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11/12/2008

Barack Obama, international man of mystery

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What we don't know about our President-elect could fill volumes: What he had to say at the Rashid Khalidi bash. What he did during his years at Columbia. Whether he's a moderate or a Marxist.

But here are 51 things we now know about him, courtesy of London's Telegraph newspaper:

  1. He collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics
  2. He was known as "O'Bomber" at high school for his skill at basketball
  3. His name means "one who is blessed" in Swahili
  4. His favourite meal is wife Michelle's shrimp linguini
  5. He won a Grammy in 2006 for the audio version of his memoir, Dreams From My Father
  6. He is left-handed – the sixth post-war president to be left-handed
  7. He has read every Harry Potter book
  8. He owns a set of red boxing gloves autographed by Muhammad Ali
  9. He worked in a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop as a teenager and now can't stand ice cream
  10.  His favourite snacks are chocolate-peanut protein bars
  11. He ate dog meat, snake meat, and roasted grasshopper while living in Indonesia
  12. He can speak Spanish
  13. While on the campaign trail he refused to watch CNN and had sports channels on instead.
  14. His favourite drink is black forest berry iced tea
  15. He promised Michelle he would quit smoking before running for president – he didn't
  16. He kept a pet ape called Tata while in Indonesia
  17. He can bench press an impressive 200lbs
  18. He was known as Barry until university when he asked to be addressed by his full name
  19. His favourite book is Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  20. He visited Wokingham, Berks, in 1996 for the stag party of his half-sister's fiancé, but left when a stripper arrived
  21. His desk in his Senate office once belonged to Robert Kennedy
  22. He and Michelle made $4.2 million (£2.7 million) last year, with much coming from sales of his books
  23. His favourite films are Casablanca and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  24. He carries a tiny Madonna and child statue and a bracelet belonging to a soldier in Iraq for good luck
  25. He applied to appear in a black pin-up calendar while at Harvard but was rejected by the all-female committee.
  26. His favourite music includes Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Bach and The Fugees
  27. He took Michelle to see the Spike Lee film Do The Right Thing on their first date
  28. He enjoys playing Scrabble and poker
  29. He doesn't drink coffee and rarely drinks alcohol
  30. He would have liked to have been an architect if he were not a politician
  31. As a teenager he took drugs including marijuana and cocaine
  32. His daughters' ambitions are to go to Yale before becoming an actress (Malia, 10) and to sing and dance (Sasha, 7)
  33. He hates the youth trend for trousers which sag beneath the backside
  34. He repaid his student loan only four years ago after signing his book deal
  35. His house in Chicago has four fire places
  36. Daughter Malia's godmother is Jesse Jackson's daughter Santita
  37. He says his worst habit is constantly checking his BlackBerry
  38. He uses an Apple Mac laptop
  39. He drives a Ford Escape Hybrid, having ditched his gas-guzzling Chrysler 300
  40. He wears $1,500 (£952) Hart Schaffner Marx suits
  41. He owns four identical pairs of black size 11 shoes
  42. He has his hair cut once a week by his Chicago barber, Zariff, who charges $21 (£13)
  43. His favourite fictional television programmes are Mash and The Wire
  44. He was given the code name "Renegade" by his Secret Service handlers
  45. He was nicknamed "Bar" by his late grandmother
  46. He plans to install a basketball court in the White House grounds
  47. His favourite artist is Pablo Picasso
  48. His speciality as a cook is chilli
  49. He has said many of his friends in Indonesia were "street urchins"
  50. He keeps on his desk a carving of a wooden hand holding an egg, a Kenyan symbol of the fragility of life
  51. His late father was a senior economist for the Kenyan government

Just in case you were wondering (which you probably weren't).

Posted by Rodger on November 12, 2008 at 07:46 AM | Permalink

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