Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant the accuracy of closed captions. These are derived automatically from the broadcaster's signal.
The Choice Part 1 -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) Good evening. Mariana Rudan with a World News Australia update. Activists in the Indonesian Province of West Papua injured after police fire shots into a crowd of demonstrators. Police seize a number of documents from the home of disgraced former Labor MP Craig Thompson as the investigation continues into the alleged use of union money.It was part of the routine procedures that we expected. I don't expect to be charged in relation to this matter. Inflation figures in the latest September quarter jump more than expected but remain low enough to keep an early November interest rate cut at bay. And emotional scenes at a memorial service in Afghanistan as soldiers pay tribute to their fallen colleague. I'll have a full World News Australia bulletin at 10:30.

NARRATOR: Tonight -
the lives of the men
who would be President.

MAN: Barack Obama's a fascinating
mixture of boldness and caution.

When Mitt Romney gets focused
and locked in, watch out.

Stories of family...

WOMAN: Stanley Ann Dunham
was really

a thoroughly unconventional mother.

MAN: He had to fend for himself.
Every step, he was alone.

WOMAN: The dad stuff just
can't be underestimated.

MAN: He had a lot of power to him.
He was our hero.


WOMAN: He told
his fifth-grade class

that his father
was an Indonesian king.

MAN: He was a white black kid.

MAN: His extended family is one of
the leading Mormon families.

MAN: He can't talk about it
because it involves polygamy.


MAN: He's the first Nobel Peace
Prize winner with a kill list.

MAN: Mitt Romney doesn't have
an ideological bone in his body

as far as I can tell.

..and destiny.

MAN: What unites both
of these characters

is this sense that there was
a place that they were going,

a destiny that they had.

The Choice 2012.

REPORTER: To Massachusetts,
and a political fight

that Ted Kennedy
probably never imagined...

REPORTER: Kennedy's
seventh campaign has become

a desperate struggle for survival.

REPORTER: This year he is
in his toughest race ever,

against a political newcomer...

REPORTER: It's youth versus age,

and the Senate's leading liberal

against a wildly successful
venture capitalist.

MAN: We get a call
from the Boston Police

and they say,
"It's a mad scene down here."

It was the night
of their first debate.

"We're gonna have to get you an
escort to get into the building."

And they had eight or ten
motorcycle police officers there

to guide us through
the mobs of people at the site.

It was 47-year-old Mitt Romney's
first campaign.

And Mitt just has this big smile
on his face, and he looks at me,

and he goes,
"Boy, however this turns out,

"this really makes it worth it."

The race had been close.
Romney needed a great performance.

I don't think he had
any idea what it was gonna be like,

'cause he had never done debates
under that pressure.

He'd gotten into the race because
Kennedy looked weak, beatable.

MAN: At the time,
Ted Kennedy seemed vulnerable.

MAN 2: It was
a weak period for Kennedy.

He looked bad, he sounded bad,
and in that way he was vulnerable.

He was dramatically overweight.

There had been trouble
with alcohol and women.

He'd mortgaged his house
to stay in the race.

MAN: Romney was everything
Ted Kennedy was not.

You know, he had
this clean family life.

He was a really good speaker.

He was really athletic and he had
a good kind of campaign visage.

MAN: People knew that he had
gone to Harvard Business School,

had made a lot of money,

been a registered independent

up until not too long before he ran.

MAN: He ran as
a liberal-to-moderate politician.

He opposed Newt Gingrich's
Contract with America.

He supported abortion rights.

He said he was to the left
of Ted Kennedy on gay rights.

The expectation was
that Romney would do very well.

Romney, the Republican candidate...

SHRUM: I ran into someone
who was not so friendly to us,

who said, "Did you come
to see your guy destroyed?"

I paced in the back of Faneuil Hall
throughout the entire debate.

ANNOUNCER: ..since 1962.
Good evening and welcome.

Romney directly
confronted Kennedy.

Senator Kennedy,
my impression has been

that you have followed a campaign,
as soon as the primary was over,

of trying to divert the voters'
attention from the issues at hand,

and instead making
personal attacks on me

which are unfounded,
unfair and sleazy.

Kennedy had unleashed
negative TV ads.

MAN: (ON TV) Romney - it's not just

what he did to his workers
and business that's the problem.

It's what he might do to us
in the Senate.

Kennedy was a master politician,
and what he did

was he used a series of filmed ads
to its maximal effect.

MAN: (ON TV) Mitt Romney says
he helped create 10,000 jobs.

The former workers at SCM in
Marion, Indiana, say something else.

I'd like to say to the people
of Massachusetts -

if you think it can't happen to you,
think again,

'cause we thought
it wouldn't happen here either.

I want to know why
you spent millions of dollars

showing advertisements of strikers

in a company I had
nothing to do with.

But Kennedy, the veteran,
ignored Romney's charge.

Mr Romney, let's put the ads aside
and talk about health care.

Let's talk about education.
Let's talk about training.

Let's talk about new jobs.
Let's talk about infrastructure.

Let's talk about our different
vision for Massachusetts.

That's what the people of
Massachusetts want to talk about

and that's what I think
they ought to hear about.

I think about 10 or 15 minutes in,
Romney began to realise

this was not the easy exercise
he thought it was gonna be.

Then Romney faltered.
The issue was health care.

I have a plan. I have
a position paper on health care.

I'm happy to show it to you,
Senator, any time you'd like.


Mr Romney, it isn't a question
of showing ME your paper.

It's a question of showing

all of the people in here that are
watching this program the paper.

