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As Father’s Day approaches, one can imagine what the day will mean in the household of Senator Barack Obama, his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Natasha (“Sasha”).
To millions across the country, Sen. Obama has been hailed for the being the first African-American presidential nominee but at home, in those rare quiet moments, he is “Daddy” to two young girls who see firsthand the power of dreaming big.
How could the best show their appreciation for one of the best gifts they have been given? Not just a father that personifies dignity and leadership but one that is living proof they can achieve what they want.
Obama, too, is fortunate to have a family that is right there with him, celebrating every step of the way with loyalty
The fist-bump and “thumbs-up” that he shared with his wife after clinching the nomination was not just noticeable because it wavered from the typical supportive hug—it was a moment of fun spontaneity that shows that Obama’s energy for change is only matched by the passion and creativity in their marriage.
As a father, he sends us a message through them that your attitude and mission starts at home and before he can claim to be a worthy candidate for President, he must practice what he preaches with his family.
It’s a reminder of the Biblical passage where the apostle Paul says that bishops or elders must be able to effectively lead in the home before they are qualified to lead in the church.
But Sunday also gives Obama a chance to think about his own father, the late Barack Obama, Sr., and the unique lessons that he learned from him, as portrayed in his debut novel “Dreams From My Father.”
Perhaps the senator reflects on how far he has come since those days spent wondering about his father, a native of Kenya that he met briefly before he died.Those who have read the book know that his father, although absent from most of his life, played a key role in understanding his identity.
On Monday, CNN published a piece on its website asking if Obama was black or biracial. But it was a question he eloquently answered several months ago in Pennsylvania.
In response to the controversy surrounding former pastor Jeremiah Wright, he said in his “A More Perfect Union” speech that he could not disown him any more than he could disown his White grandmother or the Black community.
It was a statement that highlighted not only his Blackness but both sides of his heritage. It was a statement that could not have been made if not his personal journey motivated by his father’s death.
And speaking of Rev. Wright, Obama could also possibly reflect on the man he once called his “father figure” and spiritual mentor before controversy pushed them apart.
He’ll think about those sermons that challenged him and made him discover a personal relationship with God that he has passed on to his family. He’ll look back fondly on Trinity United Church of Christ as the place where his faith developed and other mentors nurtured him as a young adult.
The tragedy of their relationship fading is that people won’t get to hear more of the positive impact that Wright had on him, such as the inspiration behind the title of his second book “The Audacity of Hope.”
As he sits five months away from possibly being the 44th president, he will think about the two men who played a crucial role in his development at the same time that his daughters will reflect upon him and his impact, making this a special Father’s Day in the Obama household.