Thursday, August 18, 2011

The man behind the Presidency.

I am pretty sure I posted about this story back during those frantic days of the 2008 campaign.  But somebody just sent it to me recently, and I think it deserves to be shared again. Especially for those who have started to lose faith in our President.

(You will have to forgive some of the sappiness of the original article. Apparently that is due to the writing style, and possibly due somewhat to the translation from Norwegian to English.)

Courtesy of Leisha's Randon Thoughts and Ponderings: 

Mary was a newlywed and ready to move to Norway, but was stopped at the airport because she didn’t have enough money for the trip. Then a stranger turned up and paid for her. 

Mary Menth Andersen was 31 years old at the time and had just married Norwegian Dag Andersen. She was looking forward to starting a new life in Åsgårdstrand in Vestfold with him. But first she had to get all of her belongings across to Norway. The date was November 2nd, 1988. 

At the airport in Miami things were hectic as usual, with long lines at the check-in counters. When it was finally Mary’s turn and she had placed her luggage on the baggage line, she got the message that would crush her bubbling feeling of happiness. 

"You’ll have to pay a 103 dollar surcharge if you want to bring both those suitcases to Norway," the man behind the counter said. 

Mary had no money. Her new husband had travelled ahead of her to Norway, and she had no one else to call. 

"I was completely desperate and tried to think which of my things I could manage without. But I had already made such a careful selection of my most prized possessions," says Mary. 

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

"I started to cry, tears were pouring down my face and I had no idea what to do. Then I heard a gentle and friendly voice behind me saying, That’s OK, I’ll pay for her." 

Mary turned around to see a tall man whom she had never seen before.

He had a gentle and kind voice that was still firm and decisive. 

"The first thing I thought was, Who is this man?"

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

"He was nicely dressed, fashionably dressed with brown leather shoes, a cotton shirt open at the throat and khaki pants," says Mary. 

She was thrilled to be able to bring both her suitcases to Norway and assured the stranger that he would get his money back. 

The man wrote his name and address on a piece of paper that he gave to Mary. 

She thanked him repeatedly. 

When she finally walked off towards the security checkpoint, he waved goodbye to her. 

The piece of paper said ‘Barack Obama’ and his address in Kansas, which is the state where his mother comes from. 

Mary carried the slip of paper around in her wallet for years, before it was thrown out. 

"He was my knight in shining armor," says Mary, smiling. 

She paid the 103 dollars back to Obama the day after she arrived in Norway. 

At that time he had just finished his job as a poorly paid community worker* in Chicago, and had started his law studies at prestigious Harvard university. 

In the spring of 2006 Mary’s parents had heard that Obama was considering a run for president, but that he had still not decided. They chose to write a letter in which they told him that he would receive their votes. 

At the same time, they thanked Obama for helping their daughter 18 years earlier. 

In a letter to Mary’s parents dated May 4th, 2006 and stamped ‘United States Senate, Washington DC’, Barack Obama writes: 

‘I want to thank you for the lovely things you wrote about me and for reminding me of what happened at Miami airport. I’m happy I could help back then, and I’m delighted to hear that your daughter is happy in Norway. Please send her my best wishes. 

Sincerely, Barack Obama, United States senator’. 

The parents sent the letter on to Mary. 

Here is a picture of Mary Menth Anderson, her husband, and the letter from Senator Barack Obama.

If you have ever wondered why I post those pictures of President Obama with the babies, it is because to me they say something more profound than ANYTHING written about the President on any website, or said about the President on any television program.

They reveal something honest and fundamental about our President. Something that is hidden beneath the surface, yet felt by those who get close, by those who are sensitive to more than what they can hear or see.

This story reveals the same thing.

Politicians are masters at creating the facade of who they WANT you to see when you look at them.  But what are they like when they don't know they are being studied?  In other words who are they really?

In the case of President Obama we can see who he is by how he lovingly interacts with his family, how babies and children relate to him, and how he once helped Mary Menth Anderson, when nobody was watching, and it did not mean extra votes in an election. 

When it was just the right thing to do.


  1. Anonymous4:43 PM

    LOL C4P looks like its been hacked!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous4:45 PM

    C4P has been hacked takes one to LOL

  3. Thanks Gryphen. Touching story and I agree. Our president is a good man, a good person. I like that about him.

  4. Anonymous4:49 PM

    Thanks Gryph, a real tonic after the previous post.

  5. LoveAndKnishesFromBrooklyn4:50 PM

    I was having kind of a crappy day, and this story lifted me right up. I believe that many, many more people "get" the humanity and grace of President Obama than the MSM would like us to know. Thanks, Gryphen!

