November 9, 2008

Mystery of the murky Obama-Signator relationship solved!

One of the more enigmatic articles about President-Elect Obama appeared in on October 20, but I think I've cracked the secret. See if you come up with the same explanation as I did for why Obama drops in several times per day on his not very international man of mystery, Michael Signator:

'Mystery' Man lends support to Obama

by Kenneth P. Vogel

CHICAGO — He's the star of bulletins chronicling Barack Obama's movements, one of only a few nonrelatives to consistently get time with the Democratic candidate for president and a trusted confidant who has shared some of the most pivotal moments of Obama's career with him.

Yet journalists who have followed Obama's campaign for the better part of two years don't know what he looks like, staffers who have logged countless hours traveling with Team Obama didn't even know he works for the campaign and there's never been a story in a major media outlet about him.

He is Michael Signator, an aide and buddy of the man who — according to polls — stands a better-than-50-50 shot of becoming the next president of the United States of America.

Technically, Signator's job is to provide "supplemental security support" for Obama's presidential campaign and also to coordinate the Obama family's personal and campaign schedules, according to Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt.

A police officer in a suburban Chicago town, Signator met Obama while volunteering for his 2004 U.S. Senate campaign, which eventually hired him as Obama's driver.

For security reasons, Obama's presidential campaign refuses to reveal the details of Signator's role, but LaBolt said it brings Signator into frequent, close contact with the Obamas.

"Barack and Michelle Obama regularly confer with Mike, as do senior campaign officials. Sen. Obama has met with Signator both at the Obamas' home and at Mike's," LaBolt said in a statement.

Though Signator owns a home in suburban DuPage County — about an hour west of the Obamas' Chicago home — he also rents an apartment on the 16th floor of a high-rise called Regents Park, located just a few blocks from Obama's house in the leafy Kenwood neighborhood on Chicago's South Side.

When Obama is at home, he works out regularly in the well-appointed gym on the ground floor of the building. But according to "protective pool reports" distributed among journalists following the campaign, Obama may also occasionally stop by the building just to hang out with "Sig," as some campaign staffers call him.

On a Sunday morning in late June, for instance, a pool report explained that Obama "went for a workout at his friend's Mike Signator's building. He wore his black White Sox cap; a gray T-shirt and black workout pants. He only stayed about 15 minutes. Press staff was unsure whether he worked out or just hung with his friend."

Pool reports have characterized Signator as, among other things, a "friend," a "longtime aide" and a "former bodyman."

Bodymen are like traveling administrative assistants who cater to a politician's every need, from 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry's peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to Obama's MET-Rx chocolate roasted-peanut protein bars, which are kept on hand by his current bodyman, Reggie Love, a former football and basketball player at Duke University.

Though the job can sometimes be less than glamorous, young up-and-comers leap at the chance to do it because bodymen, by definition, are the aides physically closest to — and trusted by — politicians, and that can lead to bonds akin to child-parent relationships with their bosses.

Signator, though, is 50 years old — three years older than Obama — and displays few of the trappings of a rising Beltway insider, with public records indicating he's spent most of his adult life in and around Chicago.

Reached by telephone, he declined to comment on his relationship with Obama and his family, and asked how Politico obtained his telephone number. He directed inquiries to the Obama campaign press office and explained, "I can't do any type of interview at all. I apologize. I'm sorry, and please just disregard this phone number, because I can't take any calls."

The campaign press staff — which at first denied that Signator worked for the campaign, then discouraged Politico from writing about him — declined to set up an interview.

That leaves public records and the protective pool reports — written by journalists tapped from the traveling press contingent to follow Obama during all non-campaign-related activities and report back to their colleagues on the typically mundane details — to piece together a picture of Signator and his place in Obama World.

According to Federal Election Commission records, Obama's campaign through the end of August had paid Signator $47,600. The payments, which began in March 2007 at $2,900 a month, dwindled to less than $800 a month in May of this year — a full year after the Secret Service began protecting Obama. ...

Obama writes that "the process by which I was selected as the keynote speaker remains something of a mystery to me." Then, one afternoon, as Signator was driving him from Springfield, the state capital where Obama was a state senator, to Chicago, where he had an evening campaign event, Obama got a call from Kerry's campaign manager, who asked him to keynote the convention.

After he hung up, Obama turned to Signator and said "I guess this is pretty big," according to "Audacity." It reports that Signator nodded and said, "You could say that." ...

Whatever the two men's current relationship, the Illinois senator has spent so much time at the Regents Park that many of the residents have their own Obama stories, according to Min Kim.

"I've run into him by the elevator," the 21-year-old University of Chicago student boasted last Sunday morning as he waited for a ride outside the building, near Secret Service agents and local cops standing sentry while Obama was inside.

Kim admitted, though, that he froze up and didn't say anything to the would-be president.

Sometimes, according to pool reports, Obama has dropped by multiple times in a single day, particularly while he was weighing his choice of a running mate. That led some in his traveling press corps to speculate that Obama may have been meeting with prospective vice presidential nominees at Sig's place, and it prompted The Washington Post to crack that Signator was "not, as far as we know, on the short list."

Okay, are you ready to take a shot at explaining why, when feeling under pressure, Obama drops in frequently on his driver / ex-bodyguard for 15 minutes at a time. I'll put my guess below:


Keep scrolling:

Obama goes over to Mike Signator's apartment to ...

smoke a cigarette.

