The Sordid Life of Barack Obama, Sr.

 

If there’s something positive to be said about Barack Obama, it is that he appears to be very little like the other Barack — his father, Barack Obama, Sr., that is.

Sally Jacobs, a Boston Globe reporter who’s authored a book on the sordid life of President Obama’s father, has a column in the Boston Globe today with a handful of little known details about Obama the elder, as well as about his son.  For one, Obama père was a playboy and polygamist with at least one wife and several children in Kenya by the time he married and impregnated Ann Dunham, the mother of Obama fils.  Furthermore, a newly released memo reveals that Obama père had intended to give his American born son up for adoption.

The elder Barack H. Obama, a sophomore at the University of Hawaii, had come under scrutiny by federal immigration officials who were concerned that he had more than one wife. When he was questioned by the school’s foreign student adviser, the 24-year-old Obama insisted that he had divorced his wife in his native Kenya. Although his new wife, Ann Dunham, was five months pregnant with their child – who would be called Barack Obama II – Obama declared that they intended to put their child up for adoption.

“Subject got his USC wife ‘Hapai’ [Hawaiian for pregnant] and although they were married they do not live together and Miss Dunham is making arrangements with the Salvation Army to give the baby away,’’ according to a memo describing the conversation with Obama written by Lyle H. Dahling, an administrator in the Honolulu office of what was then called the US Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Ms. Jacobs goes on to list reasons why the elder Obama may have felt pressure to give his son up for adoption — among these, financial pressures and concerns with his immigration status.  The adoption didn’t go through, obviously, and friends and relatives of Ann Dunham — including the President himself (as if he’d know…) — insist that she would have never been on board to give baby Barack away. 

The whole story is illuminating, if for no other reason than it reveals how very little we know of this President’s past.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TheMugwump
    Diane Ellis, Ed.

    There’s no relevance of the elder Obama’s character to the presidency, per se, but it’s still a fascinating history.

    Investigate the causes of narcissistic personality disorder and you’ll change your mind. Barack Obama wasn’t just a neglected child; he was a rejected child. The psychological damage done to such a person during his formative years is profound. You’re buying into the official Obama narrative if you think otherwise. The man is not just psychologically unfit for office, he’s dangerous.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member
    @CharlesMark

    I’m no fan, but I would say it is to his, and his country’s, immense credit that he overcame such a turbulent start in life and was democratically elected to the highest office. Other than that, and with respect, I don’t see the relevance of his late father’s character.

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  3. Profile Photo Member
    @Sisyphus

    There’s a cheerful alternate history somewhere where Barry was raised in an orphanage without parental involvement and grew up to be a decent human being.

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  4. Profile Photo Member
    @OneEyedJack

    I agree with Charles Mark. I don’t see the relevance. It’s hard enough to get decent people to run for office. If we start disqualifying people for having less than sterling relatives the talent pool shrinks dramatically. I hate Obamas policies but I don’t detect any fault in his personal life. I think it’s a mistake and a distraction to try to sling mud on him based on the sins of his father.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Inactive
    @CaptAubrey

    Quite agree, no relevance at all, ironically it may be that he is both morally and ideologically more pure than say Clinton and that is making him a worse President.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Contributor
    @DianeEllis
    Charles Mark: I’m no fan, but I would say it is to his, and his country’s, immense credit that he overcame such a turbulent start in life and was democratically elected to the highest office. Other than that, and with respect, I don’t see the relevance of his late father’s character. · Jul 7 at 5:39pm

    I agree that it is to his credit that he overcame being raised fatherless and has turned out to be, by all appearances, a good father and husband.

    There’s no relevance of the elder Obama’s character to the presidency, per se, but it’s still a fascinating history. Perhaps much of this was in President Obama’s memoirs, which I must confess I didn’t read, but this is the first time I’m hearing of this particular detail.

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  7. Profile Photo Member
    @M1919A4

    I think that my colleagues may be missing something here. Read Jack Cashill’s book Deconstructing Obama, to get a clear idea of how the President has used his ideas about his father and his mother in his political career (in particular in his best selling Dreams From My Father). Obama himself has made his parents and their “improbable love” relevant to his politics.

