March 25, 2007

Winter Kills

My new column: An excerpt:

While few in the media appear to have read Obama's bestselling memoir all the way through, his press coverage has gotten less rapturous in recent weeks.

Why? Winter. To flee it, numerous big city reporters have convinced their editors to send them on expense-account junkets to Obama's old tropical haunts in Hawaii and Indonesia. The articles they wrote to justify their trips have begun to undermine Obama's carefully crafted fa├žade.

The next credibility problem for Obama's persona: Chicago is a great place to visit once the snow stops falling. As spring arrives, more investigative reporters will head to the Windy City to find out more about Obama's spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah T. Wright Jr., who was one of the organizers of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's 1995 Million Man March.

In Sunday's Chicago Tribune, Kirsten Scharnberg and Kim Barker report from Honolulu and Jakarta, where Obama spent his first 18 years:

"More than 40 interviews with former classmates, teachers, friends and neighbors in his childhood homes of Hawaii and Indonesia, as well as a review of public records, show … several of his oft-recited stories may not have happened in the way he has recounted them, sometimes making him look better in the retelling, and sometimes skipping over some of the most painful, private moments of his life." [The Not So Simple Story of Barack Obama's Youth, March 25, 2007]

Obama described Indonesia in the late 1960s as idyllic for a small mixed-race boy, while Hawaii in the 1970s was a nightmare of racism. The Tribune reporters found the opposite was closer to the truth.

They interviewed Southeast Asians from his Jakarta neighborhoods:

"All say he was teased more than any other kid in the neighborhood--primarily because he was so different in appearance." He was frequently attacked by three Indonesian kids at once, and one time they threw him in a swamp. "Luckily he could swim."

Conversely, Obama's account of his supposedly oppressed and angry 5th-12th grade years (at Honolulu's most prestigious prep school) make Hawaii sound like Alabama in the 1950s—rather than a state where whites didn't hold any of the top three elective posts at the time. However, the Tribune correspondents note,

"Much time is devoted in Obama's book to exploring his outsider status at Punahou. But any struggles he was experiencing were obscured by the fact that he had a racially diverse group of friends--many of whom often would crowd into his grandparents' apartment, near Punahou, after school let out."

Obama exploits his typical reader's ignorance of Hawaii's very different racial rules. For instance:

"Obama described having long, heated conversations about racism with another black student, 'Ray,' who once railed: 'Tell me we wouldn't be treated different if we was white. Or Japanese. Or Hawaiian.' The real Ray, located by the Tribune, is actually half black and half Japanese. And according to a close friend from high school, that young man was perceived and treated as one of Punahou's many mixed-race students." [More]

The downside for Obama in these Hawaiian articles is twofold: First the vast majority of Americans have no idea that his autobiography is stuffed full of racial resentment. That's the opposite of the image he's trying to project. Second, these investigative reports make him look hyper-sensitive and disingenuous

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

You can blame winter for the slow erosion of Senator Barack Obama's image.

A question about this: Among whom has Obama's 'image eroded'? How many people have, or ever will, read the sort of analysis and commentary that you have undertaken? Or, if I may ask, would take it seriously (i.e. as a criterion for making a voting decision) were they to read it? As compared to the so far overwhelmingly positive portrayal of him in the media (granted the fawning is absurd considering his high aspirations -- it was funny to hear him say, at the recent Las Vegas event, that he had no idea about healthcare, but get back to him on that in a while).

I mean, it seems to be that substance finishes a distant second to style in political campaigns these days (although it is still in the race), and at this point, and in that sense, I don't see Obama as having been seriously damaged (some 'erosion' is expected as scrutiny grows) -- given the mediocre (or worse) crop of Democratic candidates at this point, his chances to be nominated seem to be about as good as those of any of the others (although IMO it would be suicidal for the Democrats to do that, but the same goes for Hillary).

Anonymous said...

"Obama described Indonesia in the late 1960s as idyllic for a small mixed-race boy, while Hawaii in the 1970s was a nightmare of racism. The Tribune reporters found the opposite was closer to the truth."

This made me laugh.

Steve, what do you call it when you want your autobiography to "fit" with the story of America (as it is told by the PC Religion)?

The very idea that his childhood in Indonesia would have been idyllic just SOUNDS ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Actually, if anyone can come up with the word for the "Autobiography that fits with the Politically Correct Story of America", well, I would also like the opposite.

For instance, a story about a Man trying to start a business in Detroit but he keeps on getting robbed and mugged by under-privileged youths.

That is, this should be a sympathetic story, but it would probably only serve to make it's audience uncomfortable by it's honesty and obviousness.

Anonymous said...

A suspicious mind might begin to wonder if Steve is receiving funding from the vast right wing conspiracy, operation codename Stop the Chocolate Drop.

Anonymous said...

A suspicious mind might begin to wonder if Steve is receiving funding from the vast right wing conspiracy

You know, I have always thought that Steve was getting funding from Bush and Cheney. I just didn't want to say it.

Ron Guhname said...

I can't believe I'm saying this, but if the Dems win, I hope it's Clinton over Obama. Not only is he messed up racially, but he's further left than Hillary.

Luke said...

anonymous wrote: A question about this: Among whom has Obama's 'image eroded'? How many people have, or ever will, read the sort of analysis and commentary that you have undertaken?

If Obama gets the Democratic nomination, rest assured Republicans will see to it that every last voter in America is aware of it all. Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if Republican opertatives weren't puffng his candidacy behind the scenes as the one potential candidage they could most easily beat.

Anonymous said...

