Obama’s father…

June 22, 2011

Obama says still wonders about his absent father

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Barack Obama, whose Kenyan father left his family when the future U.S. president was 2 years old, said Saturday he still thinks about how things would have worked out had his dad been there.

“I felt his absence. And I wonder what my life would have been like had he been a greater presence,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address a day before Father’s Day in the United States.

The statement that his “Kenyan father left his family when the future U.S. president was 2 years old,” is factually incorrect.

In fact the father left Hawaii when Obama was still not a year old, while the infant Obama and his mother were still in Seattle, Washington.

A correction should be issued.


Several readers made similar comments about our reference in this story, although it isn’t clear why they are so concerned about how long Obama’s father stuck around.

The source for that sentence was Obama himself, who said in his address:  “I grew up without my father around. He left when I was two years old, and even though my sister and I were lucky enough to have a wonderful mother and caring grandparents to raise us, I felt his absence.”

I think the word “left” means different things to different people. It seems very possible that “left” in this instance means when Obama learned his father wasn’t coming back to the family, and not simply when he went east to study: GBU Editor

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to military fathers and their children before watching the latest Disney/Pixar movie, “Cars 2,” in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, June 15, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing

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