COLTS NECK, NJ–An unlikely location for an unlikely meeting between former United States President, Barack Obama, and the local legend, New Jersey rockstar, Bruce Springsteen. What started as a light conversation regarding the state of the country and the future demise of mankind, soon cascaded into a confrontational inquisition into Obama’s upbringing.
“So Hawaii, man. That must’ve been a cool place to grow up. Did you surf much?” asks Springsteen, benignly shifting the discussion in a more personal direction. “Surf? In Kenya?” an incredulous Obama mumbles audibly to himself. But his response only raises more questions for Bruce, “Kenya?” Barack coughs, conceivably in a bid to buy time, or possibly because his co-host, whose house they were recording in, was yet to offer him water or tea. “Kauai. Yeah I surfed a whole fuck of a lot in Kauai. I also snorkeled, and ate pineapple, and hula danced, and said ‘aloha’ to people I knew. Sometimes strangers too. It was a typical Hawaiian upbringing.”
“I thought you grew up in Honolulu,” Bruce continues, hoping to learn more about his new friend and former leader of the free world. Barack grins and abruptly declares a break time.
When reconvened, the talk moves immediately to Springsteen’s music. “Know what my favorite song of yours is?” an agitated Obama begins. Bruce shrugs. “Born In The U.S.A.” says Barack proudly, “It’s just such a rarity that one finds a song that speaks so truthfully to their background, experience, and birthplace. I was born in the U.S.A. too. That song is practically biographical for me.”
“Have you actually ever heard the song before?” questions the befuddled rock legend, presumably dwelling on the song’s Vietnam War-era themes and complicated views on patriotism. “No,” replies the former president, “I lived it.”