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Barack Obama: Then and Now

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Photo (1980): Lisa Jack — from the Los Angeles Times

In 1980, Occidental College student Lisa Jack got very, very lucky. A bright handsome freshman named Barry Obama agreed to a photo session for one of Jack’s class assignments. The session produced 36 shots of a cool, youthful Obama. The photo above shows Obama wearing a bomber-style jacket with swirls of smoke from his cigarette floating around him. Years later, President Barack Obama apparently has dumped the smoking thing; ah, no matter, he’s still pretty cool without it. Obama spent his first two years of college at Occidental, which is in the nearby Los Angeles community of Eagle Rock, before moving on to Columbia University in New York.

Jack, who is now a college professor and therapist, saved the negatives from that long-ago photo shoot. Many of the images from that session are part of a new exhibit called, “Barack Obama: The Freshman,” which will open tomorrow evening at the M & B gallery, 612 North Almont Drive in West Hollywood. The exhibit is free and runs through July 18, 2009. Here’s the gallery website, but the overwhelming interest in the exhibit crashed the site this morning.

Photo: Leila Navidi/Las Vegas Sun — Senator Harry Reid & President Obama at Vegas fundraiser last night.

Meanwhile, President Obama jetted into the Southland from Las Vegas today. Last night, the president spoke before a sell-out fundraiser at Caesars Palace. The event raised nearly $2 million for the re-election campaign of Nevada Senator/Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, according to the Las Vegas Sun.  

Tonight, the president is speaking at another Democratic fundraiser at the Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills. I got an invite to this affair, but the ticket prices were much too high for my budget. KNX 1070 newsradio reports some folks shelled out between a thousand and $30,000 for tickets. Hopefully, the next time the president speaks at a local gathering, the ticket prices will be more affordable. 

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