April 21, 2011

Mama Obama

The NYT Magazine has an excerpt from a new book by Janny Scott about Barack Obama's mother in Indonesia. It's pretty similar to the equivalent chapter in my book on Obama. It mentions that Ann Dunham was only 17 when she was impregnated, which is very rare in the press. But the excerpt doesn't mention that her subsequent marriage was polygamous. I guess there's only so much that respectable readers can be expected to put up with.

I had pointed out that Obama had been exposed to racism in Indonesia, which he completely failed to mention in his memoir (while exaggerating the anti-black behavior he'd been exposed to at his prep school in Hawaii). But this new book makes clear the relentlessness of the anti-black racism and even violence little Barry had to put up with in Jakarta:
After lunch, the group took a walk, with Barry running ahead. A flock of Indonesian children began lobbing rocks in his direction. They ducked behind a wall and shouted racial epithets. He seemed unfazed, dancing around as though playing dodge ball “with unseen players,” Bryant said. Ann did not react. Assuming she must not have understood the words, Bryant offered to intervene. “No, he’s O.K.,” Ann said. “He’s used to it.” 
“We were floored that she’d bring a half-black child to Indonesia, knowing the disrespect they have for blacks,” Bryant said. ... 
Occasionally, she took Barry to work. Joseph Sigit, an Indonesian who worked as the office manager at the time, told me, “Our staff here sometimes made a joke of him because he looked different — the color of his skin.” 
Joked with him — or about him? I asked. 
“With and about him,” Sigit said, with no evident embarrassment.

As I pointed out in my book, the missing piece of the puzzle in Dreams from My Father is Asians. Compared to the average American, Obama had vastly more contact growing up with Asians -- in Indonesia, Hawaii, California, New York, and even in Kenya on his visit, where his half-sister resentfully calls his attention to the Indian dominance of commerce in Nairobi. But, his book is just about the usual black and white stuff that his white readers would expect. He never, ever reports learning anything about blacks or whites from the existence of Asians. 

Without thinking about a third group, it's hard to think intelligently about blacks and whites. This is what I call the midget-giant epistemological problem. In 2003, I wrote in VDARE:
One day in 1981, I was standing in front of UCLA's Royce Hall, when I noticed two young men walking toward me across the huge open quad. "Hey!" I said to myself. "There's something you don't see very often at UCLA. That tiny fellow talking to the normal-sized guy is a genuine midget." Then, another young man walked up to the pair. "Wow! Now there are two midgets with that regular guy," I thought. "What are the odds of that?" 
Highly unlikely, I suddenly realized, as I underwent one of those gestalt snaps, like where the vase in the picture suddenly becomes two faces in profile. Now that there were three people, it became clear to me that the two "midgets" were six-footers and the "normal-sized guy" was 7'-3" 290-pound Bruin basketball center Mark Eaton (who later became a league-leading shot blocker for the Utah Jazz). 
When I think about race, I'm frequently reminded of that lesson I learned in the difficulty of accurately comparing X to Y without a Z to provide perspective.

The elegant but intellectually vacuous Dreams panders to American X/Y thinking, despite all of Obama's experiences with perspective-granting Zs.

I did, however, like the President's gracious tribute in the article to his maternal grandmother, whom he had so coldly slandered -- while she was still alive -- for reasons of political expedience in his famous race speech to ward off questions about his relationship with Rev. Wright:
“She was a very strong person in her own way,” Obama said, when I asked about Ann’s limitations as a mother. “Resilient, able to bounce back from setbacks, persistent — the fact that she ended up finishing her dissertation. But despite all those strengths, she was not a well-organized person. And that disorganization, you know, spilled over. Had it not been for my grandparents, I think, providing some sort of safety net financially, being able to take me and my sister on at certain spots, I think my mother would have had to make some different decisions. And I think that sometimes she took for granted that, ‘Well, it’ll all work out, and it’ll be fine.’ But the fact is, it might not always have been fine, had it not been for my grandmother. . . . Had she not been there to provide that floor, I think our young lives could have been much more chaotic than they were.”

45 comments:

Harry Baldwin said...

The elegant but intellectually vacuous Dreams . . .

Wait a minute--isn't this the book that Donald Trump keeps describing as "better than Hemingway," and therefore obviously written by the "super genius" Bill Ayers, rather than Obama?

BTW, Ann Althouse had an interesting insight on Obama's mama vs.grandmother.

Mama Cass said...

That last paragraph explains why Obama didn't go to visit his mother as she lay dying in hospital.

