By many standards, President Obama had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Every year, on the day after Thanksgiving, almost 100 volunteer decorators show up at the White House. They spend the next five days stringing garlands and hanging ornaments, making the White House sparkle for the holidays. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Robertson, then chief of staff of the Government Services Administration, testifies on Capitol Hill on April 16, 2012. Now chief of staff of the Cabinet Affairs Office in the Obama administration, Robertson has undergone treatment for stage IV colorectal cancer. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chuck Shelton in the cold room at Albemarle CiderWorks in Virginia, which makes sparkling alcoholic cider with some of the same apple varieties used by Thomas Jefferson. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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"You may have to go someplace like Montana to 'get' this record." John Mayer tells NPR's Ari Shapiro about his new album, Paradise Valley. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

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President Obama speaks at ArcelorMittal, a steel mill in Cleveland, on Thursday. Obama visited the steel mill to discuss the economy and manufacturing, and then flew to Philadelphia for a Democratic fundraising dinner. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

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A breakthrough on Iran's nuclear program could shape history's view of President Obama. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Obama's response to the NSA spying revelations has changed over the past five months. Getty Images hide caption

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President Obama walks with the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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President Obama arrives to speak about the government shutdown at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Response Coordination Center on Monday. Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images hide caption

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President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner take part in a ceremony to unveil a statue honoring the late civil rights activist Rosa Parks in the Capitol in February. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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