In the company of Obama supporters, it’s called “inventing” oneself:

Look at how much Barack Obama had to figure out. I mean, he’s born who he is, he can look in the mirror; but it must have been extraordinarily confusing to have this father who was a ghost, a myth, a collection of stories that he barely knew, and by the way, were highly unreliable. He spent 10 days with his father during his conscious life. He grew up in Honolulu and went to a highly privileged school where there were a couple of other black students, and in a place with no black people around, except for the occasional soldier on the basketball court or at a party. So, where does he get it from? He watches TV, he reads books; I mean, it’s a really mystifying, difficult thing….

[He] left Occidental College, which is near Pasadena, to get to Columbia University because it is closer to an urban centre and closer to an African American population. And where does he go after that? The south side of Chicago. And that is where he comes alive. That is where he finds a sense of purpose and identification and all those things we know. He chose a very definite way of being.

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