I doubt Steve is getting any money from Republicans. They'd drool over a Candidate like Obama who could be easily defined as a race-baiting America hater sympathetic to Jihad and filled with hatred towards Whites.

Steve is of course ignoring the dynamic behind the negative Obama articles: rival Hillary Clinton who will NOT be denied her rightful due. The Shrillary is in full Clinton-attack mode, and hangers-on who lust after another 8 years at the trough will willingly do her dirty work. This includes influential people in the press such as Stephanopolos, Carville, Begala, Russert, Matthews, etc.

After Clinton left office most of the Clinton machine migrated into the Press, where they are perfectly situated to tear down Obama the Messiah. Shrillary vs. Geffen was entertaining, Shrillary vs. Obama the Messiah promises to be even more entertaining. Pass the popcorn.

Anonymous said...

I doubt Steve is getting any money from Republicans.

I didn't say Republicans, I said the vast rightwing conspiracy. And behind the VRC lies...HRC.

Anonymous said...

Obama's Black-Japanese friend from High School made it to the front page of the Wall Street Journal last week: He's living in an '89 Mazda with an aspiring rapper in Los Angeles.

Steve, since he's nearby for you, maybe you should try to interview him? You might be able to get a scoop.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, I was surprised that Sailer hasn't referenced the resurfacing of the Obama buddy, since in some ways he bolsters Obama's account of feeling like an outsider in Hawaii, even while embodying the stereotype of the ne'er do well hitting up the successful buddy for a handout.

Anonymous said...

"While most whites at the high school remember "Barry" Obama as a carefree, popular student with a megawatt smile, Mr. Obama opened up more to Mr. Kakugawa about his absent father back in Africa, life with his white mother and grandparents, and their school's, as well as Hawaii's, dearth of black role models."

if you listened to sports writers, a full 50% of NFL criminals are in fact guilty only of being in possession of a "megawatt smile", and not of whatever actual, real crime they just committed. another favorite with journalists is "a smile that lights up the room". they are completely infatuated with african men and their smiles.

and then you have the mixed race guy who privately dislikes the european side of his family. how dare they make sure he is safe, educated, and loved. don't they know the proper way to handle children is to abandon them?

it's fairly funny that the only reason barack obama can even run for president is due to his mother, who he has clearly distanced himself from.

Anonymous said...


You really have a burr up your ass about the darkies, huh? What is your problem? Why not just move somewhere where there aren't any blacks (assuming you don't live somewhere like that already)?

Anonymous said...

One thing I would take issue with in Steve's article is the portrait of GWB as a twisted mediocrity.

While GWB is lazy, and deeply suspicious of the Press, whom he rightly feels is extremely hostile to Evangelical white men let alone Republican Presidents, he is not stupid. It takes some skill to fly the fighter jets he did, though as our last Ace Randy "Duke" Cunningham showed, valor even in combat is no guarantee of political courage or integrity.

GWB won over two extraordinarily BAD candidates, the robotic and unhinged Al Gore and the unhinged and pompous John Kerry. Nevertheless I suspect most of the outright hatred of GWB stems from the resentment that he forces reality (we are in a generations long war with Islam and Muslims) to the forefront from time to time.

What's notable (and I thank Steve for bringing this to my attention) is the dislike Obama brings to his white mother for abandoning him. No wonder he dislikes whites, which makes him of course an unsuitable candidate for President and one which Reps will easily point out.

But it's interesting to see how hippie Moms make very bad sons later on.

Luke said...

Let's just say that Bush's audacity exceeds his intelligence -- by roughly one order of magnitude.

Either that or he is being blackmailed . . . by Gulf oil Sheiks, Mexican Mafiosi, and Texas S&L billionaires, who, together, got the goods on him back in his Harken days.

Personally I prefer the latter explanation.

Anonymous said...

"But it's interesting to see how hippie Moms make very bad sons later on."

I'm not sure how Obama is a "very bad son". He seems to have been more successful than most sons in the US so far.

Anonymous said...

"You really have a burr up your ass about the darkies, huh?"

i like how steve sailer has correctly identified comments like this as nothing but sport among modern americans to see who is the least "racist".

you've definitely got me etoile. you're so much better than me. you just won the social status competition here on!

Anonymous said...

As an aviator, George W. Bush was a joke. First, he got into a ANG squadron and sent to UPT through sheer political postillionage. There is little question of that. He did meet the basic requirements, but had he not bee the son of a connected congressman, he would have had to go active duty Air Force to even be considered for a UPT slot, and then he would have been only a possible candidate. Even during the nadir of Vietnam ans post-Vietnam, pilot slots have a large excess of applicants.

His performance in UPT would have qualified him for a bomber, tanker, transport or helo slot, but not under ordinary conditions (were he active duty USAF or USAFR) a fighter billet. Since TANG mostly operated the Deuce, that's what he flew.

The F-102 was called "the schoolmarm of the Century Series", and for good reason. Despite its voluptuous racy appearance (bonus question: What are the two bulges around the tailpipe, the aftmost part of the airframe, called?) the Deuce was a mostly-subsonic missile launching platform packed full of boat anchor firebottle avionics (there were enough 12AX7s in each to fill a day's production demand at Fender!) and a pleasant-flying but tactically useless airplane by 1968. Bush's service was basically a waste of time and kerosene.

It's interesting that Bush's military aviation career ended as it did, because any fighter pilot worthy of the name would do anything-anything-to go to Vietnam where there were MiGs to be bagged. He never transitioned to any other aircraft, and indeed has not flown since leaving the service.

He has done nothing for aviation whatsoever. From a pilot standpoint, Kerry, an active pilot, whold in retrospect have been a far better choice.