  6. fromthediagonal4:55 PM

    Once again, you have my thanks, Gryphen.

  7. Love this... It makes my heart sing

  8. Great, great story. Thank you for posting it. It is definitely in keeping with the public persona presented by Barack Obama. It's good to know he is the same person in private.

  9. Anonymous5:02 PM

    That's an excellent assessment - character when no one is looking. Thank you for posting it.

  10. Rationalist5:05 PM

    Well, that was beautiful. Thank you for reposting that story.

  11. Anonymous5:23 PM

    Beautiful story about our fine President. Now he's being criticized for going on vacation. I say, take a well-deserved rest, Mr. President!

  12. Anonymous5:25 PM

    This is random but is Rex Butler even educated at all? He spells 'surprised' incorrectly. Sorry for the tangent but the more I learn about this man, the more I doubt Levi's instincts and goals.

  13. << Matthew 7:16 >>

  14. Love this story. Thanks for posting.

    Obama wasn't a politician then and wasn't from a wealthy family. He had no reason to help, and yet he did. I think he probably thought of his mom, how she traveled between countries and how great a hardship it would be for her to encounter the same kind of unexpected hurdle. One of the reasons I was so excited when he was elected is because he instinctively looks at any given situation from another person's point of view.

    There are two ways for people to look at the world:
    A) Most people are decent
    B) Most people are out to get you or to take advantage of you

    We know which category POTUS falls into and which one applies to Palin.

    Of course the downside to generosity and caring is that it leaves you vulnerable to those people in category B that truly are out to take advantage of you (which are most people in politics).

  15. Anonymous5:49 PM

    He was only 23 at the time. In many ways he's the best of us.

  16. Anonymous5:56 PM

    Thanks for this story. Helps to remind us Obama is a good man who cares about others...not so with the others who care only about themselves.

  17. Anonymous5:58 PM

    President Obama is an honorable, caring man. Having read A Singular Woman and the President's own books, I have great respect for him and his family.

    Oh, and I might add, I hope he has a wonderful vacation on the Vineyard with his family. They deserve it!

    (disregard the Mass. GOP's snarky letter purported from the People of Massachusetts.

    An Obama supporter from the Bay State

  18. Anonymous5:59 PM

    Thank goodness, she ran in to Obama at the airport and not Sarah Palin. Palin would not have given her the time of the day let alone any money.

  19. Anonymous6:02 PM

    Thanks for that story--I like what you said. I don't know how President Obama can stand it, day after day.

  20. emrysa6:06 PM

    yep, we are really lucky to have obama show up at the right time. luck on our part, or planning on someone else's part? I've said before gryphen, and you probably know my thoughts, that our choices for president are approved by the kings before they become our choices. that said, we could do alot worse - obama is a good man and we are fortunate that someone in a position of power saw that and approved of him. I still stand behind obama - yes he's done things I don't like, but that's par for the course when you're a leftist in america.

    I am still glad that a good man is my president, and I will vote for him again - unless he's up against kucinich, lol... which we all know isn't going to happen.

  21. Anonymous6:10 PM

    When I watch a video that Gryphen posts of President Obama with the babies and children, I find myself on youtube watching many more that pop up. They all bring a smile to my face and sometimes tears as I joyfully watch the caring and warmth of the man which can be felt, even through a monitor.

  22. Thanks Gryphen, for seeing our President's LIGHT. Really lovely story!

  23. Fantastic!

    Thank you, Gryphen. I didn't need "proof" he was a good man - but it sure feels good to have "proof". =)

  24. This makes me proud of our President. THanks for passing along this story. A person would have to be hopelessly cynical to not be touched by stories of the kindness of a stranger like President Obama displayed "because it was the right thing to do".

    I don't agree with all of the policies or decisions of this administration under our President, but I have complete confidence in his ability to lead us in our country's best interests.

    President Obama deserves the support of all of our country's citizens, regardless of their political affiliation to help move this country forward out of the ditch that we're in at the present time.

  25. Anonymous6:31 PM

    Yep, you are exactly right, Gryphen. Stories like these tell the real character of a person.

    Thanks for posting.

  26. Anonymous6:33 PM

    I often wonder if President Obama realizes that there are so many of us who are grateful he is in office and that he will have our continued support in the 2012 election.

    Every so often I go to the Obama campaign site and make a small contribution (usually after the conservatives have given him an especially hard time).

    I know it doesn't make a big difference, but I just want him to know that my family and I are damn proud to have him as our President.

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. I'd read that story during the 2008 election. Liked it then, like it now.

