Povijesti Podcasti

Najbolje fotografije Obaminog predsjedništva

Najbolje fotografije Obaminog predsjedništva


Činjenični pogled na Obamino predsjedništvo

U posljednjim tjednima svog predsjedništva Barack Obama uputio je članove svog kabineta da "pripreme detaljno izvješće o napretku koji smo postigli" od kada je postao predsjednik. Zatim je ove izvještaje sažeo u propratno pismo koje oslikava sumornu sliku SAD -a prije nego što je ušao u Ovalni ured i sugerira da se nacija okrenula za vrijeme njegova mandata.

Obama je zatim ponovio mnoge točke iz ovog pisma u svom oproštajnom obraćanju naciji 10. siječnja, gdje je izjavio da je "gotovo po svakoj mjeri Amerika bolje, jače mjesto nego što je bila kad smo mi počeli".

Međutim, tvrdnje u njegovu pismu i oproštajnom obraćanju temelje se na nizu vještih statistika koje čine više zavaravanjem nego informiranjem.

Na primjer, Obama tvrdi da se “20. siječnja 2009.”, kada sam “stajao pred vama i zakleo se svetom zakletvom” kako bih “udovoljio izazovima s kojima smo se suočili”, gospodarstvo “smanjilo za više od osam posto”, ali sada “ osam godina kasnije "raste" za više od tri posto ".

U stvarnosti, taj iznos od -8% tromjesečna je godišnja stopa od listopada do prosinca 2008. godine, a brojka od 3% je od srpnja do rujna 2016. Tromjesečni podaci o BDP -u često su nestabilni, pa to olakšava odabir kako biste poslužili naraciju, kako je prikazano na donjem grafikonu:

Gledajući cjelovitu sliku, gospodarstvo je pod Obamom doživjelo povijesno slab rast. Čak i nakon što je recesija završila 2009. godine, prosječni realni rast BDP -a bio je 35% ispod prosjeka od 1960. -2009., Razdoblja koje uključuje osam recesija. Godišnji podaci o BDP -u, koji uklanjaju buku iz tromjesečnih fluktuacija, pokazuju ispodstandardni rast tijekom cijelog Obaminog predsjedanja:

Takav loš rast je čudan s obzirom na to da američko gospodarstvo obično dobro posluje nakon recesije, a što je recesija dublja, rast je jači. Ustvari, poznati liberalni ekonomist Paul Krugman jednom je ustvrdio da "ekonomska ekspanzija pod predsjednikom Reaganom nije potvrdila njegovu ekonomsku doktrinu", jer je "brz rast normalan kada se gospodarstvo vraća iz dubokog pada".

Početkom 2011. godine Ured za upravljanje i proračun Bijele kuće predvidio je da će stvarni BDP rasti prosječno 3,6% godišnje pet godina nakon velike recesije (vidi stranice 14–16). Obamini ekonomisti primijetili su da je ta brojka niža od tipične stope rasta nakon recesije od 4,2%, ali su zaključili da "dugotrajni učinci kreditne krize mogu ograničiti tempo oporavka", iako je recesija ostavila "ogroman prostor za rast u 2011. ” U konačnici, BDP je u prosjeku porastao za 2,2% ili 39% ispod konzervativne procjene Bijele kuće.

Slično, dva tjedna prije nego što je Obama preuzeo dužnost, Kongresni ured za proračun (CBO) projicirao je stope realnog rasta BDP -a za nadolazeće godine "pod pretpostavkom da sadašnji zakoni i politike koji se odnose na federalnu potrošnju i oporezivanje ostaju isti". Ovaj grafikon prikazuje projekcije CBO -a i što se zapravo dogodilo:

Obama je 2016. godine preuzeo zasluge za "spašavanje svjetskog gospodarstva od velike depresije", no recesija je u SAD -u završila u lipnju 2009., odnosno pet mjeseci nakon što je preuzeo dužnost, i znatno prije nego što je velika većina njegova zakona o "poticajima" stupila na snagu (vidi stranicu 2).

Uz gospodarski rast, Obamin misao pruža i druge kreativne poglede na njegovo predsjedanje, uključujući i ovaj grafikon stope mature koji je prilagođen da pretjera u poboljšanju:

Amerika pod Obamom

Predstojećih 16 grafikona predstavljaju podatke savezne vlade o određenim ključnim mjerama blagostanja Amerike tijekom Obaminog predsjedništva. Sljedeće značajke i upozorenja primjenjuju se na ove grafikone/skupove podataka i one gore:

  • Kako bi pružili kontekst i otkrili trendove, grafikoni prikazuju sve raspoložive podatke o cijelim godinama do 1960. godine ili onoliko unatrag koliko se skupovi podataka protežu. Svi su grafikoni skalirani s osnove nule ili negativnih brojki.
  • Kako je objašnjeno u Tajne ekonomskih pokazatelja, udžbenik koji su objavili Wharton School i Pearson Education, "Prvo objavljivanje mnogih ekonomskih pokazatelja sadrži dijelove podataka koji su daleko od pouzdanih i stoga se smatraju preliminarnim." Stoga se neki noviji podaci mogu promijeniti s vremenom.
  • Grafikoni sadrže podatke o ishodima velikih slika s opipljivim utjecajima. Obamino propratno pismo spominje varijable poput dijela ljudi sa zdravstvenim osiguranjem, ali to je malo važno ako osiguranje ne pruža pristup dobroj zdravstvenoj skrbi.
  • Nijedan od parametara prikazanih na ovim grafikonima nije kraj, a svaki baca ograničeno svjetlo na vrlo složena pitanja.
  • Oznaka je postavljena na svaki grafikon 2009. godine, što je bila prva Obamina godina mandata. To osigurava jednogodišnji tampon za Obaminu politiku da počne djelovati, iako je nekima trebalo duže, a nekima kraće.
  • Projekcije CBO -a za siječanj 2009. godine pružaju se kada je primjenjivo, a prosjeci se daju kada podaci s vremenom osciliraju.

Također je važno napomenuti da predsjednici ne mogu razumno preuzeti zasluge niti kriviti sve što se dogodi tijekom njihovog mandata. Zbog ograničenja političke moći i ustavnog sustava američke kontrole i ravnoteže, ruke svakog predsjednika vezane su u različitom stupnju od strane Kongresa, sudova, postojećih zakona, državnih i lokalnih vlada, ekonomskih ciklusa, demografskih trendova, terorističkih napada, prirodnih katastrofa , te postupke američkih građana i stranih vlada.

S druge strane, američki predsjednici imaju ogromne izvršne ovlasti, a predsjednik Obama i Demokratska stranka imali su više zakonodavnih ovlasti u razdoblju 2009. -2010. Od bilo kojeg poslaničkog kluba u novijoj povijesti. U tom je razdoblju Obama uživao demokratsku većinu u Domu od 79 mjesta i učinkovitu većinu od 18 do 20 mjesta u Senatu. Obamina većina u Domu bila je veća od bilo kojeg predsjednika od Billa Clintona 1993. do 1994., a Obamina većina u senatu bila je veća od bilo kojeg predsjednika od Jimmyja Cartera 1977. do 1980. godine.

Nakon što su republikanci 2011. godine preuzeli kontrolu nad Domom, a 2015. nad Senatom, ponekad su Obami onemogućavali da se snađe, ali općenito nisu uspjeli poništiti ono što je prethodno prošao, zaustaviti Obamine izvršne radnje ili donijeti bilo kakve zakone bez njegova pristanka. U posljednjih osam godina Obama je stavio veto na 12 zakona, a Kongres je nadjačao samo jedan od tih veta.