Loose, self-indulgent, irresponsible hippie chicks make terrible mothers.

JSM said...

Obama knows full well Asians are much more likely to toss racial slurs and rocks than White Americans.

But, hold on, folks, he also knows such factoids would NOT have endeared him to the SWPLs he needed to get elected.

Best be quiet about his experiences in Indonesia.

After all, as every SWPL knows, THEY're not racist. That's something only the Wrong Kind of White Person does, like those icky West Virginia hillbillies.

And, an East Asian best friend is a SWPL's most important fashion accessory. EAs CAN'T be racist! That would be, just, too tacky for words. It would ruin their whole look.

Chicago said...

Publicly critiquing his own mother and grandmother is really tacky and classless. They are, after all, the two people in his life who did the most for him. It wasn't his black father who did anything whatsoever, that's for sure.
Asians, though having been a part of his life, seem to be mostly invisible to him. Other people are just viewed in terms of their utility as vehicles for him and are discarded rather easily when their usefulness runs out. This is a trait commonly associated with sociopaths. His coldness towards the family members who loved him also fits in with this description.
Obama is a user, not a giver. All his previous "causes" were just exercises in self-aggrandizment whereby he could push himself to the fore as the star of the show. The issues weren't the point; that could change. The important thing was for it to be a tool to help showcase himself.
Great guy. No loyalty, throws everyone under the bus when it's expedient.

Luke Lea said...

As the grandmother said after the Philadelphia speech, "Oh well."

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.. maybe modern women can have it both ways--career and children--by having the grandparents take care of the children in their younger yrs.

Anonymous said...

So what do you think about the theory that Frank Davis was the actual father but he was married so they got another black guy on the island to be the official husband so that Barry would be legitimate? Frank seems to have been her lover (ie nude pics of her on the Internet and his writing about his teen age lover), and maybe the birth certificate reflects Davis and not Obama which is why Barry is fighting so hard to keep it secret.

Polymath said...

That the "subsequent marriage was polygamous" is Obama's ace in the hole. Since Obama Senior was legally married already, his marriage to Ann Dunham was invalid, and there is no legal basis on which Obama could have inherited Kenyan citizenship (putting a name in the "father" slot on a birth certificate is not an act which can have the legal consequence of depriving a child of citizenship, absent a court finding of paternity, while a valid marriage would have been).

If Obama Senior had abandoned his pregnant girlfriend, and she had not put his name on the birth certificate but instead had left it blank, and had not married anybody before her son was born, it wouldn't matter what country she was visiting at the time she gave birth. He would still be a natural-born citizen, just as children of married American citizens are natural-born citizens if their parents were visiting overseas when they were born; in both cases, all the legally recognized parents that exist would be American citizens.

Legally, the situation is not changed by the facts that an invalid marriage ceremony was performed and the name of a Kenyan citizen was put in the "father" slot in the birth certificate, because both of those acts had no legal significance. Only a valid marriage or a court finding of paternity would suffice.

I am amazed never to have seen anyone make this argument publicly in the last 3 years. Probably Obama figured his path to the Presidency would be smoother if the issue did not arise and relied, correctly, on his claim to having been born in Hawaii not being disproved before the elction. If it ever is disproved, he can always act surprised and make the argument above that it shouldn't matter; legally this will make his candidacy valid, but it is hilarious that right now he has allowed so many people think that it matters whether his birth took place on American soil.

Anonymous said...

> why does Steve Sailer keep insisting that Obama threw his grandmother under the bus during
his "race speech."
thats not the impression i got.
at all.
espeically since it' FACTUAL.

Anonymous said...

Golly, you mean that liberalism is just white-hating racism, and that they depend on keeping up a murderous hate-spew aimed only at whites to keep their coalition-that-comes-together-only-at-the-junction-of-their-shared-hatred-of-whites that the left's power rests on intact? Are you suggesting they don't really notice racism that doesn't advance their white-hating agenda? I dunno, Steve, you're getting into some pretty radical territory here . . .

Anonymous said...

Not that any of your readers will acknowledge it, but that last quote was actually quite mature. A nearly 50 year old man would look like a petulant child beating up on his dead mom. Instead, he comes across as simultaneously trying to honor her spirit and idealism while nodding towards the fact that it was his grandmother's work ethic and fortitude that made any kind of a stable life possible for him.

While I think Steve is wrong in many of his conclusions, he is certainly correct that Obama is a lot odder and more interesting a figure than either his admirers or detractors realize.

dearieme said...

