President Barack Obama is in the midst of a fundraising tour, and made Hawaii part of his spiel to supporters during a stop in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium Monday night.
Obama was introduced to the crowd by Punahou classmate Pam Hamamoto, who said his formative years in the islands ”played a critical role in shaping who you are today,” according to a pool report.
“On an island filled with immigrants, respect and compassion for hardworking people was just a way of life,” she said. “And I’m pleased that the president brought many of these values and traits with him to the White House.”
Obama said the introduction was the “sweetest” since he’s been president, and agreed that the environment he grew up in still provides “a certain ballast.”
“Sometimes people wonder why it is that I seem pretty even-keeled. And I’d like to think that part of it is that’s how I’m hardwired, but part of it is when you spent your formative years in Hawaii, you think to yourself, it can’t be that bad,” he said. “And if it is, then you go to Sandy Beach and you bodysurf and you feel fine afterwards. It washes away all worries.”
— Michael Levine
Photo by Flickr user lisatozzi