Sunday, March 30, 2008

Post Busts Obama For Phony Kennedy Story About His Father

Anyone aspiring to be nominated for president by the Democratic Party in the past 40 years has predictably sought a connection with President John F. Kennedy, and Sen. Barack Obama is no exception. Sen. Obama has claimed that the Kennedy family paid for his father, Barack Obama, Sr., to travel to the U.S. on a student scholarship, whereupon he met and married his Kansan mother. The Washington Post's Michael Dobbs reports today that Obama's claim is untrue. Although the Kennedy family helped bring some Kenyans to the U.S., their assistance did not come until at least a year after Obama's father had arrived in the U.S. according to Dobbs. Dobbs writes today:

Addressing civil rights activists in Selma, Ala., a year ago, Sen. Barack Obama traced his "very existence" to the generosity of the Kennedy family, which he said paid for his Kenyan father to travel to America on a student scholarship and thus meet his Kansan mother.

The Camelot connection has become part of the mythology surrounding Obama's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. After Caroline Kennedy endorsed his candidacy in January, Newsweek commentator Jonathan Alter reported that she had been struck by the extraordinary way in which "history replays itself" and by how "two generations of two families -- separated by distance, culture and wealth -- can intersect in strange and wonderful ways." It is a touching story -- but the key details are either untrue or grossly oversimplified.

Contrary to Obama's claims in speeches in January at American University and in Selma last year, the Kennedy family did not provide the funding for a September 1959 airlift of 81 Kenyan students to the United States that included Obama's father. According to historical records and interviews with participants, the Kennedys were first approached for support for the program nearly a year later, in July 1960. The family responded with a $100,000 donation, most of which went to pay for a second airlift in September 1960.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton acknowledged yesterday that the senator from Illinois had erred in crediting the Kennedy family with a role in his father's arrival in the United States. He said the Kennedy involvement in the Kenya student program apparently "started 48 years ago, not 49 years ago as Obama has mistakenly suggested in the past."

Very little information has surfaced in mainstream media reporting about Obama's father during this campaign. Reading the negative picture Dobbs paints of the senior Obama after he walked out on his son's life at two years of age, you can understand why little is said about him. Dobbs writes:

Obama Sr. never quite lived up to his enormous potential. He achieved his dream of studying at Harvard after graduating from the University of Hawaii. He divorced Dunham in 1963 and married another woman.

He returned to Kenya and became a close aide to Mboya, a fellow Luo tribesman, at the Ministry of Economic Development. According to his old "drinking buddy" Ochieng, he antagonized other officials with his "boasting," was "excessively fond of Scotch" and ended up in poverty "without a job." He got into frequent car accidents, one of which led to the amputation of both his legs. He was killed in another car accident, in 1982, at the age of 46.

As regular readers of this blog know, I'm no fan of Hillary or Bill Clinton. Yet I still believe the media has been far more negative in its coverage of her than it has been of Obama. The media, for example, climbed all over the discovery that Clinton had exaggerated conditions during a trip she made to Bosnia in the 1990s. It's good to see someone in the mainstream media is beginning to challenge Obama's claims. As I pointed out yesterday, Obama has been falsely claiming to have been a law professor at the University of Chicago for years now. More accurately, he served as a senior lecturer. It is understandable that Obama would have to resort to exaggerations to boost his credentials. He's been in the U.S. Senate for less than four years and served a little more than that amount of time in the Illinois State Senate. That's something short of the credentials most presidents bring to the office.

14 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

Obama's resume is about as sparse as that of another Son of Illinois: Abraham Lincoln. He worked out OK!

Advance Indiana said...

No comparison, Wilson. Lincoln had a very accomplished record during his many years of service in the state legislature and the U.S. House. He was instrumental in the creation of the Republican Party. And he was also one of the most pre-eminent attorneys in Illinois of his time with a very successful law practice. Obama had few legislative achievements in the Illinois legislature and certainly was not considered a leader. The same is true of his record in the U.S. Senate.

Wilson46201 said...

Lincoln had 8 years in the Illinois Legislature and then one term in the U.S. House. Yup, he was also a bigtime railroad corporate lawyer...

Apples of Gold said...