Srednji prihod kućanstva

Između 2009. i 2013. (posljednji dostupni podaci), stvarni srednji prihod kućanstva porastao je sa 78.200 USD na 79.200 USD. U istom razdoblju, realni medijan prihoda kućanstva nakon što su savezni porezi opali sa 69.800 USD na 69.200 USD:

Između 2009. i 2015. godine, stvarni novčani prihod kućanstva (koji isključuje “određene novčane primitke, poput kapitalnih dobitaka” i “vrijednost bezgotovinskih davanja”, poput “bonova za hranu, zdravstvenih davanja, subvencioniranog stanovanja” i “potpunih ili djelomičnih plaćanja od tvrtke za odlazak u mirovinu”) programi ”) porasla je sa 54 988 USD na 56 516 USD.

Nacionalni dug

Između 2009. i 2015. nacionalni dug porastao je sa 85% američkog gospodarstva na 105%:

Nezaposlenost

Između 2009. i 2016. stopa nezaposlenosti pala je s 9,3% na 4,9%. Tijekom svake od ovih godina stopa nezaposlenosti bila je viša od proračuna Kongresnog ureda za proračun dva tjedna prije nego što je Obama preuzeo dužnost:

Sudjelovanje u radu

Između 2009. i 2016. godine, stopa sudjelovanja civilne radne snage za osobe starije od 16 godina opala je sa 65,4% na 62,8%:

Između 2009. i 2015. prosječni godišnji radni sati po stanovniku SAD -a povećan je sa 724 na 757:

Produktivnost

Prema riječima predsjednice Federalnih rezervi Janet Yellen, "najvažniji faktor koji određuje životni standard je rast produktivnosti". Od 2010. do 2015. prosječni godišnji rast produktivnosti iznosio je 0,7%, u usporedbi s 2,2% iz razdoblja 1960–2009:

Savezni porezi i potrošnja

Između 2009. i 2015. federalna potrošnja smanjila se sa 25,9% američkog gospodarstva na 22,5%. U istom razdoblju federalni prihodi porasli su sa 15,7% na 19,3%:

Sastav federalne potrošnje

Između 2009. i 2015. udio federalne potrošnje namijenjen socijalnim programima povećan je sa 61% na 63%. U istom razdoblju udio namijenjen nacionalnoj obrani i naknadama veterana smanjio se s 20% na 19%:

Životni vijek

Od 2010. do 2015. prosječni godišnji porast očekivanog životnog vijeka iznosio je 0,05 godina, u odnosu na 0,17 godina od 1960. -2009. Sljedeći grafikon također sadrži oznaku 2014., jer je tada većina glavnih odredbi Obamacare -a postala operativna, uključujući proširenje Medicaida, pravilo o postojećim uvjetima, kaznu zbog nedostatka osiguranja i subvencionirane planove zdravstvenog osiguranja na tržištu:

Smrt od predoziranja drogom

Između 2009. i 2015. godine, dobno prilagođena stopa smrtnosti od predoziranja lijekovima povećala se sa 11,9 na 100.000 ljudi na 16,3:

Između 2009. i 2015. godine, stopa samoubojstava prilagođena dobi povećala se sa 11,8 na 100.000 ljudi na 13,3:

Između 2009. i 2015. godine dobno prilagođena stopa ubojstava porasla je s 5,5 na 100.000 ljudi na 5,7:

Sumporov dioksid

Sumpor -dioksid uobičajen je zagađivač i visoko reaktivan plin koji može uzrokovati probleme s disanjem. Između 2009. i 2015. prosječna razina sumpor dioksida u prizemnom zraku opala je sa 51 dijela na milijardu na 25:

Korištenje energije i sastav pojačala

Posebno obmanjujući aspekt Obaminog oproštajnog obraćanja je sljedeća izjava, do koje je došao dovodeći se protiv "selektivnog razvrstavanja činjenica" i izjavljujući da su "znanost i razum važni":

Prihvatite izazov klimatskih promjena. U samo osam godina prepolovili smo ovisnost o stranoj nafti, udvostručili obnovljivu energiju, doveli svijet do sporazuma koji obećava spas ove planete.

Zapravo, obnovljiva energija povećala se za 27% između 2009. i 2015., što nije ni blizu udvostručenja. Obamina statistika može biti ukorijenjena u lukavoj definiciji obnovljive energije koja isključuje glavne izvore poput hidroenergije.

Nadalje, Obamine riječi ostavljaju izrazit dojam da su SAD smanjile potrošnju nafte zamijenivši je obnovljivim izvorima energije. Ipak, američka potrošnja nafte porasla je sa 6,6 milijardi barela 2009. na 6,7 ​​2015. godine.

Primarni razlog pada uvoza nafte je taj što je domaća proizvodnja porasla zbog korištenja hidrauličkog loma ili lomljenja, što je nepopularno kod mnogih ekologa. Prema američkoj Upravi za energetske informacije, fracking je "omogućio Sjedinjenim Državama da povećaju svoju proizvodnju nafte brže nego ikad u svojoj povijesti", a sada proizvodi "oko polovice ukupne američke proizvodnje sirove nafte".

Objektivno gledajući na pitanje energije, u razdoblju od 2009. do 2015. potrošnja energije u SAD -u porasla je sa 94 kvadriliona BTU -a na 98. U istom razdoblju potrošnja fosilnih goriva porasla je sa 78 na 79, nuklearna razina ostala je na 9, a obnovljivi izvori povećani su s 8 do 10:

Subvencije za energiju

Između 2007. i 2013., izravne federalne subvencije za energiju prilagođene inflaciji po jedinici proizvodnje solarne energije porasle su sa 2.721 USD na milijardu BTU na 17.807 USD. Za ostale izvore energije subvencije su varirale na sljedeći način:


Službena fotografija Bijele kuće Pete Souza

Gospodin Obama grije na suncu nakon što je sa svojim višim savjetnicima premjestio sastanak u Rose Garden u proljeće 2009. godine.

Službena fotografija Bijele kuće Pete Souza

Gospodin Obama oponaša lice dječačića tijekom posjete vojnicima i njihovim obiteljima u bazi marinaca Hawaii Kaneohe 2013. godine.


Najbolje fotografije iz posljednje godine predsjednika Obame

Glavni fotograf Bijele kuće Pete Souza bira svoje favorite iz 2016.

U posljednjih osam godina, glavni fotograf Bijele kuće Pete Souza podijelio je svoju "Godinu u fotografijama", zbirku slika koje su on ili fotograf snimili sa svojim osobljem i prikazuju zapanjujuće trenutke iza kulisa s predsjednikom Obamom, potpredsjednikom Joeom Biden i prva obitelj. Rata za 2016. gorko je slatka jer bilježi posljednju godinu predsjednikova dva mandata. Pogledajte neke snimke, a zatim ih sve pogledajte na medium.com.

Predsjednik Obama dodiruje lice mladića po imenu Clark Reynolds tijekom prijema u Bijeloj kući koji obilježava Mjesec crne povijesti.

Predsjednica i prva dama plešu s 106 -godišnjom Virginijom McLaurin prije prijema u čast Mjeseca povijesti crnaca.

Malia, Sasha i Michelle Obama prisustvuju državnoj večeri u Bijeloj kući u čast kanadskog premijera Justina Trudeaua i njegove supruge Sophie Gr & eacutegoire Trudeau. "Kakva mi je čast gledati te djevojčice kako odrastaju", napisao je Souza u svom naslovu.


Najbolje biografije Baracka Obame

Barack Obama nedvojbeno posjeduje jedan od najkompliciranijih – i fascinantan – podrijetlo bilo kojeg bivšeg predsjednika Sjedinjenih Država.

