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Houses They Grew Up In


Obama: Grandpa and Grandma's (Mostly)
Obama never stayed in one place too long as he was growing up. He spent his first six years in his grandparents’ house near the University of Honolulu and then moved to Indonesia for five years with his mother, Ann, and her husband, Lolo Soetoro, whom she married after her divorce from Obama's father. Obama was then sent back to Honolulu to live with his grandparents when he was 10 years old. By then, his grandparents, Toot and Stanley, had moved into an apartment on the tenth floor of a twelve-story high-rise on Beretania Street in Honolulu. The modest unit contained two small bedrooms, a kitchenette, a living room, and a small balcony with glass sliding doors. Obama's mother moved back to Hawaii soon after he did, and they lived together with his half-sister Maya in a small apartment a block from his school. Three years later she returned to Indonesia and Obama moved back in with his grandparents.

McCain: International Naval Barracks
Born in the Panama Canal Zone, McCain spent time in Connecticut, California, and Colorado as a child—until his parents sent him to boarding school, McCain changed homes whenever his father was relocated with the Navy. Though they spent a good deal of time in Washington, D.C., some of it in a spacious townhouse that now plays host to Republican social activity as the Capitol Hill Club, McCain was accustomed to moving around and trying to make new friends. He eventually used his nomadic lifestyle to his advantage when he was accused of carpetbagging in Arizona during his first campaign for Congress, in 1982, saying, "As a matter of fact, when I think about it now, the place I lived longest in my life was Hanoi." He handily won that first election and has held office in Arizona ever since.


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