A newly published report raises questions about some established narratives in the early life of President Obama, suggesting the president’s upbringing was one of privilege and not hardship.
The Washington Examiner published a 10-part report detailing Obama’s path to the White House. Some of the information appears to conflict with the narratives the Obamas and the Democratic Party have pushed, most recently at the party’s convention in Charlotte.
* After nearly four years in office, Obama has become a sharply polarizing figure.
His critics believe he is trying to remake America in the image of Europe’s social democracies, replacing America’s ethos of independence and individual enterprise with a welfare state inflamed by class divisions.
Introduction: The Obama you don’t know
* Michelle Obama told the Democratic National Convention that “Barack and I were both raised by families who didn’t have much in the way of money or material possessions.”
The facts aren’t nearly so clear-cut.
Chapter I: A childhood of privilege, not hardship
* In 1999, only 23 percent of the students said they would repeat Obama’s racism class. He was the third-lowest-ranked lecturer at the law school that year. And in 2003, only a third of the student evaluators recommended his classes.
Some former faculty colleagues today describe Obama as disengaged, doing only what was minimally required and almost never participating in faculty activities.
Chapter II: The myth of the ‘rock-star professor’
* Obama was a newly elected Illinois state senator in 1997 when he addressed an audience that included many of Chicago’s most powerful political insiders and activists, nonprofit executives, business movers and shakers, and philanthropic funders.
No authenticated text of Obama’s speech — which was billed beforehand by LISC in a promotional flier obtained by The Washington Examiner as “a local perspective on effective communities” — is now known to exist.
Chapter III: The 1997 speech that launched Obama
* Dreams from My Father,” Obama said he became “a civil rights lawyer” because “to lend meaning to a community’s suffering and take part in its healing — that required something more.”
There was indeed “something more” to Obama’s legal career, but it wasn’t civil rights litigation at the Chicago law firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, where he was employed for a decade.
Chapter IV: For the slumlord’s defense, Barack Obama, Esq.
* Barack Obama’s carefully constructed image as a civil rights lawyer who wanted to heal the black community was greeted with skepticism by some Chicago activists.
“I never drank the Kool-Aid about Barack Obama,” veteran Chicago black activist Eddie Read told The Washington Examiner. Read is president of the Black Independent Political Organization, one of Chicago’s largest black community groups.
Chapter V: Obama’s toughest critics on the Left
* Four years after Barack Obama’s historic election as president, little seems to have changed for the African-American communities on Chicago’s South Side. (Including all the tweets/FB I do on deaths in Chicago from violence.)
In 2011, Chicago suffered the third-highest black jobless rate among the nation’s major metropolitan areas, at 19 percent, according to the liberal Economic Policy Institute.
Chapter VI: The poor people Obama left behind
* MY favorite Chapter because we knew then what he was…
Shortly after Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election, Prairie State Blue, a liberal blog, attributed his victory to the fact that Illinois’ deeply entrenched government corruption had forced “political reformers” in the state legislature like Obama “to network outside the traditional political circles.”
“The two worst crime zones in Illinois are the governor’s mansion in Springfield and the City Council Chambers in Chicago,” said study author Dick Simpson.
Former Illinois Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, a maverick Republican and reformer, told The Washington Examiner that Obama never fought corruption, even when it was being done by Republicans.
“I’ve never seen him fight corruption. He never wanted to upset the apple cart with the Chicago machine,” Fitzgerald said.
Chapter VII : The myth of Obama as state Senate reformer
* Obama and his cohorts targeted state officials in charge of pension funds for teachers, police and firemen, and regular government employees.
Much as the Rev. Jesse Jackson had been doing for years to Fortune 500 corporations, Obama and the Alliance of Business Leaders & Entrepreneurs, or ABLE, demanded that the officials set aside at least 15 percent of pension assets for management by minority-owned investment companies.
Chapter VIII: Obama’s state pension scheme
Prior to his academic career in the United States, Khalidi worked for Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization when it was classified by the State Department as a terrorist group.
Less well-known is a cluster of Chicago businessmen who formed an Arab-American network at the heart of Obama’s political apparatus. Ray Hanania, a Chicago-based Arab-American journalist and activist, described the network in a 2007 interview with Chicago magazine as “a small cluster of activists” in the business community who were politically involved.
* Chicago has been called the home of “gangster government.” How bad is it?
Consider the following facts about the city from which President Obama rose through the ranks of American public life, from community organizer and local lawyer to the Illinois state legislature to the U.S. Senate and finally the Oval Office
Chapter X: Obama brings Chicago politics to Washington