Rođen od oca kojeg je jedva poznavao i od majke koju gotovo nikad nije vidio, Obamin put do Bijele kuće jedan je od najznačajnijih i najvjerojatnijih od svih koje sam vidio. Pa ipak, gledajući unatrag, njegov politički uspon ima gotovo savršen smisao.

Budući da mu je predsjedništvo prestalo tako nedavno, a zbog njegove mlade dobi moglo bi proći tri desetljeća ili više prije nego što se napiše konačna Obamina biografija. Kako bih završio ovo šestogodišnje putovanje kroz najbolje biografije predsjednika, pročitao sam tri knjige o Baracku H. Obami:

Remnick ’s “Most ” bio je savršeno mjesto za početak: pokriva život Obame do njegove predsjedničke inauguracije, iako priča može biti gusta i suha, nije dosadno detaljna i pruža izvrstan pregled većina aspekata njegovih prvih četrdeset sedam godina.

Ali ova knjiga nije toliko zadivljujuća kao što su vrlo najbolje biografije i potcjenjuje dramu ugrađenu u Obamin nevjerojatan i izvanredan politički uspon. No, izvještačko oko Remnick -a i njegova upornost u traženju intervjua sa svima koji su ikada poznavali Obamu su izvanredni. A od tri knjige koje sam pročitao, ovo pruža najinformativnije i sveobuhvatno izvještavanje o Obaminim predzasjedničkim zvjezdicama s#8217-inim zvjezdicama (potpuni pregled ovdje)

Ova biografija od 1.078 stranica, koja pokriva život Obame tijekom njegova predsjedništva, vrijedna je pažnje zbog svoje duljine, kao i dubokog istraživanja koje podržava često iznimnu razinu detalja. Nažalost, stupanj zadovoljstva koje čitatelj postiže strpljivim kretanjem kroz deset poglavlja neodgovarajuća je kompenzacija za uporno zamorno iskustvo.

Garrow ne čini vidljive napore da odvoji zemaljske detalje od posljedičnih činjenica, a postoji nekoliko, ako ih ima, sveobuhvatnih tema ili teza. Pojedinačni trenuci zasluga su brojni, ali su zasjenjeni dugim dionicama koje izgledaju besciljno ili beznačajno. U potpunoj suprotnosti s prvih 1000+ stranica knjige, Obamino predsjedništvo obuhvaćeno je na manje od trideset stranica. Kao referenca o njegovom predsjedavanju, ova je knjiga na neki način pohvalna. No, kao predsjednička biografija dokazuje umirjujuću vježbu u strpljenju i besmislenoj ustrajnosti – 2 zvjezdice (Cijeli pregled ovdje)

Imao sam sjajno iskustvo s biografijom mladog Billa Clintona iz Maranissa, a ova knjiga o ranom životu Baracka Obame nije me razočarala. Njegov fokus, donekle na moje iznenađenje, jednako je na Obaminim predacima kao i sam Obama. Potrebno je vrijeme za razvoj, a tek u drugoj polovici knjige budući predsjednik ne dolazi u fokus. Također se završava pomalo naglo – baš kad Obama napušta Chicago kako bi pohađao Harvard Law i znatno prije početka svoje političke karijere.

No, izuzetno je dobro istražen, prilično dobro napisan i na kraju naslika uvjerljiv portret 44. predsjednika (kako se približava kraju svog trećeg desetljeća života). Držim palčeve da Maraniss napiše naknadni svezak s naglaskom na Obaminom političkom usponu i predsjedništvu. (Pokazao je interes za to, ali tek nakon objavljivanja Obamine knjige i kada njegova arhiva u biblioteci bude dostupna) — 4¼ zvjezdice (Cijeli pregled ovdje)


Obamin fotograf dijeli iskrene fotografije bivše prve obitelji na poslu i kod kuće u Bijeloj kući

"[Lawrence] i ja imali smo sličan odgoj kao i crnci u Americi, svakoga od nas odgojila je izvanredna samohrana majka", piše bivši predsjednik, "oboje znamo kako je to, ponekad, osjećati se kao da možda ne bismo pripadati. "

Lawrence Jackson nije prvi fotograf iz Bijele kuće Obame koji je objavio njegove fotografije, a u početku je oklijevao krenuti u projekt jer je Pete Souza, glavni fotograf Bijele kuće predsjednika Baracka Obame, već objavio jednu od svojih.

No, Jacksonova supruga, Alicia, pomogla mu je u to.

“ ‘Imaš svoje iskustvo, a ti si##2019 Afroamerikanac koji pokriva prvog afroameričkog predsjednika, sjeća se njezine izreke. “ �kle, imate jedinstven glas koji biste trebali reći i pokazati svijetu. ’ ”

Za Da, jesmo, knjiga koju je Jackson na kraju napisao, objavljenu u utorak, zaronio je u svoju zbirku iskrenih fotografija iz Obamine administracije.

Rezultat je intiman pogled na dva mandata predsjednika Obame, kakav je bio osjećaj biti crnac koji fotografira prvog crnog predsjednika Sjedinjenih Država i načine na koje su bivši predsjednik i prva dama zadržali svoju autentičnost uključivanje i isključivanje kamere.

Jackson je pratio velik dio putovanja Obame ’.

𠇋ilo je vremena, na primjer, kad je [predsjednik Obama] dao primjedbu o Trayvonu Martinu ili je govorio o pucnjavi u crkvi u Južnoj Karolini, kad god je govorio o rasnim odnosima, poput svog 50. godišnjice govora u Selmi, ti su mi trenuci uvijek bili osobni , ” Jackson govori LJUDIMA. “Ne izgleda kao da sam slikao drugačije. Ali oni su za mene osobno imali veći odjek jer, budući da sam Afroamerikanka, ja sam dio toga. ”

“U knjizi govorim o tome kako je bilo trenutaka u kojima su mi se misli nekako vrzmale po glavi, ” Jackson kaže. “Onda bi održao govor i bilo bi to ono što sam mislio. Uvijek sam ga cijenio zbog toga. ”

Titlovi “PFotografije i priče iza kulisa koje slave našu prvu afroameričku predsjednicu, ” Da, jesmo uključuje insajderske fotografije i pozadine, kao i sjećanja iz prvog lica viših službenika administracije, poput Valerie Jarrett i poznatih osoba, uključujući Bona i Stephena Curryja.

“To nekako pada u skladu s naslovom, Da, jesmo,” Jackson objašnjava ono što se nada da će čitatelji naučiti. “I mislim da ako se ljudi mogu sjetiti Obamine administracije kao zajednički napor ili pokret koji oni vode, onda mislim da je to##jako dobro trajno sjećanje. ”

“ [Obame] uvijek su nekako govorili o tome da je sljedeća generacija vođa, ” nastavlja. “U svim svojim programima uvijek se radi o djeci, o pravilnoj prehrani, zdravoj prehrani, o razvoju mladića, obojenih ljudi za svijet. ”

U predgovoru knjige predsjednik Obama objašnjava da se povezao s Jacksonom zbog njihovog sličnog iskustva.

