Not surprisingly, President Obama’s weekly address focused on Father’s Day — but he also spoke candidly about his own father that he barely knew.
“I want to take a moment to talk about the most important job many of us will ever have, and that’s being a dad,” Obama said.
Speaking about technological advances that allow us to connect instantly with anyone in the world, Obama told viewers there would never be a substitute for the “love and support, and most importantly — the presence of a parent in a child’s life.”
“I never really knew my own father,” Obama said candidly. “I was raised by a single mum and two wonderful grandparents who made incredible sacrifices for me.”
Obama’s father, Barack Obama senior, was an economist for the government of Kenya who divorced Stanley Ann Dunham in 1964 when the future president was just three years old. He was killed in a 1982 car accident — 11 years after he had last seen his son, according to The Guardian.
“I still wish I had a dad who was not only around, but involved — another role model to teach me what my mum did her best to instill,” said Obama. “Values like hard work and integrity, responsibility, delayed gratification — all the things that give a child the foundation to envision a brighter future for themselves.”
“That’s why I try every day to be for Michelle and my girls what my father was not for my mother and me,” Obama added.
Obama went on to say that being a good parent “isn’t easy,” but as president, he was trying to encourage strong marriage and strong families.
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