President Obama spoke to his former chief strategist and current CNN analyst, David Axelrod, about his mother and her role in his becoming the commander in chief.
"For all the ups and downs of our lives, there was never a moment where I didn't feel as if I was special, that I was not just this spectacular gift to the world," said Obama.
Obama has never made it a secret that he did not have a "traditional" upbringing. He was born in Hawaii to a mixed race relationship between a white American mother and a black Kenyan father. His father would abandon his family when Obama was approximately two years of age. He would then be raised by his grandparents in Hawaii while his mother migrated to Indonesia in order to study. In his book,Dreams from My Father, which was published in 2004, Obama wrote about the power of love that hasbeen the guiding force in his life and that he learned of this love from his mother. He was born when his mother was 18 and he describes the relationship as unique because of the age gap.
"In some ways, by the time I was 12, 13, she's interacting with me almost like a friend as well as a parent," said Obama. "I didn't always necessarily handle that well. It's not sort of a recipe for ideal parenting. But what I did learn was that unconditional love makes up for an awful lot, and I got that from her."