“The people of Kenya,” he said wryly, “will be familiar with the need to manage family politics sometimes.”
Over the course of two days here, Mr. Obama tried to manage the broader family politics of his father’s land, a country that considers him one of its own, even as it has played a singular role in his own life and career. Bathed in adulation, he nonetheless delivered a tough-love message before leaving on Sunday, challenging Kenya to tackle corruption, sexism and division.
For the first African-American president returning to his ancestral home, a moment unlike any before in the history of either country, the visit was powerful and yet, at times, strangely impersonal. At some moments, Mr. Obama seemed genuinely moved by the experience, and he reflected on the country’s impact on him. At other times, he talked dispassionately about policy issues, sounding much like he does in plenty of other countries.