They ought to have
an opportunity to know.

What is the cost of your program?
I don't have a cost of my program.

You don't have a cost?
No, I'm sorry, I...

What would be the impact of that
on the budget?

Well, the impact... I do not
know the specific number...

So, you don't have a cost...

..the impact of that
on the budget, Senator Kennedy.

I think it's a wonderful idea

to take it through,
piece by piece, and...

That's what you have to do
as a legislator.

That's exactly what
you have to do as a legislator.


SHRUM: We all sort of understood
what had happened that night.

The debate was watched
by over 3 million people -

as many people as watched
the Super Bowl in Massachusetts.

Romney had these expectations
that he was gonna win up to here.

And suddenly, Kennedy is up to here,
Romney's here. The race is over.


MAN: After you lose to Ted Kennedy,
everything else comes up shy.

You've learned from that.
You've been through the storm.

You've served time
on the front lines.

History is a great teacher.

He may have lost, but he acquired
some knowledge from that defeat.

MAN: Mitt doesn't like to lose,
so it was very painful for him.

It was, I believe,
probably the first public failure

he had ever experienced,

and I think, at a deep level,

that was a painful experience
for him.


The year is 2000.
The place is Chicago's South Side.

For nearly a decade,
Barack Obama had been working

to make this neighbourhood his home.

For the last three years,
he'd been a state senator,

but he was growing impatient.

He had his eye on
a congressional seat.

HELMAN: He wants to
do something bigger.

He's got a pretty big ego, right?

He believes in himself,

believes he's bigger
than the Illinois Senate.

WOMAN: You know, he convinces
himself it's a really good idea

to take on one of the lions

of the black Chicago
Democratic establishment.

It was the legendary
incumbent congressman

and former Black Panther Bobby Rush.

MAN: Bobby Rush has real strong
roots in the community.

Bobby Rush was, you know, a Panther.

Then he matured as a congressman

into a guy that took that toughness
and broadly applied that.

So, Bobby Rush had very
real strength in the community.

Even after having lived here
for years,

Obama was vulnerable to a charge
Bobby Rush would surely make -

he didn't really know these streets,

and he's not really
an African American.

HELMAN: Bobby Rush called him
an educated fool -

again trying to sort of cast Obama

as this overeducated,

half-white guy from Hawaii,

with this multicultural background.

He was not one of us.

You can have more degrees
than a thermometer,

but if you ain't got some power,
you ain't got some seniority,

if you ain't got what it takes
to be a congressman...

That's always been a subtext
of the opposition to him

from other black politicians -

how dedicated is he
to the black struggle?

OBAMA: Despite all our differences,

we can live together
as one people.

There's a long article about
the race in the 'Chicago Reader',

the local alternative paper
in Chicago,

where one of Obama's opponents,
he says,

"Obama is viewed as the white man
in blackface in our community."

MAN: It got bad. It was real bad.

A number of black nationalists
in the African American community,

you know,
made all sorts of allegations

about Barack being
a tool of, you know,

Hyde Park
and the University of Chicago,

which are both code words
for both whites and Jews.

Bobby Rush's strategy worked.

On election day, the voters
embraced the incumbent.

Obama knew what was going to happen.

In the end, voters decided
to stick with Bobby Rush

by a huge, huge, huge margin.

So, it was a very
bruising loss for him.

Obama lost by 30 points.

MAN: It was the first time
in his life

where people didn't just really
accept him immediately -

where things didn't really
go perfectly for him.

The loss seemed like it might be
the end of Obama's political career.

WOMAN: People who saw him afterward

say he was as low
as they've ever seen him.

One person who was close to him
said he got the sense

that Senator Obama really wondered

if he would be able
to continue in politics.

And it raised real problems
with his wife, Michelle.

KANTOR: The Bobby Rush race was
the nadir of the Obama marriage.

Her feeling was,
"Why are you doing this?"

This is the moment when they want
two totally different things.

You know, Barack Obama
wants political success

and his wife wants a normal life.

I asked the President and First Lady

how long it had taken them
to recover from that period,

and they said two to three years.

So, this is a serious toll
on their relationship.



Can your bank plan the day you
become financially independent? CommBank can. Talk to a Commonwealth
financial planner today.

Robyn's switch to Apia,
taken from a real conversation. (PHONE RINGS) So, Robyn,
what made you switch to Apia? I was looking for
a better home insurance deal than what I was offered. We needed to find something
that we could afford to pay. So I rang around, and found
that Apia was the best for us. And how did you find
dealing with Apia? Couldn't have been more helpful. We've taken
all our insurances to Apia - the cars, the caravan,
the whole lot. If you're over 50, call Apia
on 13 50 50 to switch today.

SONG: # Bad boys, bad boys # What you gonna chew? # What you gonna chew # When they come for you? # Bad boys, bad boys # What you gonna chew? # Food and drink can cause pH levels
in your mouth to fall. Chewing Extra helps
neutralise plaque acid and keep teeth clean and healthy. # Bad boys,
bad boys

# Bad boys, bad boys # What you gonna chew? # What you gonna chew when they come
for you? # Eat, drink, chew.

For Mitt Romney,

growing up in this affluent
suburban Detroit neighbourhood

was just about perfect.

KRANISH: Mitt Romney did have
this rather elite upbringing

in a very wealthy community.

He is, you know,
very well taken care of.

Mitt was the youngest
of four children.

MAN: These are people who just
adored their children and, uh...

And you could see that Mitt
and his dad had a very special bond.

