The real Obama

Here’s a story that gives some good insight into Barack Obama’s personality. I couldn’t imagine John McCain doing anything like that.

Mary Menth Andersen was then 31 years old and had just married Norwegian Dag Andersen. She looked forward to start a new life in Åsgårdstrand i Vestfold with him. But first she had to get all her belongings to Norway. The day was 2 November 1988.

At the airport in Miami, it was busy as usual with long queues at the check-in counters. When it finally was Mary’s turn, and she had put the luggage on the conveyor belt, she got the message that would break down the bubbling happiness.

– You must pay 103 dollars in overweight if you want to bring both suitcases to Norway, the man behind the counter said.

Mary had no money. Her new husband had already gone to Norway, and Mary had no one else to call.

– I was in completely despair and tried to find out which belongings I could do without. But the suitcases were filled with my most precious belongings, Mary says.

Mild and friendly

Although she explained the situation to the man behind the counter, he showed no signs of mercy.

– I started to cry, the tears cascaded down and I did not know what to do. Then I heard a mild and friendly voice behind me say “I’ll pay for her.”

Mary turned around and there was a tall and dark man she had never seen before.

– He had a mild and friendly, yet determined, voice. My initial thought was: Who is this man?

Although the incident happened 20 years ago, Mary still remembers the authority this man radiated.

– He was good looking and fashion right with brown leather shoes, open cotton shirt and khaki pants, Mary says.

She was happy to get both her suitcases to Norway and assured the stranger he would get his money back. The man wrote his name and address on a piece of paper and gave Mary. She thanked him repeatedly. When she finally went to the security check he waved goodbye to her.

Rescuing knight

On the paper it was written “Barack Obama” and his address in Kansas, which is the state his mother came from. Mary had the paper piece in her wallet for many years, but she finally threw it.

– He was my rescuing knight, Mary says and smiles.

She paid back the 103 dollar to Obama after she came to Norway. At that time he had finished the job as a low paid environmental worker in Chicago and attended law school at the prestigious Harvard.

In spring 2006, Mary’s parents heard that Obama was considering to run for President, but that he had yet not decided. Therefore, they chose to write a letter in which they stated he would get their votes. At the same time they thanked Obama for having helped their daughter 18 years earlier.

In a letter to Mary’s parents dated 4 May 2006 and marked “United States Senate, Washington DC,” Barack Obama writes back:

“I want to thank you for having written such kind words about me and for reminding me of the incident at the airport in Miami. I am happy to have helped and are happy to hear that your daughter is doing well in Norway. Please send her my best wishes. Sincerely, Barack Obama, United States Senator. ”

Google translation & link to original article here, thanks to @cdespinosa on twitter.

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