You're assuming that his "mother" is his mother. But she wasn't, as far as anyone knows, actually married to his father, or should I say "father"? All very odd. Still, I've never seen the first whiff of evidence that he was born anywhere else than Hawaii, so his being President is OK, whoever the hell he may be.

jody said...

i keep thinking about that guy who posts in the crime threads about how violent crime is "naturally" declining and i get a chuckle.

high seas piracy is at an all-time high thanks to african based pirates, who are raiding ships daily now. south koreans just took out a couple more of them.

meanwhile our friend richard lapchick has noted that black americans are down to 8% of MLB players, and latin americans even went down from 28% to 27% this year. the horrors! MLB officials themselves are quite perturbed and openly state that they are doing as much as they can to directly get more black americans into MLB.

obama and eric holder don't understand how oil works, so they're forming a task force to see if they can use the only thing they know, waving their lawyer's wand at white people, to get the price of oil to decrease.

lol @ the world of 2011.

Anonymous said...

About a quarter century ago the Japanese Prime Minister Nakasone attributed his country's success vis-à-vis America to the fact they didn't have the burden of Blacks and Hispanics. That was a glimpse into how East Asians really view our NAMs.

I have seen the same sort of unconcealed racism toward Blacks from recent Iranian and Iraqi immigrants. After a while of course they learn to hold their tongues.

Most Americans seem to assume that non-Americans all accept our PC rationalizations for Black crime and school failure. "White Racism" as an explanation just doesn't resonate with Asians or even Hispanics.

The only people I can remember who have openly laughed and joked about how stupid Blacks are, were some illegal aliens.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Asians and Indians are boring. Obama only likes talking about people that are vibrant (blacks) or semi-vibrant (whites).

Anonymous said...

It is not "factual" at all. Obama portrays her grandmother as a racist, even though she was merely distressed after being harassed/assaulted by a black person.

Obama has no evidence whatsoever that the grandmother would have been scared had she been assaulted by a whiter bum, or that she would have been scared of a educated black person.

Anonymous said...

Obama was there often in chicago at northwestern memorial when his mom died of ovarian cancer. I trained there and it is a well known tidbit of info.

Only time obama has been seen shedding tears was when his grandmother died.

Fantastic post steve. Made a lot of sense.

Anonymous said...

Illegal aliens and Middle Easterners are hardly known for their intellectual abilities, so it's not clear to me what they are laughing about.

Anonymous said...

One thing that always bugged the hell out of me immediately upon Obama's election was that he and Michelle chose NOT to conduct a funeral and a wake for his own grandmother at that time, who had died just a day or two before election day. This is the grandmother who had stood in as his ersatz mother for a great portion of his life. Instead, they had a ceremony of some description a good number of weeks later, combining it with a family vacation in Hawaii.

I simply can't imagine that in an ordinary family, the funeral and/or wake of a loved one would simply be put off for weeks and weeks because it interfered with some job responsibilities (yes, I know it was the Presidency he was assuming, but he did not actually become President until January).

When I would describe this choice to others as fairly callous, I was always in effect shouted down in the larger celebration of his "historic" election.

But to this day, the choice strikes me as cold and heartless. I doubt that any other candidate might ever have utterly escaped criticism for such an act.

Udolpho.com said...

blacks do this good cop bad cop routine all the time

Anonymous said...

Occam's Razor says Frank Marshall Davis is the father listed on the birth certificate.

Dr. Lucy Van Pelt said...

Obama was there often in chicago at northwestern memorial when his mom died of ovarian cancer. I trained there and it is a well known tidbit of info.

Sounds like you've been fed an urban legend by your coworkers.

A better known tibit of info is this (from the NYTimes no less):

(Obama) “The biggest mistake I made was not being at my mother’s bedside when she died,” he told The Chicago Sun-Times in 2004. “She was in Hawaii in a hospital, and we didn’t know how fast it was going to take, and I didn’t get there in time.”

His mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in NYC early 1995. She flew back to Hawaii and died there in Nov 1995. That means he probably had 6-11 months to fly out to see his mother before she passed which it sounds like he didn't.

Obama consciously decided to distance himself from his white and only real family and more recenetly adopting his "mentor" and "father figure" (Obama's words) Rev. Wright. He did this to appear authentically black enough to become electable in inner city Chicago and avoid another Bobby Rush-like beatdown. it seems Wright also genuinely fulfilled some daddy issues Obama also had. Obama certainly kept Wright along long after it was clear he would be a political liability at the next stage.

