It seems President Barack Obama’s old Punahou classmates are popping up all over the place.
On the campaign trail in San Francisco, the president was introduced by an old friend who said Obama’s formative years in Hawaii explain why he is like he is today.
Now a months-old PBS interview with Tom Topolinksi, a self-described member of the “Choom Gang” and a friend of Obama’s from way back, is making the rounds.
An excerpt, from PBS Frontline:
You know, I had lost touch with Barry, and then one day about five years ago I had heard that he had become active in politics, had become a senator, and did well in the college part of that, getting his law degree. He had that intelligence. And so I was surprised, but then at the end I was like, not surprised at all.
And then I heard something about his name and “presidential” being lumped in the same sentence, and I caught myself, and I was a little amazed, surprised, confused. And then as I read more and I got on the Internet and I did a little bit more Googling, and you’re kidding, Barry wants to be president? How can this be? He was one of us! How does this happen?
PBS also sat down with Sohale Siddiqi, who knew Obama at Occidental College a couple of years later in New York.
— Michael Levine