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Editor's Letter

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He takes abuse on Capitol Hill, in the press and from some of his own party stalwarts. So perhaps it’s no surprise that President Obama takes a bit of a beating when he heads upstairs after a bruising day at the office.

As you can see from the introduction of this year’s interview with the First Couple, Obama is delighted by the ribbing he receives from his wife and daughters. This was the fourth time Washington correspondent Sandra Sobieraj Westfall and I had interviewed him, and he seemed both more tired and more determined than in past years (why he ever let us return to the White House, after we bumped him from a cover for a reality star’s plastic surgery story, I will never know). He hit back quickly at questions about leadership, and defended his efforts on health care and electronic surveillance.

On a more personal note, as he did last year, the President grew wistful about the passage of time, dreading the moment when his girls grow up and move away from home. “It’s accelerating,” he said with some alarm. As a fellow father of teenagers, I wish him the best of luck cherishing every moment together.

Elsewhere in this year-end issue are our opinions and observations about the year that has just passed. We celebrate the ascent of Jennifer Lawrence as a true movie superstar, the birth of Prince George, and the phenomenal human will to live exhibited by Cleveland hostages Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus. We critique Miley and the Bieb, pick the top dresses and review the best in movies, TV, music and books. And we try to look ahead and see what 2014 will have in store. If it’s anything like 2013, it should be quite a year. From us to you, here’s to a terrific new year.