“Lawrence ima talent za hvatanje velike scene, kultnih slika koje će objasniti naše vrijeme budućim generacijama, "#piše predsjednik. 𠇊li on također ima jedinstven dar za hvatanje onih mirnijih trenutaka — margine velikog događaja, stanke u napornom danu, neka ukradena vremena s Michelle i našim djevojkama. ”


Pete Souza: fotografiranje pravog Baracka Obame

Bila sam to priča o dvije Amerike. U Las Vegasu kockarnice su brujale uz paklenu plimu koja se spremala pomahnitalog Donalda Trumpa postići do njegove najveće pobjede do sada. U Washingtonu DC, civilizacija je još postojala. U tjedan dana Trumpova ksenofobična kandidatura za republikanskog predsjedničkog kandidata počela je izgledati nezaustavljivo, čovjek čiju je američnost doveo u pitanje upoznavanje 106-godišnje Virginije McLaurin. Na službenoj fotografiji njihova zajedničkog okupljanja Pete Souza iz Bijele kuće, predsjednik Barack Obama razbija ukusan osmijeh dok prva dama pleše s McLaurinom, koji je pozvan u posjet Bijeloj kući u znak priznanja za društveni rad koji je desetljećima obavljala u glavnom gradu SAD-a . Susret je bio i proslava mjeseca crne povijesti - a Souzina slika uspijeva biti i intimna i povijesna. Evo trojice Afroamerikanaca u Bijeloj kući. Soba u kojoj se nalaze-Plava soba-bogato je ukrašena zlatnim zvijezdama, namještajem u stilu Empire i portretom nekog velikog nacionalnog oca koji u bijeloj ruci drži bijeli rupčić.

Veljače 2016.-Gledati prvu damu kako pleše sa 106-godišnjom Virginiom McLaurin u Plavoj sobi Bijele kuće

Ovo je samo jedna u nizu živopisnih ljudskih i često smiješnih fotografija - objavljenih ne samo putem ureda za tisak Bijele kuće, već na Flickru i Instagramu - na kojima je Souza dokumentirao trenutke Obamine administracije koji se nikada neće zaboraviti. Ove su fotografije dragocjeni povijesni dokumenti. Kritičari s lijeva i s desna krive dvopredsjedničko predsjedništvo ovog očito inteligentnog i pristojnog čovjeka za sve, od neuspjeha zatvaranja zaljeva Guantánamo (još uvijek pokušava) do kontinuirane ekonomske nevolje koja je potaknula ono što se pretvara u najekstremnijeg predsjednika izbori od 1860. Ipak, Souzine fotografije govore drugačiju priču - i onu koja je važna. Obama je postigao nemoguće i učinio Bijelu kuću afroameričkim domom na osam godina.

Studenoga 2009. - Obama se šali s osobljem prije Samita Amerika u Singapuru

Ako slika McLaurina - koji je rođen 1909., u doba kada je građanski rat bio još uvijek živo sjećanje za mnoge Amerikance - posjet prvom crnom američkom predsjedniku ne prenosi meku moć Obaminog doba, uzmite u obzir neke druge Souzine slike. 2012. godine fotografirao je Obamu kako se klanja kako bi petogodišnjem Jacobu Philadelphiji osjetio glavu. Dječak je Obami rekao: "Želim znati je li moja kosa baš poput tvoje." Predsjednik je odgovorio: "Dodirni to, stari!"

Svibanj 2009. - Jacob Philadelphia upitao je Obamu je li mu kosa poput njegove, pa se najmoćniji čovjek na svijetu poklonio djetetu

Jacob Philadelphia samo je jedan u dugom nizu afroameričke djece koja su upoznala Obamu u Bijeloj kući, u susretima koje je dirljivo, spontano, komično zabilježila Souzina kamera.

Na pokretnoj crno-bijeloj slici Souza je prikazao trogodišnjeg Clarka Reynoldsa kako sa strahopoštovanjem gleda dok ga Obama dodiruje po obrazu. Fotografija je snimljena s djetetove visine i sjajno bilježi predsjednika iz dječjih očiju. Vidimo samo Obaminu ruku kako miluje Clarkovo lice. Za razliku od onih na svim slikama i fotografijama svih prethodnih predsjednika, to nije bijela ruka. Kako netko može reći da to ništa ne znači? Mladi Clark Reynolds očito misli da to nešto znači, pa tako i Souza, čija je fotografija možda postala liričnija, dirljivija tijekom Obamine posljednje godine na vlasti.

Veljače 2016.-Obama dodiruje lice trogodišnjeg Clarka Reynoldsa, na jednoj od Souzinih najdirljivijih fotografija

Nije svaki divno topao i ljudski trenutak zabilježen na Souzinim slikama iz Bijele kuće, naravno, poglavlje u povijesti. Dosta vremena jednostavno uhvati Obamin osjećaj zabave i brzu društvenu milost. Postoji sjajna slika predsjednika koji se pretvara da je uhvaćen u nevidljivu mrežu, a bacio ga je dječak u kostimu Spider-Mana. U drugom ljupkom trenutku, predsjednik pokazuje kako se njegov najbolji tata kreće iza pozornice prije plesnog recitala svoje kćeri. Portret koji reflektira bilježi napetosti i tajne moći, dok se Obama ogleda u zrcalu Bijele kuće, prstom do usana, duboko u zavjereničkom razgovoru.

Travanj 2011. - Souza zarobljava Obamu u središtu događaja, možda osjećajući teret svog posla

Što je Souzu učinilo tako idealnim svakodnevnim kroničarom Obaminog predsjedništva? Odgovor je iznenađujući. Prije nego što je snimio život u Bijeloj kući prvog crnog predsjednika Amerike, Souza je učinio isti posao za prvog holivudskog glumca koji je vladao iz Ovalnog ureda. Od 1983. do 1989. bio je službeni fotograf Ronalda Reagana. Možda njegova najpoznatija slika tog doba prikazuje Ronalda i Nancy Reagan kako se susreću s Michaelom Jacksonom, koji nosi raskošnu jaknu u vojničkom stilu. Reagan izgleda razumljivo zbunjeno - je li ovo kralj popa ili zapovjednik obrambenog programa Ratova zvijezda?

Studenog 2005. - Mladi Obama uspinje se stepenicama Kapitola

Možda postoji više povezivanja Reagana i Obame nego što se na prvi pogled čini - i Souza može vidjeti sve. Oboje su odlični komunikatori. Niti dopustite da ih pompe ureda pretvore u punjenu košulju. Reagan je, poput Obame, imao ljudski dodir, sposobnost da se poveže s ljudima. Jednostavno biti čovjek rijedak je dar među modernim političarima. Čini se da je opušteniji u uredu još rjeđi. Reagan je bio slavno toliko opušten da se mogao šaliti o nuklearnom ratu. Možda je prestravio mirovne aktiviste, ali američka javnost dobila je povjerenje zbog lakoće koju je projicirao.

Siječanj 2009. - Humor, ljubav i prijateljstvo - Obame dijele šalu u liftu u noći otvaranja

Obama, također, predviđa apsolutnu lakoću u predsjedanju. To nije ljubav prema moći. Souzine fotografije nikada ne pokazuju da izgleda arogantno, udaljeno ili opasno. Na ovim se slikama uvijek čini sretnim i skromnim u svom uredu: fotografija na kojoj šakom lupa čistačicu u zgradi vlade tiho oslikava njegov osjećaj veće realnosti nejednakosti koja će trajati i nakon njegova osmogodišnjeg predsjedništva.

Izvještaji o Souzinim fotografijama uvijek iznova ponavljaju da pokazuju koliko je ovaj predsjednik "cool", ali ta riječ ne znači ništa. Ove slike govore istinitu priču o predsjedništvu koje nije uspjelo. Nakon što sva mržnja, bijes, teorije rađanja, kritike ljevičara, kritike desničara, pa čak i liberalno bijelo strahopoštovanje prema "hladnom" crnom tipu nestane u brbljanju prošlosti, Souzine fotografije ispričat će priču o vođi koji je bio miran pod vatra, neupadljiva po uredu, neugasiva ljudska i koja je pokazala put svoj djeci koja su prošla kroz njegov ovalni ured, i milijunima drugih, da budu dobri ljudi, dobri Amerikanci i dobri građani svijeta. Hoće li nam nedostajati muškarac na ovim slikama? Naravno da da.