Lincoln also was responsible for the the suspension of the Tenth Amendment and the Writ of Habeus Corpus. The Civil War was really about state's rights. Slavery was the smokescreen issue, and it would have been abolished with or without Lincoln.

Doug said...

University of Chicago says Obama was, in fact, a professor.

"The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as "Senior Lecturer."

From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track.

Advance Indiana said...

Doug, As I stated yesterday, UC is simply providing cover for Obama. He did not have the title of law professor as that same press release also stated: “He did not hold the title of professor of law,” said Marsha Ferziger Nagorsky, an Assistant Dean for Communications and Lecturer in Law at the school, on East 60th St. in Chicago. Lynn Sweet of the Sun-Times wrote about Obama inflating his title when he ran for th Senate. Nobody from UC or Obama's campaign disputed her report then.

now hear this said...

So this is a issue in the Presidential campaign

tarrandwoolley said...

Once again, I fail to see the point of this blog. Why not focus on the candidate himself rather than his father's past. Oops, he said 49 years versus 48 years. He made a mistake about a very minute fact from nearly 50 years ago. I suppose you want to liken this to Clinton's clear misrepresentation of her Bosnia snipper fire trip that happened within the last decade. Or perhaps, we should spend time on the non-existence of McCain's economic experience. Your blog, which I used to like, seems to try and consistently bring up irrelevant matters. Maybe we should look at the fact that the current Kennedy clan supports Obama and not the Clintons, with whom they were friends. Come to think of it, it appears that there are a lot of big name Clinton defectors - Bill Richardson comes to mind. If Obama's dead father was running for President, perhaps this would be relevant, but the way I see it, it is dust in the wind of hot air as usual. This is likely why it has not been reported in mainstream news, because it is not news worthy. I have to give you kudos for the moral fortitude you have for being able to bash a dead man.

Advance Indiana said...

tarrandwooley, Obama wrote a book a few years ago entitled, "My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance". As Lynn Sweet commented on the book, it's hard to know what to believe and not believe in it. "Most of the book centers on his namesake father, a Harvard-educated Kenyan economist who he met only once, with less emphasis on his mother, who grew up in Kansas," Sweet wrote. This guy has totally thrown his mother and grandparents who raised him under the bus--referring to his grandmother as "a typical white person," meaning she was a racist towards black people. He chose to glorify the role of his absent father in his life. He can accept criticsm now that his stories just don't add up.

tarrandwoolley said...

Gary, I suppose if that is how you see it, then I cannot fault you. However, having heard Obama speak in person of his Grandfather and Grandmother, I would hardly say he threw them under the bus - in fact, he spoke very highly of them. I think people have wrapped up their feelings towards him based on sound bytes rather than listening to the full Obama. I unfortunately think you are one of those people. We can agree to disagree as they say in our business.

frankiewehardlyknewye said...

Do others notice, or is it just me? Recently it seems that the author of this blog finds no person of color worthy of any office anywhere. If that's not the case, and you don't have race issues and you don't like Hillary...well then, don't worry your little head about what Obama and the Democrats do. We'll be fine.

iPOPA said...

I've noticed, but I'd be hard-pressed to say Gary's a racist. He's a Republican, and as very few black people join the Republican Party, he doesn't have much choice on who he attacks. I bet he'd tell you he'd vote for Condoleeze Rice. Of course, he'll never have the chance anytime soon. George Bush took the two most prominent and otherwise electable black people in the Republican Party - Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice - and put an albatross around both of their necks.

Advance Indiana said...

frankiewehardlyknewye, It's the same old thing. Criticize someone of color and you're automatically labeled a racist. That's precisely why the media has treated Obama's candidacy with kid gloves while raking Clinton over the coals on a daily basis. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I've shoveled out plenty of criticsm for white politicians, including many within my own party.

K2H said...

Gary,

This post is very disappointing, indeed. It seems people like yourself are having a difficult time writing/speaking about relavant issues and therefore resort to personal attacks on Barack Obama. If you're looking for a mainstream news outlet that demonstrates the same journalistic integrity, or lack thereof, you only have to look to FOX news. You can be certain to find discussion on Barack's father, pastor, wife, etc. and no mention of any news related to what Americans care most about (i.e. jobs, health care, education).