Granted, Obama was very busy in Chicago in 1995 working, teaching, organizing and getting his political career off the ground by rebranding himself as authentic black and his mom was in Hawaii. True too, his mom passing within less than a year is fast for even late stage ovarian cancer (2.95yr life expectancy).

Given this context, Obama's expressed guilt only makes sense if he continually put off visiting his sick mom for many months when he may have thought she'd live 3yrs, and then weeks when it was clear she was near the end.

Given how Stanley Ann abandoned Obama in Hawaii with grandma to pursue her 1000 pg thesis into rural blacksmithing back in Indonesia, one can understand why Obama probably didn't feel a deep emotional obligation to go out of his way to visit his dying mother.

Rationale aside, Obama has to have some messed up stuff going on in his head from being first abanded by his polygamous baby daddy and then his flakey hippy mother. His narrow obsession with racialist views that are foreign to his known family and upbringing show a guy who far from centered and is manufacturing an identity.

Anonymous said...

Obama knew that his ticket to power was 'white guilt'. If his book showed that 'racism' was a universal problem than an especially white one which white folks had to atone for(especially in regard to the black man), then he would have had a weaker argument. If Obama had mentioned what happened to him as a kid in Indonesia, white folks would have thought, 'wow, we are so much more enlightened than non-whites, and Obama should be happy to have grown up in the good ole USA. He owes us; we don't owe him.' This would have undermined Obama's strategy of playing on the white psyche of guilt that feels it owes something to black folks. Also, one of PC's secret power is that ONLY WHITE FOLKS CAN BE 'RACIST'.

Perhaps, on a less cynical note, maybe Obama thought that racial prejudice among non-whites was something instilled into them by white imperialist/'racist'/oppressors, to which there is a kernal of truth. Western imperialists did play a divide-and-rule strategy, exploiting the hostilities among various tribe/people. Gandhi's low regard for blacks, for instance, was no doubt picked up from white 'racists'.
On the other hand, it must be said many hostilities among non-white peoples, though exploited by Western imperialists, had existed prior to Western imperialism. Arabs, for example, didn't need to be introduced to European 'racist' theory to regard most black Africans as 'savages'.

Steve Sailer said...

"Granted, Obama was very busy in Chicago in 1995"

Yeah, Obama flew from Chicago to Washington D.C. to participate in Minister Farrakhan's Million Man March on October 16, 1995. His mother died in Hawaii on November 7, 1995.

Obama had his priorities: Farrakhan over his dying mother.

A Bania of Vaishya strata said...

Gandhi's low regard for blacks, for instance, was no doubt picked up from white 'racists'.

Wrong.

SE Asian Indians, especially the better bred sort, can view the world with an insufferably rigid hierarichal view of other ethnic and religious groups. They've been doing that thousands of years before Europeans washed up on shore.

The same goes for NE Asians, American Indians (esp the more densly popualted Central America) and any other human society of minimal size and complexity.

Dr. Lucy Van Pelt said...

If Obama didn't go, then it wouldn't have been a Million Man March then would it?

999,999 (nor 399,000) Man March just doesn't have the same ring.

Besides, this is exactly the type of circus Obama has to attend and promote to gain black legitimacy.

No doubt Obama felt a much strong emotional attachment to Farrakhan's march and his career than to his mother.

jay said...

"That last paragraph explains why Obama didn't go to visit his mother as she lay dying in hospital.

Loose, self-indulgent, irresponsible hippie chicks make terrible mothers."

He didn't visit his dying mother because he is evil.

Truth said...

"Obama had his priorities: Farrakhan over his dying mother."

Yes, and I'm sure all of your white friends spent the last 3 weeks of their dying mother's lives bedside, in the hospital 24 hours a day.

Mel Torme said...

Well the Mama Obama rolled outta bed,
and she ran to the police station.
When the birthers found out, they began to shout, and they started the investigation.

It's against the law,
it was against the law,
Article II, sect. 1, paragraph faw,
it is against the law.

The voters look down and spit on the ground
every time my name gets mentioned.
The Donald said "oh, if I get that boy,
I'm gonna stick him in the house of detention."

Well, I'm on my way,
don't know where I'm goin'
I'm on my way,
on the taxpayers' dime,
but I don't know where.

Goodbye middle class,
here's a case of Corona.
See you, me, and Julio down
by the schoolyard.