    He's a class-act (and so are Michelle and the girls) and I will work hard to get him reelected next year. BUT, we have to work equally hard to take the House back from the Tea Baggers. Let's get going.

  29. phred6:59 PM

    For the folks up top saying C4P has been hacked - here's some background for those interested.

    C4P is hacked, but only if you search for it through google (then click on the search result link), not if you go directly to the site through it's url.

    This is called an .htaccess hack. Someone has hacked C4P so that when you get to the site through google, the .htaccess file on the server redirects it to another site. Folks do this so they get the hacked traffic, but it takes longer for the site owner (C4P) to notice because it's done only through search results.

    Great story about Obama, I remember it from back when it first came out but good to be reminded.

  30. PurpleAlaska7:00 PM

    Thanks for sharing this touching story Gryph. Though things appear a bit bleak on the home-front, we are indeed fortunate to be living during these times . . . and we must fight as if our very lives depended on it to see that "the man" is reelected.


  31. This story brought me to tears.

  32. Thank you Gryphen for your continued support of our President and for all your effort to expose the fraud that is SP.

  33. Anonymous7:08 PM

    Wow, he helped ONE poor immigrant with her baggage bill, but he has bailed on the entire middle class of America.

  34. Anonymous7:13 PM

    Beautiful gesture from a kindhearted soul . . . and the handsome couple look as though they're still in love.

  35. Anonymous7:35 PM

    It did not take the President to make a man, that man was already there. Proud to stand with you Mr. President.

  36. Anonymous8:01 PM

    @6:33- Every so often I go to the Obama campaign site ..I know it doesn't make a big difference, but I just want him to know that my family and I are damn proud to have him as our President.
    quite the contrary, if you make a $5 donation and tell five people and they each follow example, nine generations equals 2,400,000 $$.

  37. Anonymous8:01 PM

    Thanks for revisiting this story and putting a photo to the face of the recipient of this random act of kindness. These acts can literally change people's hearts in a very real way.

    I hope to see many photos of The Obama's well deserved vacation. Quality time with his family must be poetry in motion to see, judging from the man we see in stories like this and the baby interaction videos.

    The Obama girls are truly blessed to have him as a Father.

  38. DetroitSam8:06 PM

    This story has me crying like a baby.

  39. Anonymous8:26 PM

    This simple act might not seem like so much to some. But this was an act of kindness by a young man who was struggling financially and he still gave freely. This speaks directly to the character of the man I am now honored to have as my president, Barack Obama.

  40. Anonymous8:29 PM

    What a beautiful story, and what a beautiful man we have for our President. Makes me very proud.

  41. Thanks for sharing. I spent my day pointing out with charts, graphs and numerous facts why our President deserves our backing. His efforts to be a good person, not his perfection, are the reason I believe in and support him. This gave me the boost I needed, and validated my efforts. Thanks!

  42. Anonymous8:32 PM

    Juxtapose this to what Ryan is doing to his constituents (charging $15.00 for attending his ONE town hall), or how Bachmann ran screaming from a bathroom when some constituents wanted to speak to her, or how Perry poked a man in the chest, or how Palin rolled her eyes at a teacher... unfortunately it goes on, and on...

  43. Anonymous8:45 PM

    Thanks, G, for the reminder.

    I know at least one person who I can imagine would act just the same way. And Obama recently made him a federal judge. He was confirmed by the Senate with no problems and we can all hope that if we are ever at the mercy of a federal judge, it will be someone like him.

  44. The quality of the man and his family brings me so much comfort.

  45. accente9:54 PM

    No doubt a sincere and honest and a nice guy . I wish you would realize that is one thing to be the best person in the world and another to have the ability to lead a nation of 300 million. He might have had it hard, and despite all odds made it big , and thats a real success story . But you are plain wrong on him being president . He may have inherited a mess no doubt , but the unwillingness to take a fight to the far right , the need to always look for compromise and not at least put up a fight in what you supposedly believe in will make him in terms of history - just as the first black president , which is more symbolic than have substance. Yes he has a few achievements , but I thats half baked healthcare and killing osama. The rest is huge failure to lead . I would appreciate him if he leads a fight and then loses , rather than capitulate , which is what he is doing.

    so we continue to agree to disagree

  46. Anonymous10:44 PM

  47. Anonymous10:46 PM

    @ accente 8:54 PM

    Thanks for pissing on this upbeat post by Gryphen. You just couldn't resist that the siren call of rancor, could you? Your ingenuous expectations on what Obama (or any Dem president) could achieve in this hot mess of conservative obstructionism and lies make me want to vomit. Grow up, you big baby....and save your unrealistic whining for the proper post topic.

  48. Anonymous11:49 PM

    Gryph-after a long and crazy night at work,spent waiting on the extremely wealthy people who are in town this week (who can be VERY demanding)-you just made my night.How proud I am of our President-with his simple,good heart.Always proud of his intelligence and class-this just made me feel so good inside.Thanks for making my night.Off to bed with a smile on my face:)

  49. Anonymous1:06 AM

    Dear Accente- please go start your own country. None of what you suggest is an ideal for a democracy. Leadership you may ask? You ask for tyranny.

    a happily voting Wild Tortoise

  50. Anonymous1:32 AM

    Aww Gryphen , thanks. You made me cry.

    The president is great man, and above all else a good person, we could all learn from him.

  51. Anonymous2:41 AM

    @accente, like many others, you are so naive as to how government works in this country. It has always been compromise, compromise, compromise. Unfortunately, some of the newer members of Congress have not learned this yet.

  52. Anonymous5:11 AM

    Thank you, Gryphen. I hadn't seen that story.

    I love our president.

    Anon @ 7:08, you give yourself away calling the woman an immigrant. Reading these comments is just eating you up, huh? The fact that Barack Obama is a genuinely kind person who inspires affection and loyalty in his supporters is too much to take, I know.

    Who do you guys have that inspires people in such a profound way, and sets a good example? Let's hear about those random acts of kindness, those things done when no one is looking... From what I understand, it is unclear if Michelle Bachmann even contributes to charitable causes.

    On the left side, people get after Barack Obama for supposedly not getting down in the mud with these GOP crooks in DC. I completely disagree with that assessment, but regardless, I have always felt that President Obama walks the talk, and he doesn't have anything to prove to those who would complain about his efforts. That's called character. He is going to do what he thinks is right, and quite honestly none of us have access to his every move and so we cannot know what he does and says on a daily basis. (Not prevailing in every fight does not mean he hasn't tried or that he hasn't fought for the right things. We live in a Democracy. We can't have things all our way, all the time.)

    Basically it's between him and God, and he knows it. My apologies to any atheists around here.

  53. Anonymous6:08 AM

    7:08 pm. President Obama did not "bail out" on the middle class. The Republican Party did ever since January 21, 2009. In fact, I think they bailed out on the American middle class long long ago.

  54. GBIllinois6:43 AM


    I have followed this man throughout his political career. You are correct in assuming he was chosen by "the powers that be". He was identified as a future presidential candidate before he even won his first STATE office. This is not a conspiracy theory, but documented fact. That being said, he is, IMO, the right man for these times.

    This story tells much about his basic goodness. His dignity and restraint are exactly what is needed to defeat the raving lunatics who now control the GOP.

    Obama 2012!

  55. Anonymous6:50 AM

    7:08--FUCK YOU!

  56. GBIllinois7:03 AM

    Accente @9:54

    And do you propose we give the reigns of power to some radical right winger instead?

    Any presidential election is a choce between the candidates standing for office. Obama is far from perfect, but compared to any of his potential challengers there is no choice.

    Obama 2012

  57. Beldar S Conehead9:54 AM

    C'mon, Gryphen, let's not be naive!! This is a VERY common gimmick used by the powerful Norwegian-Chicago Thug Mafia Richard J Daley Negro Liberal Jewish Democratic Party Political Machine, and you know it.

    Isnt it suspicious that the EXACT SAME woman has claimed this EXACT SAME INCIDENT also occurred with Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Ed Muskie, Hubert Humphrey AND HARRY S TRUMAN, fer crying out loud???? HARRY Freakin-TRUMAN!!!!


    Heh heh heh...

    Yeah, that Barack Obama is a decent man. Who knew?


  58. Love your comment, Beldar@9.54! And I'm sure you're right.

    Obama 2012 right back atcha!

  59. Beldar Magnanimous Conehead12:29 PM

    @anonymous 511AM
    "My apologies to any atheists around here."

    Apology accepted.

  60. Anonymous3:19 PM

    Beldar yada yada,

    sorry, you ruined my apology for me.

    I don't know why I bother.

    The attitude...

  61. Anonymous6:05 PM

    I remember this story from 3 years ago.

    Things like this don't fool me anymore. President Obama might be capable of an individual kindness and he might be good with babies - but wait until that young married woman and those babies get old.

    THEN he wants to cut their Social Security and Medicare.

    You really think he is a kind person? I don't. Maybe he was in his young days, but he certainly isn't anymore. Acting to hurt old and sick people is not "kind."


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