Iznad: Listopada 2009. - Predsjednik se igra s kongresmenima tijekom košarkaške utakmice u Bijeloj kući. Ispod: Ožujak 2009. - Trčanje niz istočnu kolonadu Bijele kuće s Boom, obiteljskim psom.

Iznad: Ožujak 2015. - Obame dijele intimni trenutak obilježavajući 50. godišnjicu marša za građanska prava od Selme do Montgomeryja. Ispod: Lipanj 2013. - Obama pokazuje kako se njegov najbolji tata kreće iza pozornice na jednom od Sašinih plesnih recitala.

Iznad: Listopada 2012.-Predsjednik pokazuje svoju zabavnu stranu, igrajući negativca s trogodišnjim Spider-Man-om. Ispod: Kolovoz 2013. - Obama i prva dama na 50. godišnjicu Marša na Washington za posao i slobodu.

Iznad: Lipanj 2013. - Obama grli svoju kćer Sasu tijekom posjeta bivšoj zatvorskoj ćeliji Nelsona Mandele u Južnoj Africi. Ispod: Srpanj 2012. - Za jedno malo dijete Ovalni ured postaje igralište, a predsjednica suigrač.

Iznad: Svibanj 2016. - Predsjednica zamišljeno čeka prije javnog govora.

Sve fotografije © Pete Souza/Bijela kuća

Ovaj je članak izmijenjen 2. lipnja 2016. Ranija verzija je rekla da je slika slike Baracka Obame i Boa, obiteljskog psa, snimljena u ožujku 2008.


Pogledajte fotografije nove Obamine kuće

Tu su se bivši predsjednik i prva dama smjestili s obitelji nakon što su napustili Bijelu kuću.

U svibnju 2017. godine Chicago Sun-Times izvijestili da su Obami odlučili kupiti kuću za 8,1 milijun dolara (navodno su držali i svoju kuću u Chicagu), a TMZ je izvijestio da su usred postavljanja uzemljenog bazena.

Pomaknite se prema dolje da biste pogledali unutrašnjost Kalorama ljubaznošću agenta za unos oglasa Marka McFaddena. Imajte na umu da su ove fotografije nastale prije prodaje kuće 2014. godine, pa vjerojatno izgleda sasvim drugačije sada kada su je Obame učinile svojom.


44 najslikovitijih slika predsjednika Baracka Obame

Evo najupečatljivijih i dirljivih slika 44. predsjednika Sjedinjenih Država.

BuzzFeed News Photo Essay Editor

Demokratski predsjednički kandidat, američki senator Barack Obama, njegova supruga Michelle i dvije kćeri Sasha i Malia igraju karte u svom kamionetu 4. srpnja 2007., tijekom ljuljačke kampanje između Oskaloose i Pelle, obje u Iowi.

Obama i Michelle udaraju se šakom prije skupa uoči izbora u energetskom centru Xcel 3. lipnja 2008. u St. Paul u Minnesoti.

Novoizabrani predsjednik Obama stoji na pozornici s Michelle, Malijom i Sashom tijekom okupljanja navečer izbora u Chicagu 4. studenog 2008. Obama je na izborima pobijedio republikanskog kandidata, senatora Johna McCaina, koji je postao prvi afrički ... Novoizabrani američki predsjednik.

Barack Obama priseže glavni sudac John Roberts kao 44. predsjednik Sjedinjenih Država na Zapadnoj fronti Kapitola zajedno s Michelle 20. siječnja 2009. u Washingtonu.

Predsjednik Obama saginje se kako bi dopustio sinu zaposlenika Bijele kuće da mu dodirne glavu tijekom obiteljskog posjeta Ovalnom uredu 8. svibnja 2009. Dječak je želio vidjeti osjeća li se predsjednikova frizura kao njegova.

Predsjednik Barack Obama udario je šakom čuvara Lawrencea Lipscomba u zgradi Izvršnog ureda Eisenhowera nakon uvodnog zasjedanja Foruma Bijele kuće o radnim mjestima i ekonomskom rastu, 3. prosinca 2009.

Obame dočekuju njegove kćeri na povratku u Washington nakon jednodnevnog putovanja u Ohio i Pennsylvaniju, gdje je 15. rujna 2009. sudjelovao na radnim i ekonomskim skupovima. Malia hoda iza držeći njihovog psa Boa.

Predsjednik Obama sastaje se s članovima svog kabineta u kabinetu Bijele kuće 29. siječnja 2010. Predsjednikova stolica označena je pločom s ugraviranim datumom njegove inauguracije.

Obama potpisuje zakon o reformi zdravstvene zaštite u istočnoj prostoriji Bijele kuće u Washingtonu 23. ožujka 2010., dok to gleda Marcellus Owens (11) iz Seattlea u Washingtonu.

Predsjednik Obama pokupi loptice katrana tijekom obilaska plaže u Port Fourchonu, Louisiana, 28. svibnja 2010. Izlijevanje nafte koje je posljedica katastrofe Deepwater Horizon sada se službeno rangira kao najgore u povijesti SAD -a.

Predsjednik Obama govori nakon televizijskog nacionalnog obraćanja iz Ovalnog ureda Bijele kuće 31. kolovoza 2010. u Washingtonu. U svojim je primjedbama Obama službeno proglasio kraj borbene misije u Iraku, rekavši da je nakon sedam godina rata koji je odnio više od 4.400 američkih života, vrijeme da se suočimo s ratom u Afganistanu i s hitnim problemima u zemlji.

Predsjednik Obama i potpredsjednik Joe Biden, zajedno s članovima tima za nacionalnu sigurnost, primit će ažuriranje o misiji ubijanja Osame bin Ladena u sobi za sastanke Bijele kuće 1. svibnja 2011. Na slici je i državna tajnica Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

President Obama and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron play table tennis at the Globe Academy on May 24, 2011, in London. Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are in the UK for a two-day State visit at the invitation of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden shake hands in the Oval Office on July 31, 2011, following a phone call with House Speaker John Boehner securing a bipartisan deal to reduce the nation's deficit and avoid default.

President Barack Obama hugs a woman in the crowd after addressing the Labor Day celebration in Detroit on Sept. 5, 2011.

President Obama jokes with Vice President Joe Biden backstage before the STOCK Act signing event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building South Court Auditorium on April 4, 2012.

President Obama sits on the famed Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum following an event April 18, 2012, in Dearborn, Michigan.

President Obama talks with Betty White in the Oval Office on June 11, 2012.

President Obama wipes water off his face during a rain shower at a campaign rally in Glen Allen, Virginia, on July 14, 2012.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Obama speak directly to each other during the second US presidential debate in Hempstead, New York, on Oct. 16, 2012.

President Obama jokingly mimics US Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney's "not impressed" expression while greeting members of the 2012 US Olympic gymnastics teams in the Oval Office Nov. 15, 2012, at the White House in Washington.

President Obama greets the children of US embassy staff during a reception at the Chulalongkorn University Sports Center in Bangkok, Thailand, on Nov. 18, 2012.

President Obama and daughters share a moment as he pardons the 2012 National Thanksgiving Turkey Cobbler during a Rose Garden event on Nov. 21, 2012, at the White House in Washington. Cobbler and its companion Gobbler will spend the rest of their lives at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens in Virginia.

