From the article entitled "Obama's 'national conversation' on fatherhood":
President Obama, who barely knew his own father, devoted his afternoon Friday to promoting the importance of being a good dad, saying he wanted to start a "national conversation" on the subject.
He spoke in deeply personal terms of "the hole in a child's heart" left by an absent father and of the powerful influence his Kenyan father exerted during the only visit the senior Obama made after he and the president's mother had divorced. Obama noted that during that visit -- when he was 10 -- his father gave him his first basketball and took him to his first jazz concert, stirring lifelong interests.
"Fathers are our first teachers and coaches, they're our mentors and role models, they set an example of success and push us to succeed," Obama said at the White House. "When fathers are absent, when they abandon their responsibility to their children, we know the damage that does to our families."
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