City Desk

“I Know Obama” Anecdote #4

The following item is part of a series in which we corner people at the 2009 Hawaii State Society Inaugural Ball and ask them, "So, what's your connection with the president?"

The millions who washed up on the National Mall today to cheer on a new and dynamic and inspiring leader might be a bit disappointed to hear the assessment of one of this leader's classmates at Punahou High School.

"He was a pretty regular guy in a regular class. He wasn't the most popular or most charismatic," says Hal Yee. "He was one of the guys' guys and now he's the president of the United States."

And lest the general public get the impression that Obama was some kind of excellent basketball player, Yee was there to set the record straight, pointing out that the First Dribbler made the varsity squad only as a 12th grader. So what's all the fuss about then?

Reporting by Ruth Samuelson, writing by Erik Wemple

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  • TomHandy

    Err, why would people be disappointed by that? Knowing that he is in many ways just a regular guy, yet still has risen to this level, is actually pretty inspiring in and of itself. And by regular guy I mean a real regular guy, not a faux regular guy who tries to adopt that as an image to appear as a "man of the people" that people would like to have a beer with.

  • Hal

    To clarify, the quotes were taken a bit out of context. The statement of Barack being a regular guy in school was meant as a a complement and an advantage, rather than a disappointment. In addition, the school had two varsity teams, one of which he played on as a junior, the other as a senior. Although he was not an all-star, he was a solid player who made the team, when many others did not.

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