WOMAN: The dad stuff
just can't be underestimated.

George Romney comes up
again and again and again

as a motif in Mitt Romney's life.

At home, George Romney
ruled the roost.

His children lived
in his reflected glory.

When he walked in the room,
you knew he was there.

He had a lot of...
a lot of power to him,

and it was...he was a lot of fun.

I mean, he was our hero.

George had made a fortune
in the auto industry

the old-fashioned way -

he earned it.

MAN: George Romney was, in many
ways, a figure from another time.

VOICEOVER: What's more fitting
than that Detroit...

At a time when the American car
was king...

..hold the world's
largest automobile show...

..George Romney was president

of the fourth-largest automobile
manufacturer in the nation.

His great triumph
was to come up with an idea

that all of the big
Detroit companies had missed,

which was that
a small car could sell.

They called the car the Rambler,
and to young Mitt, it was swell.

MAN: What's the best car
on the road?

(LAUGHS) Rambler.

MAN: They built
a little go-kart together

and they did things together.

Just doing fun things
and having a great time.

Just down the street
was Mitt's school.

WOMAN ON TV: Cranbook,
a school where the young

are nurtured on beauty.

It was one of Michigan's
most exclusive private schools.

MAN: You had to wear a coat and tie,
except on Fridays.

We were very fortunate
to have beautiful surroundings,

but the real focus was academic.

Mitt wasn't much for the academics.

The school yearbook shows
where he put his energy.

MAN: Romney at Cranbrook
was a belonger.

He wasn't a good athlete, but he
was the manager of the hockey team,

he was on the cross-country team,
he was a cheerleader.

He was very active
in everything he could be.

He was part of the place,
very deeply.

During that time,
Mitt's dad decided to leave business

and head into politics.

Michigan was a powerful
Democratic stronghold,

but George Romney
had a maverick streak.

He ran as
a liberal-to-moderate Republican,

and Mitt watched as he won.

Michigan can light
the authentic path

to a fuller and higher expression
of freedom in America.

Thank you very much.

It's a little bit striking
how involved he is

in George's political activities
from a fairly young age.

His dad thought civil rights
were worth fighting for.

As a teenager, Mitt was
less interested in the issues

than being with his dad.

The word from his family

is that he was not necessarily
interested in politics as ideology.

But there was always
something about his father

and his father's power
and his father's profession

that kept him around
and kept him close

in a way that it didn't do that
for other members of his family.

VOICEOVER: The eyes of the nation
are on San Francisco

as the Republican Party convenes to
nominate its choice for President.

And in 1964,
Mitt travelled with his dad

to watch him take on conservative
Republican senator Barry Goldwater.

KRANISH: Mitt is absorbing
all of this.

He sees his father
basically taking a stand

and admires his father
greatly for this.

But it was
Barry Goldwater's convention.

And when Goldwater
received the nomination,

Mitt saw his father
angrily storm out.

SCOTT ROMNEY: I think that my father
was always willing to live

according to his principles.

He didn't shy away
from any challenge.

He was a very strong person
in doing that,

and we learned that you have to
live up to what you believe in.

One thing George Romney believed in
was the Vietnam War.

And one year later, when Mitt
showed up at Stanford University,

he would adopt
his father's position.

KRANISH: So, he is very much on his
father's side, for the Vietnam War,

at that time.

He's really out of his element,

where the whole campus
is being roiled

by this...anti-war
and anti-establishment protesters.


Mitt took on the protesters.

KANTOR: Mitt Romney is
a fairly rule-bound person.

He actually protested
the protesters.

He held up a big sign
that said something like,

"Go back to your studies."

HELMAN: And we see the Mitt Romney

who cares about rules and
institutions and following orders.

And that causes him to take
a very dim view, I think,

of these protest movements.

VOICEOVER: Welcome to paradise...

Barack Obama began his life
on an island., 50th state.

His birth certificate
reveals his history -

born in Hawaii,

the son of an African man,
and a white 18-year-old from Kansas.

Stanley Ann Dunham was really
a thoroughly unconventional mother

in almost every way.

She fell in love with and conceived
a child with an African man

at a time when nearly
two dozen states

had laws against
interracial marriage.

He would not see his son
for 10 years.

MARANISS: Barry Obama had
a pretty unsettling childhood.

I mean, he didn't know his father.

His mother was very loving
and protective,

but she was also finding herself.

Basically, he and she
grew up together.

SCOTT: She then became involved
with an Indonesian

and married him
and had a child with him.

So, she had two bi-racial children
from different cultures

who she raised largely by herself.

They lived in Jakarta.
He was now called Barry Soetoro.

His stepfather, Lolo, was troubled.

SCOTT: He's drinking quite a lot.

There's evidence of at least one act
of domestic violence against her.

Stanley Ann taught English.

While she worked,
Barry had to learn how to cope.

MARANISS: Imagine what
it would be like, at age six,

to be thrown into
the chaotic, swirling environment

of a dense neighbourhood
in Jakarta, Indonesia,

not knowing the language,
not knowing anything,

looking a little different.

He had to fend for himself.

Every step along the way, there was
some aspect, deep aspect of him,

where he was alone.

Then, when he was 10,

his mother sent him to Hawaii
to live with his grandparents.

SCOTT: I think it's natural
to assume

that, your father being absent,

then you form a relationship
with your stepfather,

and then be separated from him
and be separated from your mother

and go live with your grandparents,

who, at that point,
you don't really know that well,

it must have been
profoundly unsettling.