President Barack Obama prays with, from left, Richard Santana, Velma Massenburg, Jimmie Massenburg, and Tiffany Santana, during a visit to the Santana's home in Falls Church, Virginia, on Dec. 6, 2012.

President Obama is sworn in during the public ceremony as first lady Michelle Obama looks on during the presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21, 2013, in Washington. Barack Obama was re-elected for a second term as president of the United States.

President Obama and first lady Michelle dance together during the Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural Ball at the Walter Washington Convention Center in Washington on Jan. 21, 2013. Obama was sworn in for his second term of office earlier in the day.

President Barack Obama hugs Amy Simpson, principal of Plaza Towers Elementary School, outside what remains of the school following a tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, on May 26, 2013.

President Obama, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha attend Easter service at the 19th Street Baptist Church in Washington on April 20, 2014.

The Obamas join hands with Rep. John Lewis as they lead the walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 2015. Malia and Sasha Obama join hands with their grandmother, Marian Robinson.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with President Obama outside the Elmau castle in Krün near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, on June 8, 2015.

White House staff photographer Pete Souza writes, "the President carries the twin boys of Katie Beirne Fallon, Director of Legislative Affairs, into the Oval Office just a few months after they were born." June 17, 2015.

Obama brings tears to everyone’s eyes when singing “Amazing Grace” during his eulogy for South Carolina State Senator Rev. Clementa Pinckney during Pinckney’s funeral service on June 26. Rev. Pinckney was killed, along with eight others, on June 17 during a prayer meeting in one of the nation’s oldest black churches in Charleston.

President Obama reacts as Girl Scouts rush to him for a group hug as he and first lady Michelle Obama (not pictured) welcome them for a camp-out on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on June 30, 2015. A group of 50 fourth-grade Girl Scouts planned to spend the night in camping tents on the lawn in celebration of the scouting movement and the National Park Service centennial.


The not-so-simple story of Barack Obama's youth

The life stories, when the presidential candidate tells them, have a common theme: the quest to belong.

A boy wants to find his place in a family where he is visibly different: chubby where others are thin, dark where others are light.

A youth living in a distant land searches and finds new friends, a new language and a heartbreaking lesson about his identity in the pages of an American magazine.

A young black man struggles for acceptance at an institution of privilege, where he finds himself growing so angry and disillusioned at the world around him that he turns to alcohol and drugs.

These have been the stories told about the first two character-shaping decades of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's life, a story line largely shaped by his own best-selling memoir, political speeches and interviews.

But the reality of Obama's narrative is not that simple.

More than 40 interviews with former classmates, teachers, friends and neighbors in his childhood homes of Hawaii and Indonesia, as well as a review of public records, show the arc of Obama's personal journey took him to places and situations far removed from the experience of most Americans.

At the same time, several of his oft-recited stories may not have happened in the way he has recounted them. Some seem to make Obama look better in the retelling, others appear to exaggerate his outward struggles over issues of race, or simply skim over some of the most painful, private moments of his life.

The handful of black students who attended Punahou School in Hawaii, for instance, say they struggled mightily with issues of race and racism there. But absent from those discussions, they say, was another student then known as Barry Obama.

In his best-selling autobiography, "Dreams from My Father," Obama describes having heated conversations about racism with another black student, "Ray." The real Ray, Keith Kakugawa, is half black and half Japanese. In an interview with the Tribune on Saturday, Kakugawa said he always considered himself mixed race, like so many of his friends in Hawaii, and was not an angry young black man.

He said he does recall long, soulful talks with the young Obama and that his friend confided his longing and loneliness. But those talks, Kakugawa said, were not about race. "Not even close," he said, adding that Obama was dealing with "some inner turmoil" in those days.

"But it wasn't a race thing," he said. "Barry's biggest struggles then were missing his parents. His biggest struggles were his feelings of abandonment. The idea that his biggest struggle was race is [bull]."

Then there's the copy of Life magazine that Obama presents as his racial awakening at age 9. In it, he wrote, was an article and two accompanying photographs of an African-American man physically and mentally scarred by his efforts to lighten his skin. In fact, the Life article and the photographs don't exist, say the magazine's own historians.

Some of these discrepancies are typical of childhood memories -- fuzzy in specifics, warped by age, shaped by writerly license. Others almost certainly illustrate how carefully the young man guarded the secret of his loneliness from even those who knew him best. And the accounts bear out much of Obama's self-portrait as someone deeply affected by his father's abandonment yet able to thrive in greatly disparate worlds.

Still, the story of his early years highlights how politics and autobiography are similar creatures: Each is shaped to serve a purpose.

In its reissue after he gave the keynote address at the Democratic convention in 2004, "Dreams from My Father" joined a long tradition of political memoirs that candidates have used to introduce themselves to the American people.

From his earliest moments on the national political stage, Obama has presented himself as having two unique qualifications: a fresh political face and an ability to bridge the gap between Americans of different races, faiths and circumstances. Among his supporters, his likability and credibility have only been boosted by his stories of being an outsider trying to fight his way in.

As much as he may have felt like an outsider at times, Obama rarely seemed to show it. Throughout his youth, as depicted in his first book, he always found ways to meld into even the most uninviting of communities. He learned to adapt to unfamiliar territory. And he frequently made peace--even allies--with the very people who angered him most.

Yet even Obama has acknowledged the limits of memoir. In a new introduction to the reissued edition of "Dreams," he noted that the dangers of writing an autobiography included "the temptation to color events in ways favorable to the writer . [and] selective lapses of memory."

He added: "I can't say that I've avoided all, or any, of these hazards successfully."

Life without a father

It was a complicated time.

Hawaii had become a state only two years before Obama's birth, and there were plenty of native Hawaiians still deeply unhappy about it. The U.S. military was expanding on the island of Oahu, home to the new capital of Honolulu. And a young, iconoclastic white woman who had defied the social mores of the day by marrying a dashing black man from Kenya was coping with the fact that her new husband essentially had abandoned her and their young child in 1963 to study at Harvard.

Oblivious to all of this was a perpetually smiling toddler the entire family called Barry. In snapshots, the boy is a portrait of childhood bliss. He played on the beach. He posed in lifeguard stands. He rode a bright blue tricycle with red, white and blue streamers dangling from the handlebars.

In the six weeks since Obama announced his intention to run for the White House, he routinely has suggested that his diverse background--raised for a time in the Third World, schooled at elite institutions and active in urban politics--makes him the best-suited candidate to speak to rich and poor, black and white, mainstream voters and those utterly disenchanted with the political system.

Not as well known is the fact that the many people who raised him were nearly as diverse as the places where he grew up. There was his mother, Ann, a brilliant but impulsive woman his grandmother Madelyn, a deeply private and stoically pragmatic Midwesterner his grandfather Stanley, a loving soul inclined toward tall tales and unrealistic dreams.

"Looking back now, I'd say he really is kind of the perfect combination of all of them," said his half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng. "All of them were imperfect but all of them loved him fiercely, and I believe he took the best qualities from each of them."

During her son's earliest years, Obama's mother, whose full name was Stanley Ann Dunham because her father desperately had wished for a boy, attended college at the University of Hawaii. Known as Ann throughout her adult life, she kept to herself. She became estranged from her husband, Barack Obama Sr., after his departure for Harvard and rarely saw the group of friends that they had made at the University of Hawaii.

One of those friends, Neil Abercrombie, then a graduate student in the sociology department, frequently would see young Obama around town with his grandfather Stanley, whom Obama called "Gramps."

"Stanley loved that little boy," said Abercrombie, now a Democratic congressman from Hawaii. "In the absence of his father, there was not a kinder, more understanding man than Stanley Dunham. He was loving and generous."

A close friend of Obama's from their teenage years, Greg Orme, spent so much time with Dunham that he, too, called him "Gramps." Orme recalled that years later, at Obama's wedding reception in Chicago, Obama brought the crowd to tears when he spoke of his recently deceased maternal grandfather and how he made a little boy with an absent father feel as though he was never alone.

Madelyn Dunham, a rising executive at the Bank of Hawaii during Obama's Punahou days, was more reserved but seemed to love having her grandson's friends over to play and hang out.

"Those were robust years full of energy and cacophony, and she loved all of it," Soetoro-Ng said of her grandmother, who has lived alone since her husband died in 1992.

Ann and the boy lived with the Dunhams in Honolulu until Obama was 6. Then his young mother, now divorced, met and married an Indonesian student studying at the University of Hawaii.

In one family photo before the mother and son moved to Indonesia, Obama walks barefoot on Waikiki Beach, arms outstretched as though embracing the entire beautiful life around him. The sailboat the Manu Kai (bird of the sea, in English) is about to set sail behind him.

Obama, too, was about to journey far from these familiar shores.

Memories of a racial awakening?

Obama has told the story--one of the watershed moments of his racial awareness--time and again, in remarkable detail.

He is 9 years old, living in Indonesia, where he and his mother moved with her new husband, Lolo Soetoro, a few years earlier. One day while visiting his mother, who was working at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Obama passed time by looking through several issues of Life magazine. He came across an article that he later would describe as feeling like an "ambush attack."

The article included photos of a black man who had destroyed his skin with powerful chemical lighteners that promised to make him white. Instead, the chemicals had peeled off much of his skin, leaving him sad and scarred, Obama recalled.

"I imagine other black children, then and now, undergoing similar moments of revelation," Obama wrote of the magazine photos in "Dreams."

Yet no such Life issue exists, according to historians at the magazine. No such photos, no such article. When asked about the discrepancy, Obama said in a recent interview, "It might have been an Ebony or it might have been . who knows what it was?" (At the request of the Tribune, archivists at Ebony searched their catalogue of past articles, none of which matched what Obama recalled.)

In fact, it is surprising, based on interviews with more than two dozen people who knew Obama during his nearly four years in Indonesia, that it would take a photograph in a magazine to make him conscious of the fact that some people might treat him differently in part because of the color of his skin.

Obama, who has talked and written so much about struggling to find a sense of belonging due to his mixed race, brushes over this time of his life in "Dreams." He describes making friends easily, becoming fluent in Indonesian in just six months and melding quite easily into the very foreign fabric of Jakarta.

The reality was less tidy.

Obama and his mother joined her new husband, a kind man who later would become a detached heavy drinker and womanizer, family members in Indonesia say. Their Jakarta neighborhood resembled a village more than the bustling metropolis the city is today. Electricity had arrived only a couple of years earlier. Half the homes were old bamboo huts half, including the Soetoro house, were nicer, with brick or concrete and red-tiled roofs.

Former playmates remember Obama as "Barry Soetoro," or simply "Barry," a chubby little boy very different from the gangly Obama people know today. All say he was teased more than any other kid in the neighborhood--primarily because he was bigger and had black features.

He was the only foreign child in the neighborhood. He also was one of the only neighborhood children whose parents enrolled him in a new Catholic school in an area populated almost entirely by Betawis, the old tribal landowning Jakarta natives who were very traditional Muslims. Some of the Betawi children threw rocks at the open Catholic classrooms, remembered Cecilia Sugini Hananto, who taught Obama in 2nd grade.

Teachers, former playmates and friends recall a boy who never fully grasped their language and who was very quiet as a result. But one word Obama learned quickly in his new home was curang, which means "cheater."

When kids teased him, Obama yelled back, "Curang, curang!" When a friend gave him shrimp paste instead of chocolate, he yelled, "Curang, curang!"

Zulfan Adi was one of the neighborhood kids who teased Obama most mercilessly. He remembers one day when young Obama, a hopelessly upbeat boy who seemed oblivious to the fact that the older kids didn't want him tagging along, followed a group of Adi's friends to a nearby swamp.

"They held his hands and feet and said, `One, two, three,' and threw him in the swamp," recalled Adi, who still lives in the same house where he grew up. "Luckily he could swim. They only did it to Barry."

The other kids would scrap with him sometimes, but because Obama was bigger and better-fed than many of them, he was hard to defeat.

"He was built like a bull. So we'd get three kids together to fight him," recalled Yunaldi Askiar, 45, a former neighborhood friend. "But it was only playing."

Obama has claimed on numerous occasions to have become fluent in Indonesian in six months. Yet those who knew him disputed that during recent interviews.

Israella Pareira Darmawan, Obama's 1st-grade teacher, said she attempted to help him learn the Indonesian language by going over pronunciation and vowel sounds. He struggled greatly with the foreign language, she said, and with his studies as a result.

The teacher, who still lives in Obama's old neighborhood, remembers that he always sat in the back corner of her classroom. "His friends called him `Negro,'

" Darmawan said. The term wasn't considered a slur at the time in Indonesia.

Still, all of his teachers at the Catholic school recognized leadership qualities in him. "He would be very helpful with friends. He'd pick them up if they fell down,'' Darmawan recalled. "He would protect the smaller ones."

Third-grade teacher Fermina Katarina Sinaga, now 67, has perhaps the most telling story. In an essay about what he wanted to be when he grew up, Obama "wrote he wanted to be president," Sinaga recalled. "He didn't say what country he wanted to be president of. But he wanted to make everybody happy."

When Obama was in 4th grade, the Soetoro family moved. Their new neighborhood was only 3 miles to the west, but a world away. Elite Dutch colonists once lived there the Japanese moved in during their occupation of Indonesia in World War II. In the early 1970s, diplomats and Indonesian businessmen lived there in fancy gated houses with wide paved roads and sculpted bushes.

Obama never became terribly close with the children of the new school--this time a predominantly Muslim one--where he was enrolled. As he had at the old school, Obama sat in a back corner. He sketched decidedly American cartoon characters during class.

"He liked drawing Spider-Man and Batman," said another friend, Widiyanto Hendro Cahyono, 46. "Barry liked to draw heroes."

Then, one day about a year after he had arrived, Obama was gone.

"Suddenly we asked, `Where's Barry?' remembered Ati Kisjanto, 45. "And we were told he had already moved away."

Not one of `the brothers'

As much as young Obama stood out physically in the classrooms of Indonesia, so, too, did he at Punahou School, the elite private prep academy his mother moved him back to Hawaii to attend.

Obama, his mother and new baby sister, Maya, moved into a small apartment near the school's sprawling, lush campus. And from the first day of 5th grade right up until his graduation in 1979, the young man was one of only a small number of black students at a school heavily populated by the children of Hawaii's wealthy, most of them white and Asian.

Then and now, Punahou and Hawaii liked to see themselves as more diverse and colorblind than the rest of the nation. But the reality felt far different for the handful of African-Americans attending classes there.

Rik Smith, a black Punahou student two years older than Obama, remembers a Halloween when white students would dress as slaves, coming to school in tattered clothes with their faces painted black with shoe polish. "Like being black was a funny costume in and of itself," recalled Smith, now a doctor who specializes in geriatrics in California.

"Punahou was an amazing school," Smith said. "But it could be a lonely place. . Those of us who were black did feel isolated--there's no question about that."

