The XX Factor

Obama and Brown: Parallel Lives

Has everyone noticed the uncanny parallels between the biographies of Barack Obama and Scott Brown? Both had parents who split when they were toddlers, and the parents went on to have multiple subsequent failed marriages. Both spent time during their rather chaotic childhoods living with their grandparents. Both had a “troubled, alienated youth” period (drugs for Obama, shoplifting for Brown). Both got serious as college students and went on to law school. Both are obsessive about working out and love basketball. Both found a calling in service to others (community organizing for Obama, the National Guard for Brown). Both married women with prominent careers and have two daughters. Both emerged from obscurity in the state Senate to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Sometimes politics is like show business-out of nowhere comes the next big thing.

Photograph of Barack Obama by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images.

Photograph of Scott Brown by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.