MARANISS: His early life is
a constant stream of people leaving,

of him being left -

his mother, his father,
his grandparents constantly moving.

His whole life is really a...

..sort of a classic search for home.

They lived in a small two-bedroom
high-rise apartment in Honolulu.

MARANISS: His grandfather
was a heavy drinker.

What surprised me
as I was researching my book

was actually the President himself
telling me

that his grandmother
was an alcoholic too.

But Barry had gotten lucky.

Hawaii's most prestigious school

needed students
with diverse backgrounds.

WOMAN: I can picture him
as this slightly...

..'Chubby' is too strong,

but rounded, short little guy,
Barry Obama.

And he told us that his father
was an Indonesian king

and that he was a prince,

and after he finished school,
he was gonna go back

and he would be a ruler
in Indonesia.

And I absolutely believed him.

I understand that he told

his fifth-grade class

that he was Kenyan royalty.

But I never heard that story
until, you know, years later.

At Punahou, they prided themselves
on multicultural attitudes,

and Barry joined in.

But it wasn't always easy.

CALDWELL: The junior
tennis tournaments in Hawaii,

when the draw was posted,

everyone would go over to see, "OK,
who do I play in the first round?

"Where am I in the draw?"

And we were looking for our names
on the draw, and Barry included.

And the tennis pro came over
and he said to Barry,

"Don't touch that.
You'll get it dirty."

And there was something in his tone
that horrified me,

because it wasn't...

It was clear that he didn't mean,
"Oh, your hands are grubby,"

which he would have
ragged at any of us for that.

It was clear that he meant,
"You're black."

Being half-black was adding to the
complications of young Barry's life.

MARANISS: Here he was,
half-black, half-white,

living with white grandparents.

Many of his friends assumed

that they were his parents,
who had adopted him,

because they're white, he's black.

A lot of friends
never knew his mother.

Honestly, I don't have
any recollection

of Barry's biological mother.

It just seemed to be
like a missing person, for me,

and I never asked about it.

His mother had been absent
for much of his childhood.

He'd met his father only once,
for a few weeks, when he was 10.

WOMAN: Barack has had to deal with

duelling identities all of his life.

Nurtured by a white family

and identifying with that family,

but at the same time,
when he's out, when he goes out,

he's identified as something else.

And he has had to make sense of
that duality his entire life.

Alone and unsure of how to fit in,

Barry created a family of his own,

a group of kids from school.

They called themselves
the Choom Gang.

Tom Topolinski
was one of them.

Choom was the slang
for 'smoke marijuana'.

Somehow, it reached our group

and became an identifier
as who we were.

We were the Choom Gang.

TOPOLINSKI: I think it was
important to Barry

because perhaps it did fill a void
that wasn't apparent at the time.

I don't think any of us
thought of it that way,

but now, in retrospect,
we looked back and went,

"Hey, you know,
we really were a family."

This was really, really cool.

Obama's senior yearbook
tells the story.

In his yearbook,
he thanks Gramps and Tut,

who are Stan and Madelyn,
his grandparents,

and the Choom Gang,

and Ray for the good times,

who was their drug dealer,

who was kind of a hippie
who could get them the good stuff.

And he doesn't thank his mother.

By the time he graduated
from Punahou,

Obama had decided to leave Hawaii.

One of the central themes
that I find from his life

is his intense desire
to avoid being trapped.

His mother had that.

She didn't want to be trapped

in a life that
she didn't want in Honolulu.

She left for Indonesia.

And he had it threefold.

And throughout his life,

he was constantly trying to
figure out the traps.

In 1966, the Mormon church
called Mitt Romney

at the end of his freshman year
at Stanford.

It was time to become
a Mormon missionary.

You are sort of sent
out on your own,

in very difficult circumstances,

to sort of prove your stuff.

Can you make it?

Mitt, like most Mormon young men,

had to leave home
for a rigorous rite of passage.

And that means
standing up for your faith

under very adverse circumstances.

It means working hard

when you have many reasons
to be discouraged,

when people are not
paying attention to you.

For Mitt Romney, service to the
Mormon church had a special meaning.

The Romney family traced their roots
back to the church's earliest days.

Not only were his parents
very prominent,

his family, back to the days of
Brigham Young, was very prominent.

His extended family is one of
the leading Mormon families.

Mitt's great-grandfather, Miles,
was an early church leader

who had established
a colony in Mexico.

The Romneys had left
the United States and went to Mexico

to avoid persecution,
but it's also to pursue polygamy.

Miles Romney had five wives
and 30 children.

They built a ranch, and he's back in
Stone Age conditions with no money.

Romney's father is now on the scene.

That gets destroyed by guerillas.

They move back to California,
poverty again.

They build it back up.
They move back to Salt Lake City.

They build it back up.

Romney's whole history of a family

is that "They knocked us down,
we built it back up.

"We didn't make a fortune -
we made a bunch of fortunes.

"And they resented us for our
success, but we kept coming back."

That's Romney's history.

With someone with

you heard about
the sufferings of your ancestors

and their sacrifices
and all they've done,

that you feel like,
"Well, it's my turn now.

"I've got to pick up the baton
and run with it."

But Mitt and his family
rarely tell the story to outsiders.

It's an incredible history.

He can't talk about it
because it involves polygamy.

And, so, if the core
of your personality

is something you can't talk about

because it's politically

well, you're not gonna be open
with the people all around you.

Now the church was sending Mitt away

to spend two and half years
on a mission in France.

