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Barack, Michelle Obama return to White House for unveiling of their official portraits

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) -- The Obamas arrived to a huge welcome at the White House. President Biden and the first lady invited Barack and Michelle Obama for the unveiling of their official portraits.

"When future generations walk these halls and look up at these portraits, I hope they get a better, honest sense of who Michelle and I were," the former president said.

The ceremony was also a coming-home for the former first couple. Barack Obama has only visited the White House on one other occasion since the end of his administration in 2017. For Michelle Obama, it was the first time back.

"What we are seeing is a reminder, there is a place for everyone in this country," Michelle Obama said, "that is what this country is about."

The Obamas chose the artists, Robert McCurdy and Sharon Sprung. Both portraits were painted entirely from photographs.

"You'll note he refused to hide any of my grey hairs, refused my request to make my ears smaller," Barack Obama said. "He also talked me out of wearing a tan suit."

A pair of earlier portraits were unveiled in 2018 and installed in the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery. These newer artworks will live in the White House as a reminder of the Obamas' chapter in the American story.

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