Barack’s half-sister speaks

Larry Tribe is touting Barack Obama’s “brilliance”. And here come the sweet pictures of the girls. And now this is interesting: a testimonial from Obama’s half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, whose father is Indonesian, and who is married to a Chinese-Canadian and lives in Hawaii where she teaches US history. Unlike some of the Obama relatives in the news lately, he and Maya grew up together for a time.

She calls Barack “a hard act to follow.” She says they were raised to believe:

— through hard work we could accomplish the extraordinary

— through education, we could propel ourselves….

— their mother was an “eternal optimist” who “encouraged us to explore and ask questions”

— “she brought us to telescopes and microscopes .. and to have faith in things we could not see…”


It was a short speech with uplifting themes but I can’t help but think that they could have done more with it. His sister could have given more specific stories and anecdotes to help fill in the blanks about the young Barack. To the extent that this convention is supposed to be about introducing Obama and taking back the control of the narrative about his life from his opponents, I think this speech was a missed opportunity to make a headline or two.

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