O’Reilly Factor correspondent Jesse Watters spoke to the President’s former classmate, Bernice Bowers, who attended the Punahou School in Honolulu with Barack Obama. She shared her memories of “Barry” as a student, her feelings about his friends and family, elaborated on the school’s unique curriculum and weighed in on the infamous birth certificate controversy.
WATTERS: Okay, so you went to school with President Barack Obama?
BOWERS: Yes. I was lucky enough to be one of his classmates from fifth grade on.
WATTERS: And, he was known as Barry back then?
BOWERS: Right. Barry. And, he really had a great personality, but was one of us... He was one of many kids. He didn’t necessarily stand out from an academic stand point that we knew of, but he’s actually quite bright and tried to hide it beneath a veneer of cool. He was actually extremely good in terms of English and history and politics and economics, but again had a very very casual way about him.
WATTERS: And he still does have that casual feel. Now, in terms of the classes that you went to… What classes do you remember him being in and participating in?
BOWERS: I think AP U.S. History was one of the strongest memories I had of him, because we used to type our papers together in this little corner office in the library. He would take file cards and type his entire paper just from these file card notes. But, again, he was very understated. And, he’s also changed a lot. While all of us who grew up and knew him want to think that he’s the Barry that we know. We also have seen and clearly understand that he transformed quite dramatically in college and in graduate school and since then.
WATTERS: So, socially, President Obama. Who did he run with? What was his crowd like?
BOWERS: He, again, had people who were just like him. Really cool. And, really good people. The types of kids who would really go out of their way to help a new kid or help people feel comfortable. And, you know, he still is extremely close to those people and a lot us who are his classmates actually knew him socially, but not the way his tight group does. And, they still do. And, that’s what makes us, just as Americans, I think, really appreciate him as a president because he still is very bonded with those same people and very loyal to them.
WATTERS: Now, he recalled struggling a lot with his racial identity when he was in school. Did you see that struggle? Or, was there a lot of racial situation that permeated through the school?
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