As Mitt Romney has said,
imagine going to Bordeaux

and saying to people, "I've got
a great new religion for you,

"and by the way,
give up your wine."

The task - to put on a suit and tie,
and climb on your bicycle.

The tried and true and well-worn
method was knocking on doors.

And, so, we knocked on thousands and
thousands and thousands of doors.

The Mormon mission does teach you
to deal with rejection.

Most people are not thrilled

to see a pair of Mormon missionaries
on their door.

Rejection was at the heart
of the experience.

And it means cultivating
your own inner spiritual life.

Where else are you going to get
the resources and the strength

to carry on this difficult work
of knocking on people's doors

and pleading with them
to listen to you

unless you feel like
God is with you?

And during that time, Mitt was
worried about the news from home.

His father was running
for President.

We would get a hold of
the 'Herald Tribune'

and kind of keep up on
what was happening.

The news was not good.

George's campaign was in trouble.

He had changed his position
on the Vietnam War.

Well, you know
when I came back from Vietnam,

I just had the greatest brainwashing
that anybody can get.

When you...
MAN: By the generals?

When you go over to Vietnam...

Not only by the generals, but also
by the diplomatic corps over there.

Romney's opponent
was Richard Nixon.

The press jumped on
the word 'brainwashed'.

The story caught fire.

WALLACE-WELLS: But this blew up.

It conjured images from
'The Manchurian Candidate',

and he gets criticised
from all angles,

and the gap between him and Nixon
widens pretty dramatically.

Back in France, Mitt watched

as his father's
presidential campaign cratered.

It was a disappointment when
his dad had a sudden drop-off.

He would say, "Yeah, it's too bad.
My dad's such a great guy.

"Why would he get punished
for saying what was true?"

Then a brush with death.

Mitt Romney is driving.

They are coming around a curve

in this small, remote town.

There are six people in the car.

He went around the bend
and he saw that there was,

at a high rate of speed, another
person coming right toward him.

And the car was estimated
to be going, I think,

some 70 miles an hour.



One of the policemen
who had shown up

as the first responder,
if you will,

had actually written
in his passport, "Il est mort,"

which means "He is dead."

Mitt woke up in a ward
and he didn't know where he was.

And then, for a period of time,

he didn't have any feeling
in one side of his face.

He had survived, but the wife
of the mission president,

sitting right next to him,
was killed.

You have to understand
the mission president

was like the surrogate father there,

his wife, the surrogate mother,
the mission mother.

And she was, to many of us,
a mother there,

and so it was an awful loss for us
that she was killed.

In the wake of the tragedy,
Mitt showed surprising resilience.

I think part of that
is because of our faith -

a deep conviction that this
isn't the end of all life.

It's just the end of mortal life -

that there's purpose
beyond this life

and that Sister Anderson
now had gone on

and would be involved in great work

going on
on the other side of the veil,

that our job now
was to make a success

of what she had been there for
and what she had nurtured us for.

The mission in Paris was leaderless.

Someone needed to turn it around,
pull it all together.

Mitt took over.

HOROWITZ: He immediately starts
kind of establishing himself

as a leader within the church,
because there's a vacuum.

Those closest to him say
the experience had changed him.

And he made a commitment to himself
to work as hard.

And I think part of that
comes from that experience

of going overseas
and seeing other people,

and having
life-threatening experiences

and deciding what you're gonna
make out of your life.

And he decided he wanted to make
the most he could out of his life

and worked as hard
as he possibly could to do that.

By the early 1980s,

Barry Obama had left Hawaii
and his grandparents behind.

Now he was on the mainland, in
Los Angeles, at Occidental College.

They called it Oxy.

MAN: He was the most casual,
unpretentious, nicest guy.

I mean, my indelible image of him
was always in a Hawaiian shirt,

and some OP shorts and flip-flops.

I don't know that he had

a long pair of pants during college.

He'd come to Oxy with an attitude
straight from Hawaii -

'cool head, main thing' -

a laid-back sensibility
that didn't wear well with everyone.

For the first time there are
African Americans there -

not an enormous number,
but enough.

There's kids from Compton, from
Philadelphia, from LA, from Seattle.

He was a white black kid, you know?

And that has meaning for us

in the sense of

he was black in skin colour

but he didn't necessarily
identify with his blackness

the same way I did.

They didn't think
he was one of them.

Sort of a repetitive theme
in his life after that -

"Is he black enough?"

Yes, there was some push-back
from certain individuals

that weren't as open-minded
to the world, no matter you were.

And, so, people were trying to
figure out who Barack was,

at the same time he was trying
to figure out who he was.

Obama began to try to build
another group like the Choom Gang,

this time with a core group
of foreign students.

I didn't, at that time,

consider him a stereotypical...

..or fit any of the image

of any kind of American -

neither the whites nor the blacks.

I didn't consider him American.

He seemed like
an international individual.

There was a Swiss girl.
There was an Indian guy, Vinay.

It was he and a couple of others.

My room-mate was Latino.
I mean, it was awesome.

It was a cultural soup

that really tasted good
for everyone, you know,

and he was in the centre of it.

Eventually, he took
an important step.

MOORE: I asked,
you know, "Barry Obama?

"What kind of name is that
for a brother?

"You know, where are you
from exactly?"

And he said, "Well, I'm from Hawaii,
but my father was Kenyan.

"And his name was Barack Obama,

"and I go by Barry

"so that I don't have to explain
my name all the time,

"and go into
a long explanation of myself."

And, so, I said, "Well, if your name
is Barack Obama,

"I'm gonna call you Barack Obama,
'cause I like that name."

