On Monday, in his first public event since leaving the White House in January, Former President Barack Obama spoke to students and graduates at the University of Chicago, his Alma Mater. One panelist questioned him on the seriousness of social media and its possible influence on one’s future career.
The panelist, Harish Patel, who ran for state representative after graduating from the university, asked:
“As somebody who lost an election, I would love to understand sort of your perspective on failure … One of the things with social media that I see, I am really worried about young people who claim a certain thing in high school and then they get into college, or they get older and these claims sort of stay with them. What they tweeted, what they Instagrammed, what they Snapchatted, and they don’t always get to grow.”
Obama’s advice: “Own it.”
But just after advising Patel to own his past, Obama decided to share a stunning admission: If we knew some things about his past, it is possible we, as a nation, would not have elected him.
“The truth is, if you had pictures of everything I had done when I was in high school I probably wouldn’t have been president of the United States,” Obama said before he launched into a diatribe about keeping certain photos and experiences to yourself.
See the full speech below, the comments start at the 1:27:28 mark.
What Obama did is not necessarily important,as he has already had his two terms in office and can’t affect the country much more than he already has, but for a president who promised transparency, the fact that there were things he did in his past that if documented would keep him from being elected is extremely worrying.
Sure, he was telling a little joke — but like most jokes, it’s only funny because it’s true.
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