February 11, 2008

Obama's Mom

Update: If you are interested in understanding how Obama's mother, not his father, made him the man he grew up to be, my new book on Obama is now finished (and even proofread!). You can read it free online (or soon order a copy). Chapter 2 is devoted to her, and it offers the freshest and most powerful explanation of why Obama called his life (in the subtitle of his autobiography) "A Story of Race and Inheritance."

The PDF of my book is 1.8 meg and you can read it here.

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Here's my original blog post:

Now, that it's the dead of winter again, reporters are digging once more into Obama's upbringing, mandating additional expense-account research trips to Honolulu.

Here's a long article from the Chicago Tribune "Obama's Mom: Not Just a Girl from Kansas," which reveals a few things of minor interest about the Senator's late mother, whom he likes to stereotype in speeches as rooted deep in the heartland of America in order to balance off the exoticism of his name.

Her first name was ... Stanley. Her father, Stanley, who sounds like a goof, wanted a boy so much that he named her Stanley Ann. She appears to have gone through high school using the name "Stanley," as part of her "Juno"-esque striving for attention as a nonconformist, and only later switched to "Ann."

Obama makes a big deal about her being from Kansas, but she spent her adolescence in the Seattle suburbs. Her parents dropped out of their Protestant church and started attending Unitarian services. She was a high school atheist, leftist and feminist. But soon after her father moved her to Hawaii, much to the surprise of her high school friends, she got pregnant and quickly married the father, just like so many other more conventional teenage girls during the Baby Boom.

Of course, the new husband was a bit of an attention-getter. And there was the problem of his already having a wife back in Kenya, although that's not mentioned.

The descriptions of her sitting around having rap sessions with Obama Sr. and the other developing nations students at the U. of Hawaii are exactly like the equivalent passages in John Updike's 1978 novel The Coup in which the future dictator of Kush sits around at McCarthy College in Franchise, WI from 1955-1959 shooting the bull with the tiny number of nonwhite students plus his white girlfriend, who he will bigamously marry after a pregnancy scare.

One of the themes of Obama's autobiography is his being weirded out by his youngish mom being sexually attracted to dark men. And there's an undercurrent of Obama being freaked out by the realization that his mother pretty much wrecked her life through her attraction to unreliable Third World men and unreliable Third World countries, but, if she had been more sensible, where would he be? This is the kind of thing that leaves Obama sighing deeply over the tragic conundrums of fate, while less self-absorbed people would have a laugh.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, like mother and father like son, no?

Obama had a weird mom raised in a leftish environment who was sexually attracted to dark-skinned men and who followed them around the world, and eventually abandoned her son with his grandparents in Hawai'i.

His dad...well, you know.

And none of this will be reflected in the the son, or in his politics?

I'm actually starting to think that Hillary may be the normal one maong them (though she kinda seems like she could be Barack's mom).

Anonymous said...

Her first name was ... Stanley. Her father, Stanley, who sounds like a goof, wanted a boy so much that he named her Stanley Ann.

That sounds like the way liberals approach challenges to their beliefs. If the facts are inconvenient, then rename them or redefine them. Abracadabra - all your problems go away.

J. said...

...unreliable Third World men ...

Steve, you hit on the right word.

Unreliable.

You made a nice analysis of Obama, but most things are not really important or relevant to his actions as US President. That he has written nothing (except his bio) is not good nor bad. That he spent much time wondering on the race issue, is only natural for a mixed person he is. The only relevant question is if he is reliable enough to put the American Armed Forces in his hands. Or the Budget. I dont know. He seems to have done very little in his life to inspire confidence. Maybe I am wrong. His rivals seem very solid and tried out persons.

Anonymous said...

I thought that there is some doubt as to whether Stanley Ann Dunham actually married Barack Sr.? Obviously the son claims they were legally wed, but I seem to recall some talk that some reporters last year went a-looking for a marriage certificate in HI, and couldn't find one. Nor was one to be found in Nebraska, or any other jurisdiction they thought it might have happened in. Certainly Obama Sr. doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would waste a couple hours at a county registrar's office.

Anonymous said...

That article failed to mention something I found really interesting: Obama's mom was admitted to the University of Chicago, but her father wouldn't let her go.