    In fact, he has carefully crafted (with the considerable -according to Mr. Cashill- ghost writing assistance of William Ayers of Weatherman fame) a legend that he has exploited to the hilt. His political career is built upon false information about his parents and upbringing. That, I think, is highly relevant to the nature of the man.

    He was elected based upon this false history and upon his bi-racial heritage. Surely none of my fellow Ricochevians believes that Barack Obama would have been elected had he been born of two black parents in South Chicago!

    I believe that it is of considerable importance that this legend be explored and where it is false, shown to be so; it is the bill of goods upon which the man’s career is built.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Member
    @AmishDude
    Charles Mark: I’m no fan, but I would say it is to his, and his country’s, immense credit that he overcame such a turbulent start in life and was democratically elected to the highest office. Other than that, and with respect, I don’t see the relevance of his late father’s character. · Jul 7 at 5:39pm

    For everybody else, maybe not.

    For the man whose autobiography is entitled Dreams from my Father, I think it’s quite relevant.

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Member
    @AmishDude
    M1919A4: He was elected based upon this false history and upon his bi-racial heritage. Surely none of my fellow Ricochevians believes that Barack Obama would have been elected had he been born of two black parents in South Chicago!

    · Jul 7 at 6:58pm

    Oh, I think he would have had an even easier chance. Now if you’re arguing that he wouldn’t have been inundated by intellectual Marxism, raised in various different homes and countries that would have made him a different person and less interesting, you might be right. International Man of Mystery and all that.

    Hmmm…I guess Barack Obama really is Austin Powers.

    Anyway, his race was a huge net plus. What I will say is that if he were raised by white parents in Aurora, he’d be lucky if he’d even gotten elected to the Illinois statehouse.

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  10. Profile Photo Member
    @M1919A4

    And, I might add another detail here, one that, I believe, is undisputed: Obama had a stepfather; he wasn’t always fatherless.

    His mother married an Indonesian named Lolo Soetoro after her divorce from Obama I; the family moved from Hawaii to Jakarta about 1967 and her son, Barry (Barack II) was enrolled for some years in a private school in Indonesia (Saint Francis of Assisi) under his stepfather’s name as “Barry Soetoro”. (He has a half-sister from that union named Maya Soetoro.)

    Not until 1974 did Obama return to Hawaii to live with his grandparents.

    I found Cashill’s book http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Cashill+Obama&x=16&y=13 informative and well worth reading and think that anybody who wants to understand where the country is today ought to take the time so to do.

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  11. Profile Photo Member
    @
    Diane Ellis, Ed.:The adoption didn’t go through, obviously, and friends and relatives of Ann Dunham — including the President himself (as if he’d know…) — insist that she would have never been on board to give baby Barack away.

    Too bad. He might have been raised by a stable, two-parent family and he just might have turned out as a non-radicalized American citizen.

    Also, this notion that the single teen mothers who *really* love their babies would never think of giving them up for adoption really rubs me the wrong way. That has everything upside-down.

    Diane Ellis, Ed.: The whole story is illuminating, if for no other reason than it reveals how very little we know of this President’s past. ·

    This is the main thing that I took from this post — not that Obama Sr’s character (or rather, lack thereof) in any way taints his son. Kudos to Sally Jacobs. Will she be labeled a right-wing nut by her journalism colleagues for daring to look into Obama’s past? Didn’t she get the memo that there’s nothing to see there?

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  12. Profile Photo Contributor
    @user_59824
    ~Paules

    Diane Ellis, Ed.

    There’s no relevance of the elder Obama’s character to the presidency, per se, but it’s still a fascinating history.

    Investigate the causes of narcissistic personality disorder and you’ll change your mind. Barack Obama wasn’t just a neglected child; he was a rejected child. The psychological damage done to such a person during his formative years is profound. You’re buying into the official Obama narrative if you think otherwise. The man is not just psychologically unfit for office, he’s dangerous.

    I think Paules is right on the mark.

    I would only add that voters need to familiarize themselves with a candidate’s personal background before pulling the lever. Perhaps, a closer scrutiny would have saved this country from Bill Clinton.

    • #12
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