Like Obama, I too was born in Hawaii and even attended a high school not far from his alma mater.
It is likely I also shared the same rickety bus he did called The Express, which used to rattle its way through the different 1970's multicultural neighborhoods of humid Honolulu.
Even my Birth Certificate looks like his, with a sort of ancient, unofficial kind of home-grown and local style, but valid all the same.
Hawaiians are simple, but not simple-minded.
By nature, the people of Hawaii and the many different cultures raised on the balmy islands are gentle folk, but when push comes to shove, there is no doubt they will do anything to protect those they love.
And by this I mean both pragmatic and ideological conclusions.
Generally, Hawaiians and the many different cultures who share the balmy islands are gentle folk, and they openly show their love and hard-fought spirit for their families with a calm and un-shifted style that is at once both highly demonstrative and relaxed.
While the President was attacked after his first debate for second run as President for not being as strong or on the offense as people had I understood where Obama was coming from.
I also understood why, during his first four years in office, he had not boasted or widely publicized what he and his cabinet had accomplished.
That is just not Hawaiian style.
While pundits and likely voters were even angered by his performance in the debate, as well as the seemingly flaccid pr of his own accomplishments, they missed an opportunity to acknowledge the very qualities that has made him an effective president.
Assuredly, likely Democratic voters had a valid reason to be more than frustrated by Obama and the tight poll numbers that showed the presidential elections in a tight heat.
However, the often misinterpreted and misunderstood biography of the president is just what has enabled him to become president in the first place.
A lot of what has made Barack Obama the unique political leader that he is stems from his Aloha upbringing and the laid-back style that Hawaiians not only embrace, but see as strength, and not as a weakness in any conventional or unconventional manner.
If anything, humility is one part of the culture that is seen as a form of masculine honor, fortitude and strength.
As an unspoken rule, Island men do not look to glorify their accomplishments or engage in self-righteous acts for the soul purpose of proving their masculinity or polled-popularity.
Rather, they are confident with their manhood, comfortable and well-eased with their male roles, and are often as active in the raising of their children as mothers.
When you live in Hawaii, you understand this "different culture of men" pretty quickly.
You see fathers hug their children a lot more; witness men hug their male friends; observe males laugh a whole lot more, and most evident is how they make you feel when you are around them.
This includes a feeling of eternal safety, warmth, solidified bonds, and the absolute knowing that you will always matter and be valued.
Growing up as a teenage girl in Hawaii, I felt safe around boys and men, protected, and even relaxed in their company.
The local boys, including my own brother, were friendly and treated strangers like family as soon as you shared one exchange of "How'z it?" and "What's up my friend?"
When I turned boys down for dates, they just laughed and said "Maybe next time sista", as they ran off with a smile to surf, fish, farm, work or take care of their moms, dads and grandparents without a blink.
But again, this does not mean they were not manly, strong or tough enough when they needed to be.
A few times I watched local boys as young as 13 and 14 sacrifice and risk their lives for others, and they did so without question and without expected rewards.
For example, my grandfather was homeless as a child and helped to support his siblings and mother in a makeshift lean-to on a farm. He didn't have the opportunity of going to school. But eventually he worked so hard that he was able to purchase the farm, a little at a time for his wife and five children, and eventually even built a new home on the acres of land, brick by brick, and hand by hand.
But he never complained about his rough past, never talked about it , and never assumed or bragged of his success as if it were some great or unusual accomplishment.
This brand of humility, bravery and stoicism bled on to my grandfather's sons; my uncles who volunteered as soldiers during the Second World War and for the 442nd Battalion, the most highly decorated infantry in United States history.
As they were Japanese, they suffered extreme racial prejudice after the Pearl Harbor bombing attack, but volunteered nonetheless as they felt it was their duty to serve as American soldiers. Never mind that many of their efforts were not recognized or as lauded as white American soldiers. They did the right thing because it was the right thing to do.
Said Takeshi Kudo, my 90 year-old uncle who was awarded a Bronze Star for risking his own life to bring back the bodies of U.S. soldiers killed on the battlefields, "I didn't need to prove that I was an American, I knew that I was. I just wanted to get the job done and to bring our boys home."
But to this day, many 442 veterans don't want to talk about their heroic acts. They simply say that they were doing what needed to be done.
As a matter of fact, it is more honorable to never mention or brag about the good that one does, as being brave and doing good is a natural part of being a man in Hawaii ; and humility is part of that.
Obama was also raised in Hawaii during the 1970's, a time when young and old people were both encouraged to speak up about the issues that they cared about, but always in a respectful, direct and yet calm manner.
I remember when my father, a professor at the University of Hawaii used to talk story; a phrase in Hawaii that means sharing ideas. He used to talk endlessly with other intellectuals, artists, writers, philosophers activists, his college students and other friends about significant political and progressive ideas.
But unlike my early childhood days when our family lived in Los Angeles and when he taught at UCLA, these discussions in Hawaii that I overheard were calm and yet firm; careful and yet radical; militant and yet non-violent.
Most of all, they were thoughtful and concise discussions among men who were influenced and inspired more by strong personal ideology than by political righteousness.
Obama was also raised on the island of Oahu during the 1970's, a time in which there were a lot of mainlanders moving to the Islands who hoped to find their piece of paradise.
Often called haoles which means Caucasian or White in Hawaiian, most of them were already on a spiritual and grounded path, and for the most part, they blended in well with the numerous cultures who made up the unique Hawaiian mosaic of previous generations.
Another factor that shaped Obama's calmer outlook, communication style and even political style was the fact that he was raised by his grandparents.
While some families on mainland states or from other cultures as a disadvantage, Hawaiians look to the raising of grandchildren by grandparents as a positive.
With so many words for grandparents in the native language, every local kid loves their Tutu (grandmother) and Kanaka (grandfather), and being raised by them, or in conjunction with their parents is not only considered an opportunity, but a blessing or Po'maika lani.
For Hawaiian culture, boys step up from an early age to take care of their moms and younger siblings, even when dad is present. They don't look at them as a burden, but rather as a privilege and rite of passage.
While Obama eventually left Island life to fist attend Occidental College, then Columbia University and Harvard Law School, and later became a community organizer on the tough streets of Chicago, he didn't leave his Hawaiian roots far behind.
Hopefully not too far in the future, scholars, political pundits and historians may better be able to understand Obama's legacy, accomplishments and political as well as personal style far better if they look beyond the polls and lens of the think-tank politicized culture.
Politicians, after all are just people; complex, interesting, emotional and well-bonded to their childhoods and cultures as anyone else.
The story of Obama is no different.