But Barack was restless
at Occidental.

He decided it was time to leave.

He would transfer to Columbia
University in New York City.

HELMAN: He needed to actually
physically leave

and fly cross the country

and start again
at this much more rigorous school

to be Barack Obama,

the promising
young scholar, intellectual,

that would grow up to be President.

Barak Obama came east
to engage the world,

especially the black world.

He started by moving
to the edge of Harlem.

A couple of friends
from the Oxy days joined him.

It was complete intimidation
by New York City,

which seemed rougher and tougher
and uncivilised

than any other place
either of us had lived.

And both of us were
probably questioning,

"Why the heck did I
come to this place?"

It was scary. We had no resources.

MARANISS: Well, New York, to me,
is the key to his life.

It's the period
where he does the least,

but figures out the most.

To find a connection
to the black community,

Obama headed out into Harlem
and all over the city.

But it turned out to be harder
than Obama imagined.

As he walked the streets,

friends say he was affected by
the poverty all around him.

There is one great letter
where he describes

how all of his Choom Gang friends

are sort of getting
into the mainstream

and his Pakistani friends

are all moving toward
the business world. him,
all of that seems too small.

Too categorised, too limiting.

(READS) "Caught without a class,
a structure

"or tradition to support me -

"in a sense the choice to take
a different path is made for me.

"The only way to assuage
my feelings of isolation

"are to absorb
all the traditions, classes.

"Make them mine, me theirs."

MARANISS: And, he's trying to say,
"Where do I fit?

"For me to exist,
I have to be larger than it.

"I have to embrace it all,
make it all mine."

He writes that.

And I think in that simple sentence,

you see everything about who he
wanted to be and what he needed.

He didn't want to be limited.

BOERNER: He comes from
a multicultural background -

experiences of Indonesia
and Pakistan

and California and New York.

An experience to the different
cultures that we had.

And, so, what he was doing
at that time that I knew him,

was trying to say, "Let's unite
around what we share,

"not what's different about us."

Obama had discovered something
important about himself,

something that would help shape
the rest of his life.

MARANISS: What Obama has figured out
by the time he leaves New York

is that it is possible for him
to be in a black community,

while maintaining
that larger sensibility

of being a product of the world
and open to the diversity...

..the vast diversity
of this country and of the world.

They don't have to be in conflict.

He doesn't have to choose
between one or the other.

He's figured his way to get both.

Obama took a job in Chicago
as a community organiser.

MAN: Blacks, whites, Hispanics,
Jews, gentiles...

Obama arrived in Chicago
after the election

of the city's first black mayor,
Harold Washington.

..have joined hands to form
a new democratic coalition.

MAN: I think that the fact

that Chicago had elected
an African-American mayor

in Harold Washington

sort of emphasised with Barack
that he was coming to a city

where blacks were a major presence

and had some significance.

Washington's politics
were a living example

of what Obama was looking for.

WOMAN: What Washington
was able to do

was to put together
these coalitions -

African Americans, Latinos
and progressive whites.

And he was able to pull that
together and beat the machine.

God bless you all and thank you
from the bottom of my heart.

And that kind of coalition building

was incredibly influential
for Barack.

Obama's laboratory
would be the city's South Side.

MAN: We had put an ad
in a number of newspapers

for a community organiser
in the South Side of Chicago.

I'm looking for anybody

who might be a good organiser,

but I particularly need somebody

who's African-American.

And Obama, at that period of time,
he's not sure he's black.

For the guys that are hiring him,

"You'll do just fine," you know?


But not everyone on the South Side
of Chicago

embraced the Ivy League graduate.

WOMAN: He had to work with a lot
of different church leaders...

..who weren't necessarily
receptive to this young guy

who came from the Ivy League
and did not have Chicago roots.

MAN: You know, Chicago's
a town that says,

Well, Barack was somebody
that nobody sent.

With mixed success, he tried to
build coalitions for three years.

But he had become frustrated.

He wrote about it
in a letter to a friend.

(READS) "It's tough.

"Lots of driving,

"lots of hours on the phone,
trying to break through lethargy,

"lots of dull meetings.

"Lots of frustration."

At that point,
he begins thinking about,

"Is there some other way to do
the same job that I'm trying to do?"

Which is lift people out of poverty.

He decided to move on -

this time to law school.

LIZZA: He said to some of
his community organising buddies,

he needed that credential,

that Harvard law degree,
to access the corridors of power.

Christmas-time in 1968,

Mitt Romney returned to Detroit
from his Mormon mission.

His mother and father
were waiting at the airport

and so was his high-school
girlfriend, Ann Davies.

HELMAN: Ann is at the airport
with his family.

Now, remember, when Mitt Romney
was in France,

Ann Davies had grown
very close to Romney's family.

His father, George, had actually
converted her to Mormonism.

So, in some ways, the family

knew Ann better than Mitt did.

They'd met when she was a
high-school sophomore, 15 years old.

He was an 18-year-old senior.

At Mitt's senior prom,
they promised to get married.

ANN: And I was so young.

And, after three and a half years,

I started wondering, you know,
"How was I gonna feel?"

Or "How do I really
even still feel? I don't know."

I hadn't seen him or been with him
for such a long time.

They sat together on the jump seat

in the back
of Mitt's sister's car.

And it was just the two of us
in the back seat.

And it was such
an amazing car ride home,

because we both said,
"We've waited so long.

"Why should we wait any longer?

"Let's just get married now,
like now."

