Barack Obama poses for a picture with a cousin; summer, 2006 at an Illinois Breakfast in the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington (Photo by Lynn Sweet)
WASHINGTON--In El Dorado, Kansas on Tuesday, White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), talked about his maternal grandparents--a reminder that when race comes up in the campaign, Obama has a complex story to tell.
Fox News' Bonney Kapp has a terrific video with an interview of one of Obama's grandmother's cousins at the El Dorado event. LINK
As for El Dorado, " I never went there as a kid. It was where my grandfather was born and this will be my first visit to El Dorado," Obama told reporters.
His grandmother, Obama said, "was from Augusta, Kansas which I believe is fairly close by."
His maternal grandparents "were high school sweethearts. They got married and I believe moved to Wichita. My grandfather then went off to fight in the war. My grandmother stayed back. She had the baby. She worked on an assembly line during the war effort and then she came back or he came back and they moved from Wichita to they might have stayed in Oklahoma for a while and then Texas before they finally ended up in Seattle which is where my mother went to high school.
"They were interesting characters. My grandmother is still alive. My grandfather was raised by his grandparents and was sort of a rowdy kid.
... Wild child exactly and had a lot of sort of before the war had a lot of odd jobs, travelled a lot. My grandmother came from a more conventional family I think her father worked as a manager for one of the oil companies and I am not sure they entirely approved of her romance with my grandfather. That’s the story."
And how are they related to Cheney?
"I don’t remember which side it is on, but I think that goes back to like the 1700’s or 1800’s."
Do you still have family in the area? Do you still have family in Kansas?
" We do we have sisters who are cousins on grandfathers side and they pop up once in a while and stop by the office. It has been fun actually meeting them. You wouldn’t spot them out of a crowd as my cousins."