I was re-reading Dreams from my Father to prepare for an appearance on Hannity that will air tomorrow night, and I came across a passage I'd completely forgotten.
The scene is Chicago, in front of Obama's apartment. A group of unruly young black men pulls up outside after midnight, music blasting. He has a guest in his apartment, and his neighbors have just brought home their newborn. He gets upset and goes outside to tell them off.
Then he starts to think: They could be me from just a few years ago. And they might intend him harm. Then, finally, he considers how he -- a grown up with a job and a life -- is increasingly unlike these kids, and how they may never have the chance to mature the way he did:
Their unruly maleness will not be contained, as mine finally was, by a sense of sadness at an older man's injured pride. Their anger won't be checked by the intimation of danger that would come upon me whenever I split another boy's lip or raced down a highway with gin clouding my head.
I'm sure that if someone asked him, President Obama would say he never should have driven drunk, and that he regrets it today. But I'd also bet almost no one knows about this passage, even now.