(LAUGHS) And that was a bit
of a shock to everyone.

They didn't...anyone...
quite think that was a great idea,

including my parents.

But that's how we felt.

It was really kind of amazing.

The wedding was held
three months later.

He was 22, she was 19.

According to Mormon doctrine,

Ann and Mitt were now bound forever,
into eternity.

They began to raise a family

and by the time Mitt was 24,

he headed for a graduate school
his dad had wanted to attend.

One of George's ambitions in life
when he was a young man

was to go to
Harvard Business School.

And George never ended up doing
that, didn't graduate college.

Mitt Romney arrived on the Harvard
campus at just the moment

a new, radical approach
to business was being taught.

He was at Harvard Business School

at the time of a real revolution
sweeping through this place

that the American
industrial corporation

was kind of deeply diseased
and troubled,

in a way that was threatening
the entire welfare of the nation.

They hated the clubbiness
that executives had with each other.

They thought that
personal relationships,

the kind of golf course

was what made companies
slow and kind of insular

and not open to new ideas.

It was a departure from the way
Romney's father had done business.

It's go to work for a
company and rise through the ranks.

That's what it's not.

Instead, it's you kind of parachute
into a situation

and the whole concept is
you're gonna see things

that the people who have been
running the company for generations

just can't see,

that's gonna double the value
of the company.

So, that's a pretty powerful
set of ideas.

And this man, Bill Bain,
had created a consulting company

designed to ride the new wave.

He offered Mitt a top job.

MAN: Mitt gets a call to say,

"Hey, why don't you come to this
new consulting group called Bain?"

And he's really excited
about the idea.

From the beginning Mitt proved
himself adept at consulting.

And then a bigger idea -

creating an investment fund.

This guy - he looked perfect,

he dressed perfect,
he spoke perfectly,

he asked the most poignant questions

in a very, very nice way.

Mitt helped make Tom Stemberg rich.

Back in 1986,
Stemberg had a big idea.

MAN: Staples was this big new idea
to open a new kind of store.

Prior to Staples, you had to go
to a stationary store,

to a business machine store,
to a computer store,

to a software store,
to a supermarket,

to get all the things
that Staples put under one roof.

It was one of Romney's
first big deals

running Bain's new private
equity fund.

Stemberg wanted $2.5 million
to open his first stores.

Mitt was a hard sell.

MAN: Mitt felt a lot of pressure.

He was under an inordinate
amount of pressure.

There would be times when Mitt

would sort of jokingly sit

and flap his tie like, "Oh, man.

"This thing better work out."

WALLACE-WELLS: They say that
he almost had trouble

coming to decisions on his own,

that he always wanted the data
to be so compelling

that everybody
in the room would simply agree.

He finally decided
Staples looked like a sure thing.

And he was right.

MAN: They made something like

six or seven times their money
on that investment.

It was one of the things
that allowed Bain Capital to grow

to the very significant firm
it's become today.

And Romney moved Bain
into a lucrative new field,

leveraged buy-outs.

The gold rush was on.

LEMANN: The people who were either
smart enough or lucky enough

to enter that space when Romney did,

all did fabulously well.

It was just a great...

It was kind of being in
the right place at the right time.

There was one deal
that was very profitable

that basically was turned around
and flipped in about seven weeks.

This deal,
one of Romney's partner said,

this was like being hit
by the, quote, "lucky stick".

Another deal in which
he invested $50 million

in the Yellow Pages company in Italy

and got back $1 billion,

this partner said that was like
being "thrashed", unquote,

by the lucky stick.

Mitt and his team memorialised
their early success

with a photograph.

These folks think that they went
like a giant tidal wave

through the American economy

and essentially saved it

by kicking out all of these
good-for-nothing CEOs

and making companies, once again,

economically efficient
and productive.

These folks think they're heroes
and they saved America.

And the public thinks
they're villains,

and their whole job is to enrich
themselves and destroy jobs.

The aftermath of some of
the leveraged buy-out deals

was devastating -

bankruptcies, factory closures,
employees laid off.

MAN: Bain Capital was never set up
to be a job creation program.

It was set up to make
wealthy investors even wealthier.

They didn't sit around
the table, talking about

how many jobs this would create.

Oftentimes, it was the opposite -

how many jobs could be cut
to make the company more efficient?

Mitt is a person
who wants to be successful.

Making money is how you're measured

in the private equity
and venture capital business,

but you're making money for
your investors, first and foremost,

and that was always Mitt's focus,
was to make money for them.

The way those closest to him
tell it,

he had come to see himself
as a white knight.

He could fix almost anything.

LEMANN: There's something
sort of messianic

about the culture of private equity.

There's this internal sense of,

"We're the people who are
disciplined and smart

"and we know how
to make things work."

He goes through life
recreating this drama

where he steps in and saves
the situation, saves the day.

He likes that idea of "There's a
crisis that nobody but me can fix,"

and then he goes in and fixes it.

By 1988, Barack Obama
was a law student at Harvard.

MAN: We're all precious...
CROWD: We're all precious... God's sight. God's sight.

At the time, Harvard was a hotbed
of political activism.

The political environment
on the law school campus

in the late '80s and early '90s
was borderline toxic.

MAN: No more racism!
No more racism!

No more sexism!
No more sexism!

Harvard Law School was a place

of big contending ideas,

big arguments,

among the faculty,

among the students.

Everyone was organised.

Everyone fought over things.

In the super-heated racial disputes,

Obama manoeuvred to become
the middleman, a concilliator.