In a couple of days Soros'll take me away,
but the press makes the story reek.
And when the radical preacher
come to get me released,
we was all talkin' totally Newspeak.

And I'm on my way
I don't know where I'm goin'
I'm on my way.
I'm bustin' a rhyme,
cause I got nappy hair.

Goodbye to Rosie,
and the show Oklahoma,
see you, me, and Coolio
down at the schoolyard.



Maybe I could get some help on some of this. The title here got me going. Try to keep the meter good - I think it's got PO-tential.

Anonymous said...

Race can be simply a pretext--a rhetoric of rejection--when a child is treated as non-group by other children in school settings. BHO seemed to do better socially after he came to live with his maternal grandparents. One of the interesting facets re Stanley (Stanlee) Ann Dunham Obama is all the adroit manipulation she carried out over the years about having a "boy's" name--Stanley. In schools from time to time a child is enrolled whose given name presents a problem and teachers always accommodate to this. There is a sick circularity about her making "a big deal" of her name and her ostracism, etc. In fact, she appears to have been a schizoid child (as likely her paternal grandmother was--Ruth Lucille Armour ) whose friends were mainly kids without friends.
Information accessible about her is fuzzy as to her elective social relationships, if many at all, after her second divorce. There is also no information I'm aware of any overt sexual orientation after her second divorce. She seems to have been someone whose social contacts were incidental to her various busy body activities and who had few, if any, merely elective social relationships.

Anonymous said...

BHO's "cherry picking" of facts is especially troubling in view of what is known about the inheritance of personality traits/predispositions.
Both the President's maternal grandfather and his putative Kenyan father had psychopathic traits--the moreso for the putative father who would reasonably be considered floridly psychopathic. BHO's breeziness and cherry picking of facts is not, in this context, reassuring at all. He gives troubling indication of someone more concealed than revealed by his public persona.

Truth said...

Hey, that's really good, Mel.

Who knows, with 10,000 hours of hard work, you could have the same illustrious carrer as this young bard:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMtLefrYTeA

Jim said...

What actual evidence is there that Ann Dunham married Obama?

My -- relatively uniformed -- opinion on the long form birth certificate issue was that it may just simply show she was unmarried. That makes the story older African (married) guy knocks up underage white (stupidly naive lefty) teenager and takes off. This just have "the one we've been waiting for vibe". Too much truth about race, Africa, blacks, sex, liberal naivete, etc. etc.

[I'm not totally dismissing the Frank Marshall Davis idea, but that strikes me as just a flyer. Unlike the say Dr.George Wright being Clinton's real dad which seems given the evidence more than likely to be the case.]

Anonymous said...

Madelyn Payne Dunham, maternal grandmother of BHO, was authentically bright and, sans college education, rose to be a VP in an urban bank. She appears to have been quite willing and able to talk with the media, but about 2003 or so, had no further contacts. It is unthinkable that she would not have known the straight skinny of BHO's birth. The brother of his maternal grandfather--the brother of Stanley Dunham--may still be alive, and has never been heard from on this topic. At last America has solved the problem of selecting a President: One has been invented for us !!

Steve Sailer said...

Madelyn Payne Dunham's brother, who had been, before his retirement, the number two man running the U. of Chicago libraries, was available to the press during the election. I read a pleasant and informative interview with him during the campaign. She also has a surviving sister in North Carolina, who is a retired professor of statistics.

James Kabala said...

Jim: Well, the famous birth announcement in the Honolulu Advertiser says the parents were "Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama," so if the marriage is a falsehood it was one told at the time rather than made up years after the fact.

Anonymous said...

"Without thinking about a third group, it's hard to think intelligently about blacks and whites."

It's probably impossible. But throwing in a third perspective may make it even more complex, not clarifying.

And not sure that Asians make for a good third perspective, either. They aren't exactly a standing perspective, but a shifting one. One that changes often according to their interests and how they see both blacks and whites view them.

Simplicity comes from one race living in one space. Super complexity is what we have now.

Anonymous said...

Obama was there often in chicago at northwestern memorial when his mom died of ovarian cancer. I trained there and it is a well known tidbit of info.

What does this mean? Was "northwestern memorial" a hospital where she was being treated?

Harry Baldwin said...

Jim said...What actual evidence is there that Ann Dunham married Obama?

The story is that on February 2, 1961, Ann, three months pregnant, and Obama went to Wailuku, Maui and got married. The wedding had no witnesses, not even her parents, and no record of the event has yet been found.

