The Washington Post runs a must-read piece from David Maraniss, author of First in His Class: A Biography of Bill Clinton and the forthcoming Barack Obama: The Story, on the similarities between the two presidents.
“They were born on August days 15 years apart, at opposite ends of the baby-boom generation, Bill Clinton in 1946 and Barack Obama in 1961. Both came into the world under circumstances that made it surpassingly unlikely either boy would grow up to be president of the United States. It is hard to imagine two places further from the centers of power than southwestern Arkansas or Hawaii. Neither state had produced a president before. But there was so much more working against them than geography.”
“William Jefferson Blythe III and Barack Hussein Obama II were the namesakes of fathers they did not know. Billy’s dad, a traveling salesman from Texas, was killed in a car crash before his son was born. Barry’s old man, a traveling student from western Kenya, also died in a car crash. His son was 21 then but had never lived with his father. Both boys’ mothers created myths about their fathers to ease the pain; in truth, the sons were almost certainly better off without them.”
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire