talking about the recent passage of the CHIPS and Science bill.

This will be Michelle Obama’s first time returning to the White House since January 2020. As part of the ceremony’s tradition, the artists who painted the first couple will also be revealed during the event. 

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