Obama, himself, wrote that his father and mother’s wedding may not have been properly documented. "How and when the marriage occurred remains a bit murky, a bill of particulars that I have never quite had the courage to explore. There's no record of a real wedding, a cake, a ring, a giving away of the bride. No families were in attendance; it's not even clear that people back in Kansas were informed. Just a small civil ceremony, a justice of the peace," Obama writes in Dreams.

The president is unusually frank here about his parents' marital status, though elsewhere he incorrectly stated the marriage took place in 1960, implying that marriage and inception took place in the then customary order. Interestingly, if he were not born in the US, the fact that his parents were not legally married would work in his favor.

Speaking to a woman's group in July 2008, Michelle Obama said Barack's mother was "very young and very single when she had him." Did she mean she was single when he was conceived or born?

It's entirely plausible to me that the birth announcement would imply that the parents' were married for the sake of decency.

The first mention of the supposed wedding date of February 2, 1961, is in the divorce papers filed January 20, 1964.

Steve Sailer said...

There's also the polygamy problem. Obama Sr. was already married under the customs of his people when he met the President's mother.

Anonymous said...

It is important, then, to note. as Mr. Sailer reminds us. that near relatives of BHO have continued to visit with the media. To my awareness,however, neither of them has indicated a fairly direct awareness of the circumstances of BHO's birth. It would be par for the course for them to be quoted out of some "she said/he said" basis as affirming a Hawaiian birth. It is unthinkable that Madelyn Payne Dunham would not have directly known the where/when/who (witnesses) of any birth in Hawaii. Or would not have been privy to direct word from her daughter as to the facts of birth elsewhere. In crude illustrative analogy, a Certificate of Live Birth in Hawaii has about as much solid relationship to the facts of the matter as, say,a Quit Claim deed has to the demonstrated ownership of a piece of land--i.e., it usually reflects an underlyhing reality but often enough does not and has a conspicuous potential for deception. Stan Dunham was a master at such small innocuous deceptions and "fixes". The Reagan principle holds" Trust BUT VERIFY"

Anonymous said...

An unwed pregnancy was a scandal in 1961, therefore it was essential that a father and husband exist or be found. Absent a husband, “confinement” and giving up the child for adoption were the only real options. This is one reason that adoption was easier, as unwed mothers of necessity had to put children up for adoption, especially without the option of legal abortion. And the birth control pill wasn’t yet widely available.


All of that context being understood makes it possible to consider that the marriage was in name only, or was a cover story. It is possible that a story was created for a hit and run impregnation by Obama Senior or less likely that Obama Senior was recruited to serve as a fake husband and father in place of another real father (for example Frank Marshall Davis).

Doug1 said...

Polymath--

There is no question that Obama is a US citizen. He would be even if he was born in Kenya or Indonesia, because one of his parents, his mother, is a US citizen.

The birther thing is about a provision in the US constitution which requires that Presidents be born in the United States (or the former British colonies which became the United States). Being a citizen alone isn't enough.

Truth said...

The issue is that one's mother has to be over 18 when he was born for automatic citizenship - overseas birth. Stanley wasn't.

Polymath said...

Doug1,

You are confused. "Natural Born Citizen" means a citizen AT BIRTH, automatically, without any application being filed or legal proceeding needed. This occurs when one is born on U.S. soil while one's parents are subject to the jurisdiction of U.S. laws, or when one's parents are citizens temporarily out of the country at the time one is born. The issue is clouded when the parents are not both citizens and one is a citizen of another country; however, it becomes unclouded if only one person, a U.S. citizen, is recognized as a parent, so all the parents the baby is known to have are U.S. citizens. What saves Obama is that there is no legal basis to connect Obama Senior to him as a parent -- being named Junior doesn't do it, having a name filled in on a form in the hospital doesn't do it, and an invalid marriage ceremony doesn't do it. Only a valid marriage ceremony or a legally recognized acknowledgment of paternity or court finding of paternity suffices to link a man to a baby according to U.S. law.

Of course, if. B.O. Senior signed the form acknowledging paternity in Hawaii at the time, that suffices, but if he was in Hawaii then Obama Junior was already a natural born citizen. If Obama was born in Kenya, the U.S. legal system has no basis for finding that Obama Senior is officially the father of Obama Junior unless there is a valid marriage or an acknowledgment or court finding of paternity in a U.S. court (at the time of birth; later acknowledgment doesn't change Obama's status at birth, although the late-recognized invalidity of the "marriage" does change and correct the KNOWLEDGE of his status at birth).