Obama's maternal grandmother is also a much more impressive figure than the article would let you know. She became a female bank executive at a time when that meant anyone who did that was not a token hire.

His maternal grandfather seemed to be a bit of a goof-changing jobs and moving on a whim, and causing his family a lot of hardship in the process. All the accounts I've read do indicate that he was a super-salesman, which must have been useful to him when needed to convince his family to move yet again.

The letter his paternal grandfather sent was, according to Obama's Kenyan relatives, a little more complicated than what Obama's grandparents said. I forget the exact details, but they had a different story about it.

His father's fall from grace happpened because he wouldn't bend with the political winds, and he kept speaking his mind instead of going with the flow.

Senator Obama appears to have inherited some qualities, and to have learned from the faults of some of his relatives.

J. said...

I meant "tried and tested".

Anonymous said...

There is a phrase in the Black community for this- the tragic mulatto.

K said...

Sounds from the article as if mom Stanley Ann was a Frankfurt School graduate from that high school on Mercer Island. Her parents seem to have been converts as well, then they just up and move to Hawaii? Odd choice for a furniture salesman, especially back then. Then Stanley the strong jawed feminist later is able to get Barack enrolled in exclusive Punahou-- I lived in Hawaii for seven years and know that school is and was off limits for all but either the high and mighty's spawn OR The Chosen For High Purposes. Weird that no written work of consequence by Barack can be found, something's not right about all this. Then there's the Messiah complex... Keep at it, Steve!

Anonymous said...

Actually, this all makes me like Obama more. And it does explains why he seems to have rejected his maternal family-- not because they're white but because they're flakes.

K said...

As Barack said his mom's influence has been paramount in his life, I wonder what she wrote, such as in her quest to achieve a PhD in anthropology. Her Leftist ideals would be easy to detect and it's difficult to believe she would not have discussed her work with young Barack or that he would not recall it or incorporated the mindset.
As he will be the next president, we need to know more about who directly helped form his belief system and what they implanted there. By the way, what was the Manchurian Candidate's mother's name? Stanley Ann...

Truth said...

"His rivals seem very solid and tried out persons."

His two chief rivals major accoplishments in this world are getting married and getting captured.

Nuff said?

David said...

Obama sighing deeply over the tragic conundrums of fate, while less self-absorbed people would have a laugh.

That passage reminds me of the style of H.L. Mencken...who would have had a field day describing this election year!

David said...

Obama has no one in his back pocket like heavyweight pols McCain and Hillary do.

mq said...

I'm actually starting to think that Hillary may be the normal one maong them (though she kinda seems like she could be Barack's mom).

Ridiculous...Hillary comes from a conventional family and lived a quite conventional life. She has pretty conventional moderate liberal politics too, although the weird Republican obsession with her makes this hard for some to realize.

Her one departure from exactly what one would have expected from a high-achieving Ivy student in the late 60s was following Bill Clinton to Arkansas. From which decision much has followed....

dearieme said...

"His rivals seem very solid and tried out persons." Mrs Clinton is experienced as a bagman for a crook, but little else.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Anonymous: I thought that there is some doubt as to whether Stanley Ann Dunham actually married Barack Sr.? Obviously the son claims they were legally wed, but I seem to recall some talk that some reporters last year went a-looking for a marriage certificate in HI, and couldn't find one. Nor was one to be found in Nebraska, or any other jurisdiction they thought it might have happened in. Certainly Obama Sr. doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would waste a couple hours at a county registrar's office.

If Obama Jr really is a bastard, then this would help him a great deal in the constitutional argument against his presidency [if Obama Sr was involved in a polygamous marriage with Ann Dunham, then there is an argument to made that Obama Jr cannot be president unless the marriage license is revoked ex post facto].

Steve Sailer said...

Lucius,

Knock it off with the Obama's not eligible under the have-to-be-born-in-the-U.S. clause argument. Obama was born in one of the 50 states to a mother who was born in one of the 50 states. Nobody has ever been more eligible.

Anonymous said...

Obama has to be ponderous and humorless to some extent. You can't run for the president and have much of a sense of humor, at least in public. (Show me a counter-example if it exists.) You need to be deeply serious, like MS America contestants. You also need to have a personal crisis to have overcome. The contestants in MS America actually have consultants to help them shape their 'I overcame my deafness/anorexia/domestic abuse stories.' I'm sure the admissions officers, counselors, etc that Obama has worked with have taught him the same lesson.

