Obama’s won two Grammys! Surely we must be joking? Indeed we aren’t!
You think you know everything there is to know about the US President? Think again.
We bring you Obama facts that will both surprise and enthrall you. Check out Mr. President!
Beer Obama, What’s Brewing?
In Kenya, the Senator Keg beer is popularly known as `Obama’. The beer was launched around the same time as Barack Obama was elected an Illinois senator. Since Obama’s father was born in Kenya, Obama enjoys huge popularity there, and so does the beer.
Back home in the United States, Honey Ale beer recently shot to instant fame. The reason: President Obama had begun to brew his own beer – Honey Ale – in the White House, using honey produced in the beehives maintained by the First Lady. The ale’s popularity ran so high that people filed a petition for the recipe. The White House Honey Brown Ale is the first alcohol brewed or distilled on the White House grounds.
Not just fiction: Obama meets Spider Man
Obama has appeared in numerous comic books, the most famous of them being brought out by Marvel Comics. In a 2008 interview as a presidential candidate, he revealed that he loved comics and was an avid collector of the Spider Man and Conan the Barbarian series. So when he beat the odds to become the President, Marvel Comics featured him on the cover of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ No. 583. Released in January 2009, that issue sold out in minutes.
Barry to O’Bomber to Barack
Obama was known as Barry throughout his childhood. In college, he changed his first name to Barack to emphasize his identity. He also earned the nickname ‘O’Bomber’ for his basketball skills while at school in Hawaii. A fan of Michael Jordan, Obama was a member of the state-championship high school team.
PS: While in Indonesia, where he spent the first 6 years of his life, he was nicknamed ‘Curly Eyelashes’ by his classmates.
President wins the Grammy, not once but twice
Barack Obama has won the Grammy award twice in the Best Spoken Word Album category for the audio recordings of two of his books – `Dreams from My Father’ in 2006 and `The Audacity of Hope’ in 2008. The book `Dreams from My Father’ was first published in 1995 when Obama was preparing to launch his political career by campaigning for the Illinois Senate. In the book, he has admitted to experimenting with marijuana and cocaine.
Mr President’s hair cut, a pricey deal?
Obama is very particular about his looks. It has been reported that every fortnight or so, he has Zariff, a Chicago-based barber, flown down to DC. The barber said to a media daily that his service doesn’t come free: “Obama pays $21 like everyone else.” In a period of 3 years, from 2009 to 2012, it was speculated that $23,000 worth of taxpayer money was spent just in flying the barber to and fro.
Obama’s Mahatma Connection
While many famous personalities take Mahatma Gandhi as their hero, nobody comes close to the US President. He has often said that Gandhi’s ideals and teachings have inspired him, and has quoted Gandhi on numerous occasions. When a high school student from Virginia asked him who his ideal dinner guest would be, he replied, “You know, I think that it might be Gandhi, who is a real hero of mine.” With Obama’s India visit around the corner, Modi may accompany Obama to Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial at Rajghat in Delhi.
Kicked the Butt
Obama had earlier failed to quit smoking before joining the Presidential race, even though he had promised Michelle he would do so. However, in 2011, it was announced that Obama had quit smoking. The first lady quoted, “He wanted to be able to look his daughters, Malia and Sasha, in the eye and say he did not smoke.” Obama had picked up the habit as a teenager.
What’s that thing on Obama’s desk?
Barack Obama brought a wooden sculpture into the White House with him. The carving of a hand holding an egg now sits on his table in the Oval Office. This is a Kenyan symbol representing the fragility of life. However, in Ghana, the egg symbolizes the fragility of leadership and the idea that leadership should therefore be handled with care. Whatever be the case, the President certainly holds African tribal tradition in high regard.
Obama to thank Harry Potter
In a 2013 study, University of Vermont Political Science Professor Anthony Gierzynski noted, “The lessons fans internalized about tolerance, diversity, violence, torture, scepticism and authority made the Democratic Party and Barack Obama more appealing to fans of ‘Harry Potter’ in the current political environment.” The President claims to have read all the Harry Potter books himself to his daughters Sasha and Malia.
A Christmas vacation for Obama and the family is incomplete without a ritual visit to his favourite shave ice parlour in Hawaii. Island Snow is Obama’s favourite dessert place in his vacation town of Kailua. Shave ice is a Hawaiian treat similar to a snow cone. Ahem, don’t be surprised if the Delhi golawalas rebrand themselves as shave icewalas post Obama’s visit.
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