Obama in 5th Grade: I am an Indonesian Prince and one day I will be King!
No, I’m not going birther. But to presumably be spinning yourself up that way as late as fifth grade suggests some serious insecurity. It seems he did encounter some racism there, so that may have played a part in it, as well.
Still, all in all, it doesn’t paint an image of someone who was genuinely exceptional. It portrays him as smart enough, sure – but not as a genuine stand-out, even to friends. Hmm.
“When I first met Barry, when he showed up I think it was the summer before fifth grade, he was hanging out at the tennis courts. And at the time that was the very Wimbledon-like, where everyone had to wear white clothes and white tennis shoes. Very careful about the soles of the shoes because you didn’t want to scuff up the courts, mark them up.
So yeah, I can picture him as this slightly — “chubby” is too strong, but rounded, short little guy, Barry Obama. And he told us that his father was an Indonesian king and that he was a prince, and after he finished school he was going to go back, and he would be a ruler in Indonesia. And I absolutely believed him.
I understand that he told his fifth-grade class that he was Kenyan royalty, but I never heard that story until years later. My sister and I remember very clearly that he was an Indonesian prince and that he would be going back there. So there was some reference to where he had come from, and the understanding was his family was there.
I can only imagine now, a 10-year-old leaving his mother and stepfather and at that point I think baby stepsister. So he lived in Hawaii from when he was born until he was 6, lived in Indonesia from 6 to 10. Arriving in Hawaii — again, having not been there — I would think he would have felt very, very fish-out-of-water, very uncomfortable, and like anybody, he’d have to have a little bit of bravado to mask the insecurities. So I think that was the prince story.
Did he have the bravado? Did he have this confidence? Did you see something, do you remember, way back when you first met him that this guy seemed to have something that other people didn’t have?
You know, a lot of people say, “Wow, yes, I saw that he was going to be president.” … To me he was a normal kid. But to be fair, probably no kid at Punahou is really a normal kid. So he didn’t seem outstanding academically or athletically or any other way. To me he seemed normal. But I was surrounded by very bright, very articulate, athletic, academically inclined kids. So, I mean, you didn’t get to go to Punahou if you weren’t smart and didn’t have a lot of capabilities. Via The FRONTLINE Interview: Kristen Caldwell | PBS.
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