As a result, the handful of black students at Punahou informally banded together. "The brothers," as Lewis Anthony Jr., an African-American in the class of 1977 put it, hung out together, often talking about issues involving race and civil rights. They sought out parties, especially at the military bases on the island, where African-Americans would be in attendance.

Obama, however, was not a part of that group, according to Anthony and Smith. Both of them seemed surprised to hear that in "Dreams"--which neither of them had read--Obama writes about routinely going to parties at Schofield Barracks and other military bases in order to hang out with "Ray," who like Anthony and Smith was two years ahead of him in school.

"We'd all do things together, but Obama was never there," Smith said, adding that they often brought along the few other black underclassmen. "I went to those parties up at Schofield but never saw him at any of them."

Obama devotes many words in his book to exploring his outsider status at Punahou. But any struggles he was experiencing were obscured by the fact that he had a racially diverse group of friends--many of whom often would crowd into his grandparents' apartment, near Punahou, after school let out.

One of those kids was Orme, a smart, respectful teenager from a white, middle-class family. Though Orme spent most afternoons with Obama and considered him one of his closest friends, he said Obama never brought up issues of race, never talked about feeling out of place at Punahou.

"He never verbalized any of that," Orme said during a telephone interview from his home in Oregon. "He was a very provocative thinker. He would bring up worldly topics far beyond his years. But we never talked race."

Whatever misgivings Obama had about Punahou, attending the school was largely his decision.

When his mother, a woman said to have been born with a keen sense of wanderlust, announced she was returning to Indonesia, Obama, then a teenager, asked to stay in Hawaii, according to Soetoro-Ng, 36, who still lives in Honolulu. Once again, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham, who had been as much parents as grandparents throughout the young man's life, said he could live with them.

"I don't imagine the decision to let him stay behind was an easy one for anyone," Soetoro-Ng said. "But he wanted to remain at Punahou. He had friends there, he was comfortable there, and to a kid his age, that's all that mattered."

One place Obama has said he found a sense of community was on the basketball court. A member of the varsity squad, though not a starter, Obama and his teammates brought Punahou the state championship in 1979, his senior year.

Adept at nailing long jump shots, Obama was called "Barry O'Bomber" by teammates. Alan Lum, who later would coach the basketball team at Punahou as well as teach elementary school there, recalled Obama as always being the first to confront coaches when he felt they were not fairly allotting playing time.

Obama wasn't shy about advocating for himself and his fellow backup players, Lum said. "He'd go right up to the coach during a game and say, `Coach, we're killing this team. Our second string should be playing more.'"

But it was on the court in the off-season that Obama seemed to be even happier. Back then, Punahou was a completely open campus, with several basketball courts where 20-something men from Honolulu would come in the late afternoon for what often turned into flashy, highly competitive pickup sessions. Many of the men were black.

Orme would stay for the games.

"At the time, it was about basketball," said Orme, who has remained friends with Obama over the years and who plays basketball with him almost every Christmas when the two return to Hawaii to visit family. "But looking back now I can see he was seeking more from those guys than that. He was probably studying them and learning from them. He was a younger black man looking for guidance."

Old friend disputes memoir

Every senior graduating from Punahou gets to design a quarter-page in the yearbook. They compose notes to friends and family and include photos or quotes that best represent them.

On page 271 of the 1979 Oahuan, Obama's entry reflects the crossroads he found himself at as he prepared for life beyond Hawaii. He thanked "Tut and Gramps," his nicknames for Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, but didn't mention his faraway mother.

He also thanked the "Choom Gang," a reference to "chooming," Hawaiian slang for smoking marijuana. Obama admits in "Dreams" that during high school he frequently smoked marijuana, drank alcohol, even used cocaine occasionally.

"Junkie. Pothead. That's where I'd been headed: the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man," Obama wrote in "Dreams."

In the book, Obama discusses race and racism at his high school with one other Punahou student, "Ray,'' the young black man described in detail in "Dreams" as perpetually angry at the white world around him. "It's their world, all right," Ray supposedly shouts at Obama. "They own it and we in it. So just get the f--- outta my face."

But Kakugawa, in the interview Saturday, said Obama's recollection of that conversation was mistaken. "I did say we were playing in their world," he explained, "but that had nothing to do with race. He knew that."

Kakugawa explained that he had meant they were playing in the world of the elite people who populated and ran Punahou--famous Hawaiian families like the Doles, owners of the pineapple fortune, or the original developers of Waikiki, the tourist mecca. "It just wasn't a race thing," he reiterated again and again.

Obama confirmed in an interview earlier this month that the Ray character in "Dreams" actually is Kakugawa.

In another passage from the book, Ray complains that white Punahou girls don't want to date black guys and that he and Obama don't get enough playing time as athletes, speculating that they'd be "treated different if we was white. Or Japanese. Or Hawaiian. Or f------ Eskimo."

But Kakugawa, a convicted drug felon, said Saturday that he had never been the "prototypical angry black guy" that Obama portrays. Because of his biracial heritage, he said, he was "like everyone in Hawaii, a mix of a lot of things."

A close friend and track teammate of Kakugawa, John Hagar, also said he was surprised by Obama's description of the character representing Kakugawa as an angry young black man. "I never picked up on that," Hagar said. "He was just one of those perfect [ethnic] mixes of everything you see in Hawaii."

Asked Saturday about Kakugawa's recollections, the Obama campaign declined to make the senator available. But spokesman Bill Burton said Obama "stands by his recollections of these events as related in his book."

"There's no doubt that Keith's story is tragic and sad," Burton added.

While Obama rocketed to political prominence, his friend headed down the troubled road Obama had feared he was following. Since 1995, Kakugawa has spent more than 7 years in California prisons and months in Los Angeles County Jail on cocaine and auto theft charges.

Another story put forth in "Dreams" as one of Obama's pivotal moments of racial awakening checks out essentially as he wrote it. Obama recounts taking two white friends, including Orme, to a party attended almost entirely by African-Americans.

According to the book, the characters representing Orme and the other friend asked to leave the party after just an hour, saying they felt out of place. The night, Obama later wrote, made him furious as he realized that whites held a "fundamental power" over blacks.

"One of us said that being the different guys in the room had awakened a little bit of empathy to what he must feel all the time at school. And he clearly didn't appreciate that," Orme said. "I never knew, until reading the book later, how much that night had upset him."

As Obama's senior year drew to a close, his mother sent him letters from afar, about life in Indonesia and her work there with non-profit groups doing economic development. She also sent advice about his future. College would be his next stop. She mixed encouragement to keep up his grades with laments about American politics.

"It is a shame we have to worry so much about [grade point], but you know what the college entrance competition is these days," she wrote. "Did you know that in Thomas Jefferson's day, and right up through the 1930s, anybody who had the price of tuition could go to Harvard? . I don't see that we are producing many Thomas Jeffersons nowadays. Instead we are producing Richard Nixons."

In the spring of 1979, Obama's mother and Maya, Barack's younger half sister by almost nine years, flew to Hawaii for his high school graduation. If young Obama had struggled to find a place at Punahou, it was well hidden on this day as well. He laughed and posed for photos with friends.

With a trimmed Afro, Hawaiian flower leis around his neck, Obama was surrounded by the disparate people who shaped him. In one photo he hugs his beaming sister.

In a striking snapshot with his grandparents, Stanley smiles proudly while Madelyn hugs him fiercely, as though she doesn't want to let him go forth into a world far from the remote island that for so long had been his home.

Kirsten Scharnberg reported from Honolulu and Kim Barker from Jakarta, Indonesia Tribune staff reporter Ray Gibson contributed to this report.


Gledaj video: Why some people find exercise harder than others. Emily Balcetis (Siječanj 2022).