So, it's not a very exciting mystery, after all.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Obama's brand of choice is widely reported to be Marlboro Reds. It's very, very rare for a black man in Chicago to smoke non-mentholated cigarettes. He must have taken up smoking in some other place and time, perhaps in Hawaii. No wonder he worries he's not black enough... he isn't!

Anonymous said...

So, the Sailer solution to the Signator mystery is...Obama is taking smoke breaks!?

Steve, on some issues you are thick as a brick. And, as a former long time smoker, I call bull****. I knew ten different ways to sneak a smoke and none involved traveling to a different building or apartment.

Try again: Perhaps Obama has a girlfriend or perhaps he is on the down low.

Of course, you will reflexively reject the latter possibility outright. Just like you rejected Kevin MacDonald's theory of Jewish evolutionary strategy -- until you were hit across the face with the evidence presented in that amazing NYT article about the Jewish activist lady living in Italy in her exclusively Jewish-culture-appointed apartment - while she was simultaneously shoving multiculturalism down the throats of Italians.

As if it would be so unthinkable that a guy like Obama might be bi-sexual. Yeah, right. He's just not the type! That's a statistical impossibility for Mr Arugula.

Steve Sailer bangs his skull against the hard, inconvenient wall of reality again. Newsflash: Behind the scenes most politicians was not the same man as presented by the media. But I bet if Steve Sailer were writing his stuff in 1960 he would have absolutely dismissed the JFK allegations (which all turned out to be true).

Psssst, hey, Steve: The Rosenbergs were guilty as hell, OJ really did cut his wife's head off, and, yeah, 9-11 was a lot of monkey business.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't Obama smell after smoking?

Everyone close to him prolly knows, right?

Anonymous said...

LOL! And they refer to him as "Sig" ... or pehaps it's spelled "cig"

Anonymous said...

Ace has some stuff on an Alleged Mistress of Obama.

This is what is known, a former campaign aide, in the middle of the campaign, left to become a fund manager in Bermuda for Mayor Daley's Building Inspector. Reputedly, she is pregnant.

If there is something there, we can expect a Clintonian circus. Someone will see the opportunities -- Drudge made something like $50 when all was said and done, by being the first with the news on the net.

Politicians often get power to get sex. It's why men often pursue it -- not for the boring power itself but what it brings. Sex, money, social standing.

What is interesting about Obama is how uninterested he is in making policy follow-throughs. At no time in his public career has he taken an issue and made it his business to make it happen.

Anonymous said...

Naw. Its proably along the lines of: "if you want to smoke, you're not smoking around the house, around my children, why don't you listen to me, you big eared idiot, and take out the trash, and tell you're friend Tony the house is too small..." I mean, if Michelle was your wife, you'd go running to hang at your buddy's for a smoke, maybe a beer or, like, six.

I mean the guy isn't from another argula eating planet where everbody is gay. He's a run o' the mill Chicago Pol., who drank the commie cool aid at Columbia, and needs to be "black" in the same way some kids in high school wanted to be "cool" (but he never grew up or out of it). Now he's POTUS elect - a college student's fevered idea of Che Guevera on the make, looking for the great leap foward, and to lead the "revolution." Oh, yeah, next four years gonna be fun.

Frankly, I would like to think that Obama has at least one person in his life that is somewhat normal and not some sort of american hating marxist, whatever the relationship.

Now, that smokin' chick in Hillary's entourage. That's a whole other story.

Anonymous said...

I think JFK's guys called it a "beard". The thought flashed thru mind mind for a nanosecond or two:downlow buddies.But,like UFO crashes and Abominable Snowmen corpses,its too good to be true. I wonder idf Obomo is a Jack Lemmon fan? Think...

Anonymous said...

There is no such a thing as a discreet gay, or especially bi, middle-aged man. They're too promiscuous for that secret to be kept. As such, where there is smoke, there is fire and there has been absolutely no such rumors around Obama.

He just wants to get away from the woman who said, in public, that he was snore-y and stinky.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

Wouldn't Obama smell after smoking?"

Not if you only smoke outside, which Obama was probably able to do when he was an anonymous Senator. Not so easy now. The moment he steps outside he's got fifty cameras on him. I buy Steve's theory.

Anonymous said...

If Obama has a mistress or boyfriend, Hillary Clinton and John McCain spent their opposition research budges very poorly. (Perhaps this demonstrates that they really weren't Presidential material.)

Most of the kind of stuff you can imagine explaining this pattern (extramarital affairs, homosexuality, drug problems, etc.) is really hard to hide from people close to you, over long periods of time. Lots of people were looking for this kind of thing from at least the time he gave that keynote speech. The fact it wasn't found implies that it's probably not there, or else that he's been amazingly discreet. (By contrast, think about the gay and straight sex scandals that come out about famous politicians from time to time. Occasionally, it really is out of the blue (like with Spitzer), but most of the time, there have been rumors swirling around the person for many years before the scandal.

The main thing that makes me suspect that there's not a bimbo (or boy) eruption in the wings, though, is that Obama seems to have been amazingly focused on his goal for many, many years. It's hard to imagine him blowing it that way.

Anonymous said...

Obama goes over to Mike Signator's apartment to...smoke a cigarette.

Smoking, not ties to Islam, might have convinced lefist voters to avoid Obama.