If Obama had made light of his parent's recklessness, he wouldn't be able to run for President. He knows this, so he constructed a more earnest backstory. Then, convinced himself that this was his 'story'. Don't they all do this?

Anyway, Bush and McCain both like to think of themselves as having good senses of humor, and they both ignore the fact that they are surrounded by people who make their livings placating them.

All in all, let Obama be Mr. Serious, it's the smart move.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Steve Sailer: Knock it off with the Obama's not eligible under the have-to-be-born-in-the-U.S. clause argument. Obama was born in one of the 50 states to a mother who was born in one of the 50 states. Nobody has ever been more eligible.

Look, I get tired of doing this, because it takes so long to type up this stuff [and, quite frankly, because I have better things to do with my time].

First, the caveat: I am aware that no one cares about the US Constitution anymore. I am aware that no one [or at least too few people] cared about the Constitution in the period 1861-1864. I am aware that no one cared about the Constitution in 1803. At this point in my life, I'm dubious that anyone even cared about the Constitution in the period 1788-1802.

However, if you were one of the five or ten people in the United States today [out of 300+ million] who cared about what the Constitution says [and obviously none of those 5 or 10 sit on the Supreme Court], then here would be your conundrum:

1) This is what Article II, Section 1 says about qualifications for the Presidency:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

2) This is what Section 1 of the 14th Amendment says about the qualifications for "natural born" citizenship:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

So, if you are one of the 5 or 10 people in the country who believes that people who swear an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution ought to actually preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, then you have two choices:

A) Insist that Stanley Ann Dunham's polygamous marriage to Barack Hussein Obama Sr is a legitimate marriage, and that Barack Hussein Obama Jr is their legitimate offspring, in which case this polygamous family can only possibly be subject to the jurisdiction of the nation of Kenya, and the child, Barack Hussein Obama Jr, is a Kenyan citizen, and, by Article I, Section 1, is not eligible to become the President of the United States, or

B) Annul the polygamous marriage between Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Hussein Obama Sr, revoke the polygamous marriage license, and declare the child, Barack Hussein Obama Jr, to be a bastard, in which case he becomes eligible for the presidency.

Again, I am aware that no one cares about the Constitution.

However, I am convinced that one of the reasons that Obama Jr's campaign has an information blackout on Obama Sr [to include the absence of a Wikipedia page about him] is that the combination of "Black African", middle name "Hussein", and "POLYGAMY" is more than enough in the way of a 30 second soundbite to alert even the stupidest voter to the possibility that, "Hey, wait a second - black African, named 'Hussein', in a polygamous marriage - that sounds like a Muslim to me!"

And that's before they learn that Obama Jr's minister, Dr Jeremiah A Wright, is in bed with Louis Farrakhan. [To paraphrase something that Rush Limbaugh used to remark upon during the Clinton presidency - how many people do you know who are two degrees of Kevin Bacon removed from Farrakhan? Three degrees? Four degrees? Five degrees? Six degrees?]

By the way, as someone pointed out on another thread, this site has done a pretty good job of reconstructing what is known at this time about Obama's family tree:

Barack Obama
http://www.freedomsenemies.com/_more/obama.htm

Anonymous said...

I want to know about Obamas grandparents. They are the ones who primarily raised him from 10yr+. It seems that they may be even more influential than mom.

And why did Obama's mom apparently abandon him by shipping him back to Hawaii while staying in Indonesia for the rest of his life? What did she do there after divorcing her Indonesian husband?

Enquiring minds want to know?

Anonymous said...

Change.

michael farris said...

"can only possibly be subject to the jurisdiction of the nation of Kenya"

This is where you lose me. AFAICT Kenya does not civilly recognize polygamous marriages (they're unofficially tolerated but have no civil status).

And where does your definition of 'jurisdiction' come from? Why would a citizen of the US resident in the US not be subject to the jurisdiction of the US (regardless of marital status?)

Do you have any evidence that the original text was meant to deny citizenship to children born of an unmarried American citizen or an American citizen resident in the US married under non US law?