And I remember him sauntering up
to the front

and not giving us a lecture,

but engaging us
in a conversation.

MAN: He was clearly someone

who was so open
to alternative viewpoints

and so capable of empathising
with people of all stripes

that it certainly didn't surprise me

that he was able to build bridges
across those divides.

And at the prestigious
'Harvard Law Review',

Obama's bridge-building had won over

many of the publication's
conservative members.

MAN: The people on the right
really liked Barack.

Even if, at the end of the day
he disagreed,

they thought that
he treated them with respect

and they thought that many of the
liberal and left students did not.

I've worked at the Supreme Court,

I've worked at the White House,

I've been in Washington now
for almost 20 years

and the bitterest politics
I've ever seen

in terms of it
getting personal and nasty

was on the 'Harvard Law Review'.

Brad Berenson was a member of the
conservative Federalist Society.

One day, he and his associates would
help run the Bush Administration.

BERENSON: The conservatives

on the Harvard Law School campus
at that time

were severely outnumbered.

Inside the toxic environment
of the 'Law Review',

Obama's affinity for the
politically conservative students

surprised his black associates.

I don't know, why at the time,

he was able to communicate
so well with them,

even spend social time with them,

which was not something

I would ever have done.

No African American had ever been
president of the 'Law Review'.

In his second year,
Obama won the job.

Although, I'm honoured, and I think
people can say that my election

symbolises some progress,

at least within the small confines
of the legal community,

I think it's real important

to keep the focus on
the broader world out there

and see that for a lot of kids,

the doors that have been
opened to me aren't open to them.

The African-American editors
were ecstatic.

BERENSON: I think a lot of the
minority editors on the 'Review'

expected him to use his discretion

to the maximum extent possible,
to empower them.

There was an expectation

on the part of his more progressive
colleagues at the 'Law Review'

that he would side with them
on issues.

Barack was reluctant to do that.

It's not that he was out of sympathy
with their views,

but his first and foremost goal,
it always seemed to me,

was to put out
a first-rate publication.

And he was not gonna
let politics or ideology

get in the way of doing that.

Only one African-American student

received a top editor's job.

Conservative members
were given three.

SPURELL: The whole slate
was taken over.

I was kind of hoping
to get a masthead position,

and I did not get
a masthead position.

I was hurt. I think was...
I would call it very hurt.

And I told him so.

I mean, certainly,
he was aware of how I felt.

As the president
of the 'Law Review',

Obama could have clerked
for a Supreme Court justice

or taken a high-paying job
at a corporate law firm.

TRIBE: He wanted to
make a difference.

It was clear that he was there

with a kind of a burning sense
of obligation and ambition.

But Obama had
something else in mind.

He'd return to Chicago
to write a book,

to teach law
and eventually run for office.

And there was another reason
to return to Chicago.

Two years earlier,
he had interned at a big law firm.

MAN: We always assign
a junior lawyer

to keep an eye
and be sort of a mentor.

We assigned a young lawyer
named Michelle Robinson.

And one night, my wife Jo and I
went to the movies

and we ran into Barack
and Michelle at the movies.

And I think they were
a little embarrassed.

You weren't supposed to be
dating the summer interns.

But, uh, they fell in love
at our firm.

She had also graduated
from Harvard Law School.

Chicago was her home town.

She comes from
a middle-class working family

with working family values
and strong church values.

She went to public school

and she and my daughter
were classmates, they were friends,

and, so, she has roots there.

BUTTS: Barack is very smart
and very intellectual,

but in Michelle, he found a partner

who was able to
ground him personally

in ways that
he hadn't been previously.

And that has been
profoundly important.

And Michelle provided something
he had never had -

a home and stability.

For him to feel comfortable
in himself,

he had to find Michelle and had to
find his place in a black family,

and that's what she represented.

He can feel comfort in the home
that he finds with Michelle

and in the South Side of Chicago.

And yet, he can still use that...

..what he always will have,

which is that transcendent
cross-cultural sensibility

of someone who came up
in both worlds.

That makes everything else
possible from then on.

Supertext Captions by
Red Bee Media Australia
Captions copyright SBS 2012

This program is captioned live. Violence flares in West Papua. Police removed documents from Craig Thomson's home.I do not expect to be charged in relation to this matter. A time of sadness for Australian soldiers in Afghanistan. And the jump in inflation is set to delay a cut in interest rates. Good evening and welcome to the program. I'm Mariana Rudan. Protesters have clashed with police at a pro-independence rally in the troubled Indonesian province of West Papua. According to activists, five people were shot and more than dozen injured when police fired live rounds into a crowd of protesters. This version of events is at odds with the official account. The protest happened in the city of Manokwari, the capital of the West Papua province. Hundreds of demonstrators stage a rally in front of the University of Papua. The protest was organised by the pro-independence group, West Papua National Committee, or KNPB. Members were allegedly protesting against what they believe are ongoing crackdowns by Indonesian authorities on freedom of expression. But what started as a peaceful protest soon turned ugly. According to local reports, protesters hurled rocks at police, which triggered a heavy-handed response. There was a quite significant crackdown that occured when the KNPB tried to hold their rally and we've got reports of three people who were actually shot dead and another two who were very badly injured by Indonesian police. But an Indonesian embassy official in Canberra denied authorities had used live rounds. He told SBS that no one had been killed. He said police gave the unauthorised demonstrators 30 minutes to leave the area peacefully and, when they didn't, police fired rubber bullets. He said several people had also been hit by flying rocks, including